“I see faces and traces of home…back in New York City…” — the immortal words of Peter Gabriel (1974) as spoken via Rael. Nearly 40 years later, Mel has done the same thing. He’s back in NYC…
My nearly 3-year exile to the burbs is now over. Why did I do it? Why did it take me so long to come back to civilisation? Difficult questions, but not surprising for my readers. Everyone knows I went through a disastrous break-up and I had major trouble getting over its demise. That’s the reason I exiled myself to the Connecticut suburbs back in 2010 — just to get away from the ghosts.
But as 2013 began, a strange event involving her proved to be a catalyst for very rapid change — much faster than I could have expected. Putting that together with the disenchantment of living in Norwalk/Wilton, the decision was pretty easy. I was sick of everything from the disfunctional Post Office in Wilton to the rotting veg at the Main Avenue Stop-and-Shop, from the “soccer moms” driving with no care of what double yellow lines mean to the worrisome crime rate in town.
But worst of all was the chaos with my apartment…from all the ridiculous construction noise to bad parking, the last straw was losing heat during the coldest nights of the year. My electronics were going nuts. I can handle the cold (was +3F/-16C outside) but my electronics can’t. My TV speakers are still screwed up from it. And the icing on the cake? It took them 2 days to fix it but it knackered my hot water supply, limiting me to 30-second showers.
So I return to the same place I lived. My dry cleaner remembers me. All the staff in the building remembers me. My local El Pote is still there, serving me caracoles whenever I need it…
…and calamares en su tinta…
In essence, having discharged the baggage from the break-up, I can live again normally in a normal place. The suburbs is not a place for a single guy that travels a lot. Just getting to the airport was a major production. Not anymore.
I will miss my baby tho, as I have to sell my Audi. I will miss the 100mph+ (160km/h+) sprints on the windy Merritt River Parkway (shhhh!!!!!). I will miss going to the driving range (now I have to take my clubs on the subway…), I will miss my awesome butcher at Craft Butchery. But frankly that’s all I’ll miss.
So it’s good to be “home” again. I look out my window and I see the East River and the Pepsi Cola sign in all its glory, and on a good day I can see the Williamsburg Bridge too. But most of all, I can feel the energy of civilisation once again. My real 40th birthday gift to myself — freedom.
718 2nd Avenue
New York, New York