The Light Fantastic

earbudsI’m not sure why certain things annoy me the way that they do. Last weekend, I threw a fit when my earbuds stopped working properly. At first, I thought it was my mp3 player that was malfunctioning, which made me very upset, as that would most likely mean that I would have to buy a new one. Then I tested my earbuds on a computer (having to go out of my way to do so, as my new computer had not yet arrived) and realized that all I would have to do is spring for a new set of earbuds. That was a relief, but it didn’t undo all of the strain from having gotten so worked up in the first place.

Let’s just get this out of the way: I’m not moving to Brooklyn. I did everything that I was supposed to do: I gave my landlord notice, started looking at ads on Craigslist, commuted to Brooklyn multiple times over the course of several weeks to get a look at places, told them I was interested, and they all gave me the cold shoulder. But I still have to move out at the end of the month. So I guess I’ll just go back to hostel and couch-surfing while checking out places in Queens. I know I don’t like Manhattan. It’s too crowded and noisy. I like Brooklyn–or at least, I did. When I first started thinking about moving there, I had no idea that it was booming. I just…liked it, no matter which neighborhood I was in. But since all the trendy young urban professional hipster types are flocking there, I’m getting phased out. I told somebody that I’m not a hipster, but I feel comfortable around somehow, and he responded that it’s always hipsters who say they’re not hipsters. Well, now I think I have proof that I’m not a hipster. If I were a hipster, I might have gotten a place. But nobody gave it to me. They said they’d get back to me and they never did. I could not have foreseen this.

I’m trying not to get too whiny and self-pitying here, but it’s kinda tough. I haven’t been getting out much lately. Well, I have but I’m always alone. My friends are all either out of town, too busy to talk to me, or nonexistent. I’m still single. That never changes. Seriously, I’m in my mid-twenties, and basically, all I have to show for it is a couple of degrees, a lot of debts and missed connections, and a staggering knowledge of all sorts of obscure pop culture. So, uh, I think I’ll just post this speech again, which I posted a year ago but have never gotten tired of.

I maintain that very little of what happens to me is actually my fault. Honestly, I’m not sure what I could have done differently with the whole Brooklyn thing. The last place I looked at was nice, with a reasonable rent and a lovely interior (the dude was a cat-owning security guard whose mother had decorated the place before moving out and leaving it to him). I shook his hand, told him that I was quiet, clean, and respected his privacy, told him I was interested, and thanked him for showing it to me. He just said that lots of people had responded to his ad and he would have made his decision by Wednesday. Well, now it’s Friday. I don’t think he’s getting back to me, do you?

There seems to be a disconnect here. When somebody turns me down, they seem to be saying that I’ll find another place if I just keep looking. But I don’t want a place; I want this place. That’s why I gave up my search. I looked at a place that was technically in Queens (but very, very near to Brooklyn) last week, and while I didn’t get it, the lady who lived there had the decency to email me and tell me she’d found somebody else. Earlier in the week, I thought I’d clicked with a lady in Ditmas Park. We chatted about They Might Be Giants (who are playing in Prospect Park in a few weeks) and I figured I had this one in the bag. Then I didn’t hear back from her, so I texted her to find out what’s up. She sent me a four-word text telling me I didn’t get the place. I started throwing shit around. In public. I couldn’t help it. I’d take a hundred of the Queens lady over one of her.

You don’t have to feel bad about saying no to somebody. But you need to think about your reasons for saying no. If you’re only saying no because you’re sure they’ll have luck getting a job/apartment/date elsewhere, stop. You’re “othering” that person, telling them, basically, that they might matter to somebody else, but you have no idea who that would be. If you’re saying no because you honestly don’t think it’s going to work out, good on you. I’m used to hearing the word “no”. But I still get angry when people give me no answer at all. Fuck them. Fuck them hard. What was the security guard looking for, if not a responsible young professional to stay out of his way and pay his rent on time? I guess he wanted somebody who would, I don’t know, pet his cat or suck his dick or something. People are moving to Brooklyn because it’s in. I think I understand it better than they ever will. So for now, fuck Brooklyn. Fuck everyone in it. It might be harsh, but it’s all I’ve got.

My father has offered to let me move back in with him if I like. I’ll sleep in a box on the street before it comes to that. I moved to New York for a reason–namely, to get away from California. I don’t like the city very much right now, but it is an improvement, albeit a marginal one. I just don’t want people to worry about me. I have no use for pity.

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