Let’s run naked through these city streets (part I)

17 04 2011

Restless, I am restless. Again.

I thought I’d be over this by now. I know New York’s my city—where the hell else am I going to live?—so you’d think that knowledge would be enough to calm me.

It does not. Knowing there is no place else does not calm me.

Oh, I could certainly live elsewhere. Had I any knowledge of German beyond gesundheit and Gott im himmel and I’d give Berlin a whirl, and I wouldn’t mind a stay in Budapest or Prague. Or Paris, despite the cliche of, well, Paris.

But could I live, forever, in one of these places? Make them home? If I can’t make it here, I can’t make it anywhere.

Why is this? Is this the consequence of lookin’ to leave since I was thirteen? Bide time in SmallTown, live in Madison—love Madison, but know I have to leave, because to stay is to, I don’t know, to give up, somehow—live in Minneapolis, knowing I’d have to move to wherever I’d be lucky enough to land an assistant professorship, etc. Even when I moved to Boston, allegedly for my last move, I had a sense it wouldn’t take. It didn’t.

New York, however, New York took. It took awhile, but, man, this is it.

And I don’t know what to do with that.

It feels like a last stand, no more escape hatches or retreats across the desert, no more waiting for life to begin.

What am I still waiting for?

My life is more than halfway over and I’m afraid to let it be. I’m in the city I’ve dreamed of in that first escape plan, and I still feel like I’m on the run.

So I’m staying put and waiting and on the run, all at once. No wonder I’m restless.




5 responses

18 04 2011

All I can offer (and I hope it doesn’t sound trite) is that we take ourselves with us wherever we go. And it is ourselves that we need to learn to live with before we can be content anywhere. That being said, I still get sudden urges to go somewhere, anywhere, before I remember that I am home.

18 04 2011

I don’t know that I could do SmallTown Australia, but Brisbane, hey, how’s Brisbane. . . ?

18 04 2011

i hear you, am about to move yet again and once more glad to be leaving but not looking forward to arriving, it’s the gen-x syndrome without a ready cure

18 04 2011

Perhaps it’s simply in your nature to be restless. After all, if there are some people who can happily live their entire lives in small towns and never travel anywhere, who’s to say the opposite can’t be true?

18 04 2011

Your penultimate sentence is quintessential New York. Nothing says hustle and bustle like sprinting to stay in place.

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