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Whenever I'm back in New York for extended periods, which is becoming less frequent as I ripen like Käse, I'm reminded simultaneously of what still iron-grips me, keeps bringing me back here ... yet why I began to escape in the first place.
I've long said, in New York (in Manhattan, that is), there is no middle ground: You're either perfectly young for it, or perfectly old. You enjoy the clubs, lounges, (now corporatized) live music / night life scenes ... the all-nighters, 4am diner hangs ... or you're comfortably numbed. You've learned where to go, what to see, who to do for your comforts, and you can afford these.
In the midlife, there is only flight ... from noise and Groundhog Day-like hassles, constant inconveniences, too many people (incessant noise!) and tourist price-gouging. Add to this, a milennial sheen ... This privatized, Disneyfied, playground vibe ... This "service"-oriented age of "transparency", where everything's glass and in fact, nothing's private and even the taxi drivers pretend now to "like" you (transparent, indeed!) ...
Entering a pizza place last week, I'm greeted by a greasy apron caught up in this fantasy, all beaming as he asks me, "How are you, good gentleman?"
"Uh, yeah ... Gimme a slice," I grunt. "Not hot. Just like it is."
"It's cold!" shouts he with glee, imploring.
"Don't care. That one. With the cheese. Not. Burnt. No, not that one! Looks like ASS ... "
This happened last week. Looking back, I think for a minute, I have no idea why I'm acting that way ... but then it occurs to me, Wait. Yes I do.
I'm middle-aged now. Gearing up for a thirtieth high school reunion (!) ... and New York -- in reality, a shoulda been transitional situation, where it's never been easy to live, just survive -- now feels to me like a burial ground. My mood and spirit, hopes and humor, all but submerged, subsumed when I'm here ...
|“Subsuming”, ©Jeff Glovsky|
I have flown ... but can't yet keep too long away.
Until I can, long for the New York I was young in ... the mind your own business, out of my face place ... Grown up, Garbo-esque, I request at least that. For now ... while I still can't fly too long away.
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