I've been watching a lot of Woody Allen movies lately. One can only write/work for so many hours a day, and then one watches Manhattan or Celebrity or Manhattan Murder Mystery and is comforted by the fact that there is someone more neurotic in the world.
All these movies have reminded me of my two visits to New York City: August 2001 and November 2001. The first one was a graduation trip with my then best friend and boyfriend. We drove up in her car. I bought a cigar at the gas station in the wal-mart parking lot. That was retarded. I used the nastiest bathroom I had ever seen in New Jersey. I was stoned and driving through the Brooklyn tunnel and I thought I was accidentally going to veer off the road and lead us all to our death. This was the height of my heroin phase. Don't get the wrong idea; I've never even seen heroin, much less done it. Rather, I was listening to the Velvet Underground all the time and reading lots of books about junkies. It was the beginning of a nasty downturn in my life that crescendoed (or de-crescendoed) in November.
Tickets were really cheap in November, and I was thinking about taking an Americorps job there. My dad suggested I pay the $60 and go check it out again and see if I could make it work. I stayed in a hostel, ate broccoli pizza, and mainly just walked around. One amazing night included a phenomenally bad rendition of "Crazy" by Patsy Cline in one room at a bar, and in the other a streak of blind luck at pool that allowed me to hold a table and keep playing game after game with a bunch of dudes. I wore only bright colors then: a hot pink tank top, a green scarf, rainbow socks, and powder blue mary jane sneakers, and always always a string of indian glass beads I had bought in Amsterdam.
I was profoundly sad like I had never been and never have been since. I had a broken heart and I was very lonely. One bright moment of the trip was a simple, shy, sweet boy sitting across from me on the subway who I saw reading the title of the Ladybug Transistor cd I had in my hand. I blushed, and said something about the peanut shells on the floor. He got off and looked back at me, and it made me happy for weeks.
Yesterday, my boyfriend and I were talking about New York and I dug out a journal entry from that trip. I was sad, walking around, and I just decided I'd sit in Central Park for the day. I sat there watching these kids play soccer, and I couldn't understand why they were just happy.
I'm going to try to organize these thoughts that I've been thinking for a long time. I don't think I'm a good enough writer yet to convey what I mean, but I'm going to try. When things get really bad, I often have the same epiphanal realization that the way we think about life is just all entertainment. When nothing gives you pleasure, and you're searching so desperately for something to make you happy, it is easy and logical to think that sports, reading, school, even humanitarian work isn't motivated by your fate in life, but rather something to distract you from a recurring and overarching wish to die. Maybe this is true. Maybe life is like going to a shitty matinee. You would rather get up and leave, but you've already paid the money so you might as well stay. I know this is a shitty metaphor, but it seems like so many people enjoy the matinee. Is life only worth living because it is better than death? Because we're too lazy to just count our losses and skip town?
But, of course, it is far more complicated than that. It seems like so many people don't leave. And a lot of intelligent people really enjoy life. Perhaps if I had proper chemicals, I would too. I suppose I'm stuck on the question: what if it isn't all for entertainment? Not that there is necessarily a god, but what if there is some good reason to live and live well that I, in my small 21 years, have yet to realize? Is there such a thing as real love? Do children really change everything? Perhaps I was created simply to make the world a better place for others to live in. If so, then what can I do to realize this? I'm also aware that kids don't want to die. They just live and enjoy themselves and cry when they hurt.
I wish I could find peace with some way of thinking of the world. I know this: that there is something about love--humanitarian love--and Jesus, etc. were real nice guys. I know that restrictions do not make your life better, but more complicated, and I know that most people, nay, all people are doing the best they can. Most people just exist. And they're trying to do what will make them happy. I wish I felt more of a connection with humanity. I want my life to be dedicated to others, and not just a few people, but a lot of people who need me to be who I am. Maybe this is already the case and I don't realize it, but it's not the way I could hope it to be.
Does it get better than little girls playing soccer? What about the smell of Aveda pomade? I like how Biff Brount is in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Decides to drink a glass of water and does it.
P.S. I moved to SF and everything changed. I've been, basically, happy ever since.