This city is nothing if not …unique. A fun night out on Thompson led to a smell wafting down Bleecker…ah, McDonald’s french fries. I had to. You can’t smell that and then go home. You just can’t. I stopped and had the door held open by four transvestites. So polite.
Then onto the F, where a homeless man lay horizontally in his scrubs clutching his Diet Coke and Burger King crown, yelling at the top of his lungs about the worthlessness of women in today’s society. Thankfully, he got off before I performed a citizen’s arrest, but still I had the taste of my McDonald’s fries and was trying to locate another Mickey D’s. Geographically, my pizza place worked out better. I asked for my usual, my midnight cheese slice, and was once again received with a:
“No Laine (they can’t say Eileen), two slices for you.”
‘No, Jacques, just one thanks.”
“You too skinny.”
“I know, I’m working on it.”
“I help. Two slice.”
“Fine, J, but I’m paying for one.”
“Okay, Laine, I fatten you.”
Then Jacques proceeds to cut both slices up into 6 pieces. “Lady slices” he calls them. Little does he know I’m washing them down with a Whale’s Tale Pale Ale and watching ‘Southland.’ Not the definition of Lady Laine.
This city is like no other. You become immune to it at the same time you embrace it. I spoke for hours tonight with a friend talking about my next steps, an inevitable move to San Francisco…and then was hit by McDonald’s on West 3rd. No, not enough to keep me here in these zipcodes. But a recognition that when, not if, but when I leave, I will be a New Yorker in California. A midnight McDonald’s-loving, pizza-needing attitude-prone New Yorker. I will sit with a beer, and instead of looking at rush hour and listening to the sound of illegal honking, I will see blue vastness and listen to ocean waves. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? No, because this city is all I know. It’s hard. I don’t even need to leave yet and it’s hard. Hard to leave the concrete paradise behind. Impossible to imagine a life with no 6 train. The same reason I hate this place is the reason I love it.