The past few weeks have been a major adjustment period, as you all know, but a major savior in all of this has been New York City.
If you've never lived here, know that New York is the town that can kick your ass and take your lunch money one day and then save your bacon the next.
I can't count the number of times I've been at some horrible hipster party on the LES some Saturday night, standing in the corner while drinking a bottle 0f Bud Light and trying to appear fascinated by a weird neon-colored painting on the wall because no one thinks I'm cool enough to talk to. I've been dissed out loud at fancy job interviews and forced to smile through the remainder of them. I've had $25 in my checking account that had to last one week.
But these past few weeks, there has been something uplifting about the city that's not unlike a heavenly hammock of distraction. I was downtown in the early evening today, and I looked up at the short-ish brick buildings and the new summer clothing everyone walking down the street was wearing, I felt the weight of the totally decent bottles of $1.99 malbec I had just procured from Astor Wines in my palm, and I caught a glimpse of myself and my oversized sunglasses in the bar Butter's reflective glass, and I became sublimely, inexplicably happy.
That this is my life -- carrying good wine through Astor Place like I owned it. That I came from a nondescript town deep in cow country that no one's heard of and that -- years later, despite near-poverty and random, assorted disappointments -- I am Still. Fucking. Here. That I have developed that exoskeleton that every New Yorker knows about. Not only that, but I function. There's cause and effect at play between me and the city, and it gives back now. I've worn it down with persistence, and it sort of likes me sometimes, when I'm not annoying it by talking too much or asking it for favors. It lets me win at five-card stud occasionally, and I walk away, counting my bills.
I refused to be swallowed up, a Jonah in the city's belly, and I wasn't. That deserves another glass of pinot. Or two.