Friday, September 11, 2009


(This post was written yesterday morning. I just now got full battery and full internet. Voila!)

Thursday, 11:37AM

I spent the better part of yesterday waiting. I waited at Starbucks in Yorkville with two low batteries. I waited for a phone call sitting in a bakery in Chelsea. I waited on the train and walking through the monsterblocks in midtown. I walked with blistered toes and goosebumps because I was in no rush. I had only to sign and date a sheet and pick up some keys, and wait for the realization to come: I live here now.

But I don't live here yet.

And because the rendezvous got delayed, so did that realization. I signed the lease this morning, across the street from my new place. I signed up for my utilities in two minutes. Potential hassles were bypassed. Things were streamlined, efficient. New York is good at the things it needs to be good at; they've done this a billion times for a billion people stuck in transit. So in fifty minutes I went from "no apartment" to "lease, keys, utilities, list of pertinent numbers, laundry, groceries, cleaners, tour of neighborhood, you need furniture, go here, you need wireless, go here, cable, check, this will save you money, avoid that place, why don't you move in already?!?" And I sat in naked wonder and awe and smiled like a goon and nodded like I knew something and waited for it to sink in.

Then I wandered across the street and took pictures of the place. I geeked out in solitude. I waited for it to sink in. I pictured the furniture in the space. Bed here, guitars there, desk there, bearskin rug yonder, hot tub in that corner. I tried to see everything that might happen there. I tried to picture a year in this apartment. Writing at the desk late at night; coming home in winter with frozen takeout and work to do; showering red-eyed while coffee brews. How much light will it get every morning? How hot will it get in the summer? I tried to see it all, but I looked from the outside. I'm not there yet. It hasn't sunk in.

Maybe it'll sink in when I'm packing to leave Nashville. Maybe it'll sink in when I'm picking up valuables (i.e., football trinkets) from Arkansas. Maybe it won't sink in until I travel light and arrive, move my three worldly possessions into the apartment, get a few more, and finally stop at the end of that longest day, stand still, look around, take a breath, and say, "what now?" Maybe not until the next morning when I wake up to the answer.

Maybe not until I track down a TV with some college football.

Either way, I'm typing all of this from an empty terminal in JFK across the linoleum from bloody mary's and Steelers fans, and I don't know what's what. My eyes hurt, but I'm not tired. I'm anxious but not nervous. I'm not logistically ready, but I can't wait. The plan's in place, but it's yet to begin. And I'm back at a Starbucks with two low batteries, stuck in transit, blistered toes and goosebumps, waiting for a plane to Atlanta, then Wilmington, then Nashville, then Arkansas, then Nashville, then New York, one hour at a time. Waiting to begin.

Last exit,

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