Leaving New York


   Let’s assume here that you, the recipient to whom I am writing, know some basic facts about the person writing.  In the case that the preceding is false, let’s assume you will pretend that you do.

I’m finding myself talking to a lot of new people about my background lately (networking at its finest). It tends to get the better of me in un-nuanced conversion, my imposter syndromes. Related to specifically my being an ex-New Yorker.  Which-of course-requires that I was, at any time, a New Yorker. That’s where the flare up usually happens for me. I wasn’t even in the city for 4 years as a proper student should have. 

But what am I supposed to say; ex-inhabitant-of-new-york? Ex-lover-of-new-york?  Ex-fantasizer?  Now I think of her fondly and sparingly, casting my fond memories onto a lived experience. Most of which are somehow related to walking around. Alone--or with brunette girls--at the Met, on unusually sunny days. Feeding rats with my messily-eaten food trails after night classes. Tear-stained and calming myself down traversing your fake parks. Under light rain at 4 a.m. to Penn Station or Grand Central to leave the city. Always sweating, when I arrive back.

Unemployed college-graduate summer weekends back and forth on the Metro North. I’ll admit parting was washed in sweet layers. To those holding out on me: I’ll take the train to you again. Aside from the dirtbags and golden convertibles, I’ll dig out my rathole once more. Aside from the random objects miscellaneously arranged on a multiple page document of complaints.

Now I’m up north and there are a lot fewer things to complain about. Not everyone I love is in my old city and yet there are a few who, both unbeknownst and beknownst to me, are carving something out for themselves. If you’re reading this somehow, I am still loving you up here. Even though I don’t understand what it is you’re carving.  

And too I have deleted instagram, and in its place I am making this blog, like I have said I would, and how I have been wanting. Hopefully which I will be able to devote myself to in an anti-perfectionist method. So I am plagiarizing the devotion to your medium, which I of course admire. “I will do the world a favor by learning less about others and sharing less about myself. This blog is contradictorily password protected and pointless.” I am also resonating with your break-up thought process:

“      Yes, I fell in love, but his sweatshirts peeking out from where I shoved them behind the couch or his flirty Venmo payments make me wish I had not. A breakup is a remarkable thing. Being dumped, even more spectacular... I have returned to scribbling manifesto-like confessionals to a void on the internet and am comforted by the warm familiarity of unrequited love.    ”

My own--which seems obvious in the above paragraphs--a parallel, a reason, cast-within my exodus from New York. My parents moving into a house replica of hers, aspiring towards wishes made in vain, fueling personalities I no longer can distinguish from a concept of myself, red in my mouth. You warned me against it in June, I remember, though too little. Too late. 

I’m looking at myself now. I am citing you and writing this one-sided conversation while we remain unspeaking and who knows if you’ll ever read this. If somehow you are, I’m sorry, and want you to know that some time since leaving your city, the projection that you rightfully accused me of has turned into regret. “I must apologize for my behavior.” Thank you for harboring that for me.

So then, finally doing this only took leaving New York. I am uncertain and not without reservation but still, starting this. What will be an archive of writing more than my notes app filled with sad letters, more than confusing artist statements, and depressing AP lang portfolios. The rest is just the wind at my back and a traveling song is playing somewhere too. 

April 24, 2022: New York is a river which is to say you’ll never cross the same one. You’ll never see a stranger twice—even yourself, always changing in that beautiful terror.

Absolutely I miss my city. I am turning away from it.