In the early days of the recession, I was secretly a little jealous of friends who’d lost their jobs. When you’re young enough, from the outside a layoff can look confusingly like liberation. It seemed like an opportunity to do more of the semi-sanctioned and semi-scripted fucking around that goes with this decade of life. But it stops feeling like a fun, sexy choice when it’s not, in fact, a choice, and what income you’re fortunate to have is highly nondisposable. It’s hard to fully enjoy avoiding maturity if you’re worried that it’s more like maturity is escaping you.
No one’s ever really improved on Spy magazine’s Homeric moniker: ‘short-fingered vulgarian.’ That he has any kind of constituency, namely, people who don’t find him nauseating in almost every aspect and emblematic of all that’s wrong in the culture, fills me with despair.
Nothing scrubs the TV from an actress quite like the fashion world’s approval.
I should say what I loved and lost, what I pine for with my starved senses, my bereft body torn from its Dean Street roost by this decision by my traitorous brain: tilted slate underfoot, juices of this or that sandwich dripping down my chin, sentimentalized abuse by this or that shopkeeper or civil servant (oh, I love a New York parking ticket! Awarded at precisely 8:31! And even better with some pigeon shit on it! I think I’ll wear it as a badge on my forehead today!), the geometric intimacies and odor-cornucopia of a brutally overfilled subway car. But it doesn’t really operate that way, the NYC self-and-place machine in my head. I love and hate, disgorge and devour, exalt and revile my old-and-always home just as fiercely and the same way each time I’ve fled, only to find it stalking me around any mental corner. Truthfully, I’m the worst traitor precisely while standing on those akimbo sidewalks. (My favorite sandwich in Boerum Hill lately was full of Montreal smoked meat. I do miss those platters. Please send.) I pledge allegiance best from afar (I’m writing about Queens these days). Oops, self-regard back in picture. There’s the rub. Possession is nine tenths of the law? Well, I’m possessed. Too mixed up with the place to love it without loving myself (ditto hate). Admit it: You too.