Notes from Metro North

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Written October 2015

I always feel better when I’m on this train, watching the trees and the fields flash by my window. It takes me out of anything I was obsessing over, and I get lost daydreaming about  where I’m going to – most of the time, it’s to my parent’s house and my dog and the gigantic mahogany bed my Grandma gave me that I sleep the deepest in. I was thinking of buying a Metro North pass and spending this winter working at the restaurant then go home every three weeks or so to write and read a lot and watch a lot of TV with my mom.

The city can be kind of lonely and restless when you are trying to figure job and money things out. Last fall, I moved away from Seattle and spent a season doing nothing in my parent’s house. I vaguely miss that luxurious laziness of when my whole life was just getting dressed and made up, and going to go drink and eat and spend the day smoking rollies outside in nature. I caught up with old friends and walked on a frozen lake for the first time. I felt lovesick the entire time. It wasn’t a real life because I wasn’t doing anything, or moving forward. I was cradled monotonously in an interim between moves that lasted entirely too long. It kind of felt like I was putting on a play. That was part of the fun of it, I think. When I moved to New York, everything moved very quickly and fell into place into some semblance of an adult life.  I would never go back to that lazy interim, though, and my life is so much better than it was then. But sometimes I have to go back home, when I am homesick in an unidentifiable way, just to remind myself that my real life isn’t there.

Notes from Downtown Seattle

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It was almost the end of the cold yet snowless winter that I lived in Seattle. I spent most of my time at work, and came back every night to sleep alone in a queen-sized bed in powder blue Egyptian cotton sheets. When I was alone, I watched movies and drank coffee with a lot of cream and sugar out of small yellow cups that my mom had given me before I moved away. My scheduled days off were during the weekdays when everyone I knew was at work or in class, so I would go get my hair done, or get a pedicure, or get a bubble tea and go shopping. One day in December, I went down by the Space Needle to drop off film at a place called Panda Photo and ended up walking the whole day, even though it was cold. The sadness of the empty streets moved me, and I didn’t want to get back on the bus.

Continue reading “Notes from Downtown Seattle”

Notes from Rockaway Beach Pt. 2

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The sunlight on the waves looked like diamonds. Curvy peaks, unsettled by the tide. A banner flew in the sky advertising alcoholic seltzer and my hands felt weightless. My legs look so pale underneath the water. On the beach, the radio blasted “Saturday in the park / I think it was the Fourth of July.” Salt water puckered on my tongue but your mouth felt so clean and soft.

On the way home, our train car was empty. The sunset made squares of light on the orange seats. I watched a plane flying out of the airport.

Notes From Rockaway Beach

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 2.01.31 PM.jpgWritten August 14th, 2015

I’ve wanted to go to the beach all summer but everyone always goes on Saturdays when I work, so today I went by myself. I got the keys to my new apartment yesterday and I should really be moving my things in, but I have two weeks to do it and I think I’m going though an internal change right now – coming out of something or maybe coming into something, I don’t know –  I just wanted to write and go to the beach as much as possible before it gets cold. Continue reading “Notes From Rockaway Beach”

Notes from Elizabeth Street Garden

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There was some kind of cosmic organization in the world that I couldn’t understand, or maybe it was all ornate disarray and I was just dazed from the heat and the elaborate shop windows. I first wandered upon Elizabeth Street Garden by accident. I had spent a day walking in Soho alone – looking at samples at Sephora and using up an old gift card. I bought a box of loose blood orange tea for the guy I just started seeing (he mentioned liking it once), as well as some cookies at Dean & Deluca for someone’s birthday.

I brought in my pumpernickel bagel and an iced latte, and sat on a rusty white bench. In front of me were stone lions roaring, adjacent to one another. The daffodils clusters looked like fat, yellow human hearts. They were half in bloom, half only bare green stalks standing at an angle, waiting to bloom later this week or next. On one side of the garden was a large tree with pale white buds. It looked like a delicate illustration against a background of dark opal pillars. It became windier as soon as I sat down, and I pulled my hair from my face, squinting against an unclouded sun.

It was about a year later that I set out, with intention, to visit Elizabeth Street Garden again. I was celebrating getting some retail job that didn’t end up working out anyway, and bought myself a smoked trout bagel to celebrate.  It was absurdly expensive, but I hadn’t felt so happy and light in such a long time. It was a cloudy day and looked like it was going to storm. I said hello to the stone lions and the European details, then was so distracted on the subway home that I got off on the wrong stop for the first time and walked the long way home in the rain. Everything was so green.

Notes from Washington Square Park

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The sound of strangers sending nothing to my head. It’s hard to be away from you not because I need your presence and your thoughts; it’s just the beauty of the city I am experiencing alone, and after a while I want to share a bit of it with you and no one else. Right now, the fickle July sunshine of a windy day is making marbled shadows like rippled water on my pages and it’s hard to focus. It’s like every moment the world is trying to pick me up and lift me away. I look at a benevolent breeze moving the leaves in the trees and the pigeons line up to watch me in my solitude.

Heavyhearted plans. Time is moving so slow. It’s everything I wanted, but all the change trips me up, and my gratitude has nowhere to go.  I’ve wasted the weeks you’ve been gone because it felt so good to spend a morning drinking iced black coffee alone in my room. I haven’t written that much; I haven’t eaten once before noon. I haven’t cooked or even cleaned. When I don’t have somewhere to go, I take the train and I look out the window at the Williamsburg Bridge, thinking about how my sunburn feels and what it’d feel like if you pressed your fingers onto my skin.

So indulgently carefree, my body spreads out in sleep just like the slow motion videos of a flower in bloom. I suppose my routine is as good as any other one. Last night, I dreamed of my bed sliding away from the window while I slept. I lost grasp of the pillows (squares of sage-colored cotton) like a determined, acrobatic ghost.