Friday, 25 June 2010

There's A Lot To Be Said For Staying In One Place And Building Something

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York

A guy at work last night said that Austin was full of whiners. I laughed and told him that New York was full of insincerity, that the default attitude here seems to be guarded defense and condescension, whereas the default attitude toward people, in Austin, seems to me to be openness and curiosity. Call that whiny if you want. "Doesn't that make you sad?" he asked. "Like a dagger to my fucking heart man." He laughed at this.

The night and people wore on in secure drunken obliviousness as girls preened with feigned indifference as guys posed with pompous attitude. Insincere stances attracting insincere advances.

A young actress with a stern and serious face came in looking like a normal girl, meeting up with a tall and austere, self important man with a cold stare who looked like he sold peoples lives for a living.

After midnight I retreated into my mind.

Around 1am someone called me over to a crowd that had gathered by the bathrooms where a tall man in his early forties with a shaved head leaned into a dazed and frightened looking woman berating her. "What would you think if I went into a bathroom with a woman and locked the door? Huh!" he demanded. He gripped his hands behind his back restraining himself as he leaned further into her. She had no response as people stared and the man restated his question louder, lost in his rage, the woman lost in fear as I put my hand on the man's shoulder. "It's time to leave..."

2 o' clock in the morning. I hid in the shadows thinking of Marie at the Waterfall house Upstate, wondering if we would re-engage in the peaceful environment if I were there, or if our problems were manifestations of thought, our dance, that would follow us wherever we went. I thought about running, leaving, knowing it wouldn't change a thing. I thought of Austin, New Orleans, New York, wondering to what extent environment has an effect on our behavior. Just then I got a text from a friend in Austin who moved from New York City, "You're just homesick," it said, "not romanticizing - Austin and environs are romantic. New York can be cold. You just wanna home somewhere."

I woke this afternoon to the cool breeze of the air conditioner. I looked at my phone, 'missed call Upstate,' it read. I felt a sense of relief as I lay, cool and comfortable in bed and called Upstate. It was hard to hear her on the phone. She felt far away, the other side of the world. Her mind sounded unsettled and her voice slightly severe as we searched for each other through private fears. I pictured the large house surrounded by woods and the waterfall in the background. She said I sounded good... better, I think she meant. I can make this work, I thought as she talked about a book of mine she took with her and change. "It's a good time to change," she said.

She didn't say, I love you, in response before the line went dead, but she rarely does on the phone. I got up and put coffee on then checked my inbox, a line catching my attention in a an email sent from the author of the book that Marie had talked about - "There's a lot to be said for staying in one place and building something."


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