It's hitting home that I'm starting something new out here, that New York is for now a thing of the past. Strange memories bubble up on a thursday night. The time I fooled around with that beautiful, tall, smart girl who'd stage managed for radio/active right before heading back to Oregon for a holiday; John Lennon popping on from her iMac in the middle of kissing, and everything going just swimmingly. She'd never had good head before, and I had to rush home and pack and leave and it wasn't a graceful exit. Never saw her that way again.
I remember a night in soho -- back when it wasn't quite the outlet mall that it is today -- being cold for only wearing my leather jacket and a wife beater. I remember freshman-year conversations with Frank, confessing my virginity on Astor place. I remember the glory days of Byamo, a Cuban/Chinese fusion place on Broadway across from Tisch where you could get killer rice and beans for $2, or a half chicken for $4. I remember biking into the city from Brooklyn the first time, the night after I stayed over with Yael. I remember the Tunnel and the MoMa and the three-dollar hot chocolate.
I remember good times in Greenpoint; Monday-night football with free ziti and cheap mugs of Bud at the Palace. I remember underage sneaking into Panchitos. I remenber second-year projects at ETW, and feeling like it was too much to follow Peter Hale's act, for he was taller than be and had done a rock and roll performance. I remember discovering Inwood because of a Russian math girl, and building Opera sets on the Upper East Side. I remember helping out with an ERS benefit and being an ass when some older lady invited me out on the lower east side. I remember stealing a christmas decoration left up until march and delivering it to a one-night-stand that I wanted more from very late at night, drunken note attached.
I remember Shakespeare; in the park; in the home; on the stage; in the bathtub and in German on acid. I remember the first time I discovered Battery Park City, the quiet and the autumn mist and the sound of kayakers on the Hudson as I rode my bike by. I remember pulling off a girl's belt with my teeth for the first time in the floor of my dorm room. I remember being blind drunk and mighty high too on a dead man's pot on the Statin Island Ferry, fucking up a cardboard box and puking in both bathrooms when I finally made it home. I remember the magic that christmas would work on the whole place; the power of small lights to make any place seem humble and inviting. I remember cabs over bridges and trains underground, slicing through times square on a bicycle in traffic, the sheer urban beauty, dreams and desires, concrete and light.
In all these things I remember the unique thrill and amazing electricity of New York City; heaving, steaming, perpetually teaming bitch goddess that it is. It is hope and pain and anger and love forged together in the most dense human metal known to God, a testament to what is possible. As Douglas Macarthur said, I shall return, but my heart lurches and swoons as it seeps in that I don't quite know when or how that will be. I miss it all tonight as I listen to the silence of Berkeley. I love you, New York.