Sunday, 27 March 2011
new york gone
the first time i visited, she was waiting for me at jfk. it's not like i knew her that well but i knew her well enough to know she was one of the special ones. she was opening my world to new york, my home away from home even though i'd never been. and i was only visiting for a week, and i hurt my knee on the first day because i walked too much; and the rest of the week i could barely walk but i walked and walked. and i didn't get along with her that well, because she was busy, and i was a tourist.
and i hung out with this guy i'd met on the plane, we went to hooters and i bought a beer and he bought a coke and we switched so he could drink the beer and then they kicked us out.
and in another year i arrived with a sickness, and my first days were just me hiding in a rented room in brooklyn, waiting to feel better and not knowing that it'd be the best of times before long.
but the first time i visited nyc, the girl who waited for me at jfk waited for me just at the end of the block between where she was studying and where the bar was. and it was my last night in new york and i was late and it was cold and i ran and ran. but that night was a great night, because sitting in the bar on the corner of the block we had that feeling. sometimes you just feel it; just feel the breeze of life and you realize there's good to be got. and outside we hugged and then the yellow taxi came and off i went and off i flew and i was back gone from america.
in some other year i got lost in queens at the weekend with an actor who was showing me around and we must've stayed lost in nowhere for hours because before long we just gave up and went for another coffee. in new york you go for a coffee and everything is okay and you get to know amazing people just drinking coffee.
and i stayed in a room somewhere in brooklyn, and the girl in the room next to me was an artist. we stayed up all night talking. we had such different lives, different worlds, but similar ideas; even though she painted with a brush and i painted with a camera. and we got close for a week or two and then i got gone again and a yellow taxi took me away.
but the girl who waited for me at jfk was always part of nyc. we'd go to cafe lalo and caffe reggio and the yaffa cafe some other cafe where she lived in brooklyn. and we'd talk about what we wanted to write, and we'd stop that so we could eat cake, and we'd talk about new york and talk about her stuff and my stuff and just at that moment when you think someone is cool you get in the taxi and go.
and i remember sitting in my rented room, with the laptop on the bed and me writing and writing because in new york somehow it's loud and obnoxious but totally silent and yours. i was listening to my favourite soundtrack which is so subtle and delicate and it just felt like home, i felt like home, and i'd write and write and the artist was a wall away and i wanted to talk but also wanted to write and tried to balance both but rarely succeeded.
in new york you find that one cafe that speaks your language and you find that one part of town where everyone wants in on your conversation and you want in on theirs. and you can talk to your friend or a street artist or some homeless guy or some woman who's yelling at herself and somehow you see life right in front of you. it's like everywhere else in the world people have barriers and they have their comforts but in new york everyone is just going for it and attacking it and failing and living and anything else.
and the last time i left new york i left all my favourite people. and the guy who showed me around queens moved to la and the guy from the plane could be anywhere now and me and the artist kinda fell out and the girl who waited for me that time in jfk packed up her bags and got gone across the world and now i could go back, and i will go back, but so much is gone.
you capture new york in a particular way. and you have to feel it and capture it and keep your eyes open, because one minute it's there and the next minute it's gone, and it'll never be the same.
more another time