Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Lonely At Home/Romance in Modern Brooklyn
I wish the composure but not the depression of solitude.
Although I love spending quiet time on my own, I don't like living alone very much. With a couple of miserable exceptions, I've always lived with one girl at a time-- wry, skinny worry-worts who were gone all the time (that's my type of girl), but the idea that I'd see my roommate at least a couple of times a week always eased my mind and made me feel less isolated. In fact, until recently I've NEVER had a problem with loneliness WHATSOEVER, but these days I feel it descend on me like a heavy mantle fairly often.
What changed? Maybe my youthful optimism is being dampened slightly by the fact that I have been putting myself through the wringer coast to coast for a few years now. Maybe I feel so over-exposed from working in the sex industry I don't have the energy to emotionally bare myself after I leave work. Maybe I'm sick at heart, sick to death, sick and now scared of being an old maid. I know a person has to work pretty hard to maintain total disconnection from fellow humans in the NYC area, so I'm going to have to take responsibility for my condition when it gets totally intolerable, an eventuality which seems to be on the horizon. I know I'll only receive as much love as I give, so once I respect the immutability of that eternal equation and stop complaining, things will change. Maybe I just find romance in being miserable lately?! I need to pray about that one, what a waste of God-given life, which should be so full of joy...
Anyway, living alone on the second floor of a rambling old three-story house seems unnatural. Houses should be full of life and activity.
I rent my new place from a good friend... he's still renovating the first floor and basement, and his brother and father help him out. We all get along very well, and, when I need a break from the chaos in my brain and long to accomplish some innocent, tangible and constructive task, I ask him to teach me how to lay wall tiles or parquet flooring. He is, perhaps, the most honorable man I've ever met. I appreciate the company, and so does he...
I adore his wife, too. He's Peruvian, she's Hasidic, or was when they met... every time some guy doesn't call me and I start making excuses for him, I remember my friend's love story, and how he spotted his future bride on the train and knew no matter what, he was going to be with her EVEN THOUGH SHE WASN'T EVEN ALLOWED TO TALK TO HIM. He must have felt as though he was hit with a hammer the first time he saw her. He never let her go, that's for sure. What they must feel when they look at one another... I can sense it sometimes, but the inner reality must be paradise. They're the happiest couple I've ever met. She's a blunt person with a lot of integrity, which I admire-- being nobody's fool is one of Barbara's specialties.
Today I made everyone chocolate chip/hazlenut/coconut cookies and put hers in little heart-shaped tart forms. They gamely tolerate my vegan cooking, but I usually spare them and just make them baked goods instead, which are not so obviously weird.
It's so inspiring to know true romance really does exist in modern Brooklyn.
I wonder what they would think of me if they knew about my secret life.
To a degree, they probably have one, too.
PS I bought this print in a furniture store on Broadway. Bushwick is full of surprises.