Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fifteen minute rule

Does that still count when you're 33? False alarm. Sigh. So yesterday Shiny and I bid adieu to the dear Mandy Patinkin. We will miss you and your sunny-cheeked baby (and your sunny-cheeked self), but hope springs eternal that one day I will visit Berlin.

Rob asked me last night if I had ever said goodbye to anyone leaving New York, and, full of three thimbles of wine, I said no. Of course that is patently untrue. My fake brown sister, Flushy, now Mandy. I'm just stuck in the past and extremely self-absorbed, so I feel like I'm the only one who ever leaves. And now, since I have decided to make New York my home for a little while, I know I'll see more friends go.

Let's just talk about economics, because I don't want to write another screed about the train. (Though the train is about economics and now, maybe even more so. Bastards.) Most of my friends are in their late twenties and thirties. Some are paired up, some are not. But I barely know anyone who can afford to live alone. This is extremely frustrating--you get older, your accomplishments and ambitions or both pile up, you earn a bit more money every year, maybe you even decide to have a child, but you still can't afford to live in the neighbourhood you like. Forget about buying. It does something to your self-esteem, I think. Something like, no matter how you change or age or do, you will always be financially downtrodden in New York? Maybe this frees you from the rat race of modern conveniences and starter homes, raking leaves and creepy basements, and leaves you free to travel, to express yourself artistically, and to write your damned novel. And maybe it also means that your landlord, who goes through your mail and also your recycling, also tells you you can't grill on your Smokey Joe on the fire escape. I want my own fire escape!

I'm not moving to the suburbs, but it's hard to live here sometimes. Especially when dear friends leave.