I’ll be honest time is simply speeding by. I can’t believe it has been over two months since getting here. What have I done in two months? Write, mainly, read, and try to have a life. I think that might be the biggest difference between New York, take one, 2019, and coming back this time round. The first time I was here, I was suffocating from financial anxiety (new york really is bloody expensive); I was panicked, the stakes seemed so high. What if I came all this way, gave up a career, gave up having financial stability, put my entire life on hold, just to pursue this writing dream, only to be proven a TALENTLESS HACK?!?!!?!?!? Any time I had, I wrote, I read, and I gave myself scheduled time to have fun, from say 5:45pm to 8:32 PM Saturday nights with nothing before and nothing after! Strict, I was being strict with myself. Disciplined, even. It was a point of pride. But this time, when I left Singapore, a girlfriend told me: I hope you can be kinder to yourself this time around.
Well, I have perhaps been too kind. I have, my friends, been wining and dining (something I will need to stop quite soon because while a wedding dress can be taken in, it cannot be let out, damn it!), I have been traipsing all over town, vising museums, bookstores, comedy shows, plays, picnics, musicals………. have I come into money, you ask? Not at all! I think it would be more accurate to say that I have come into attitude, more precisely, one the kids call IDGAF, born of complete frustration. It seems I still have much unresolved angst towards the shitshow that was 2020. Angst, what a mild word for the storm churning within me. I hope you can be kinder, my friend said. Kinder.
Here’s another difference, this time round. The pandemic scrambled us all, and I now live with a new set of roommates. Only one of the guys from before stayed, and the other two roommates are new. I’d hoped for a girl, and for a hot minute it seemed we’d get one, but new york real estate sure is an unpredictable beast, and as it happens we ended up with another two boys again. So it’s me and three boys, and my friends, I have not had to take the trash out once. I’m quite loving it. Except, these boys! They pee so much! How much time I’ve spent sitting around waiting for one of them to exit the one bathroom that we all share, I cannot tell you. Do you know what it’s like, waiting for your turn to pee? Absolutely nothing can get done. The walls in new york apartments are thin, I recently learned that they’re not even real brick (yes, living in new york is starting to sound a little bit like being in a flimsy cartoon, doesn’t it?). Is that a flush? Is that the tap? Oh jeez, it’s the shower, starting. The heater, beginning to buzz. Any project I start is doomed, half my attention is turned towards the thin walls, waiting for the exiting footsteps that might cue my own rush towards the bathroom, my attempt to beat out the other boys waiting their turn. Try to write? On this bladder? Please. Read? With this level of distraction? Pfft. Really, all that can be done, I realised today, is to sit at the computer in this ten minute pocket, blow the dust off the blog that’s been waiting all this while, and begin to type.