Surreal in The City

We’re suburbanites now. Only about an hour away from NYC but again, it feels like another world, a world I’ve been adjusting to since the beginning of the New Year when we officially left our apartment way uptown in New York City. A quiet world where deer roam around the yards munching on people’s hedges and where I have a window seat in the master bedroom all to myself that I could literally live in. It’s so much a part of some ideal domestic narrative spun out of 80s YA novels and 90s WB11 shows that I find it both sweet, dreamlike and a bit much. I need to keep wrangling it into something familiar and worn in and…just more us.

I sit in the Starbucks for an hour. I try not to think about the cat at home alone in the house. When I’m done eating and drinking my Chai Latte, I walk slowly down several blocks towards my office building.

The theater district is still dead. According to a giant billboard somewhere on 50th and Broadway, there’s going to be a Ray Donavan movie? I think fondly back to a time when Liev Shreiber used to take other acting jobs and wonder why he seems to have signed his life over to this character. Why is there going to be a movie? It’s weird.

By the time I get a block away from my office building I feel as I am trying to fit into a version of myself that I outgrew ages ago. It’s tight, uncomfortable and impossible and I don’t know why I’m doing it. But here I am.

I’m still an hour early though so I stop in Whole Foods for my customary Ronnybrook Yogurt drinks. I kill another hour there in the nearly empty eating area across from an enormous view of Bryant Park. This is where I started eating lunch last year once it started getting cold and I had to be in person. For some reason, the guy who asks to see everyone’s vaxx pass before we can enter always remembers me, although I’d worn at least three different wigs to work in 2021. He pretty much just waves me in now. I’m a Whole Foods Eaterie VIP.

Like the new house, the office is quiet as well. But it’s been this way since last year. Unlike the new house, the silence is one of resigned defeat. Quiet and deserted. Walking through midtown at a snails pace during my lunch hour, the word ruins comes to mind.

I buy a travel size of hand lotion for my hands which are absolutely ravaged with dryness and cracking from all the handwashing. I have zero desire to shop or buy anything else. I feel like I am walking underwater. Faint memories floating by evoke nothing, no urgency, melancholy or longing. Just a dull lead like feeling of being long done with all of it.

I can feel a maskne pimple emerging on the right side of my chin.

It’s time for a cleanse.

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