May 25, 2015


temporary scaffolding staged for HVAC, plumbing and electrical wiring to be installed in the lobby

Memorial Day Weekend. She heaves a sigh.

No, it's good stuff. I lead a life. I have belongings that please me, silly ones, important ones even, but not so plentiful to become overwhelmed. I spent time with good people this weekend, spent ample amounts of hours sleeping in my cool and cozy bed (because the weather was so unbelievably chill this weekend that I could crack my windows open and let the unbelievable late May breeze blow in) and I've managed to drink two glasses of milk this weekend at a diner. Humble happenings.

In addition to the above referenced goodness, I have this coming Friday off as my first 2015 "Summer Friday." I basically work three days this week. As much as I love my job: HURRAY!...for a nice 3-day weekend following an already nice 3-day one.

The thing is this (and it's a Thing, so take a seat.)

My friend Jon is really amazing. Like, unreasonably amazing. I met him last summer at a bar and we became friends and then I fell off the face of the earth (his earth) for about 6 months and then we somehow (I don't remember how) reconnected. Jon is one year older than I, and has a son, called Fitz. I haven't been the most receptive friend to Jon, yet I've been a decent one, kind and generous as I can soulfully find to be.

I have a problem with people, in general. I just find the human race, overall, to be horrendous. And what's weird with that is that I am, at the very same time, madly in love with loving humans. I can't quite trace the dichotomy of this contrast, or break it down in its differentials. How can I just massively love people and yet prefer to be alone?

Basically, I spent two days of the Holiday weekend with Jon and his son. I met Fitz a while back, quite reluctantly because frankly I don't want to become this female figurehead that would potentially suddenly become expected to be a stand-in mom. If I had wanted to become a mom at any juncture, I would have taken the steps to do so. And as much as I adore children (maybe they are the *only* part of the human race that makes any sense) I feel as though my free-spirited live hard / die young mentality, my wine intake, my cigarette habit that is perpetual in the evenings only, my random ambles, my penchant for ramblings in my mind that would make little to no sense to almost anyone, just lead me to a path of aloneness. And without affecting a child of my own (taking exception to affecting children that I know of loved ones, in moments of awesome Auntie KB time) this all seems okay, this lifestyle. I live in the City, now in Brooklyn (even better than Manhattan!) and I have a career that I absolutely adore and want to go on and on.

But so I spent this time with Fitz.

It isn't a secret that Fitz loves me. We've actually exchanged the words. He calls me his "friend Kristin" and he hugs me and we play and laugh and yesterday, Jon and Fitz came over and Fitz was begging to sleep over in Brooklyn. Jon was firmly and responsibly adamant that that was not a good idea (his ex remains a factor in our equation, and whether I like it or not, I need to respect those boundaries.) I somehow miraculously gladly would have let Fitz slumber over, but Jon was ironclad. And I know he did the right thing.

Fitz is incredibly charming. I think he's the World's Greatest 6 Year-Old that I know right now (excepting all of my friends' and family's 6 Year-Olds who are also awesome, maybe just on equal playing ground) and we have splendid times together. I have this thing with him, "Can I tell you a story?" and he says, "Yes," but yesterday he did a number on me wherein after a lengthy description of something construction-related he said, "I'll listen to you when I'm older." (Can you see the blissful expression in my eyes right now??)

He has a spray of freckles across his cheeks and he listens to his Dad extremely well. He's a good kid. And I've developed a very nice friendship with him. We shared a kid's portion of spaghetti at the diner (with one of my aforementioned two glasses of milk) and he repeatedly had tomato sauce all over his face and mouth that I repeatedly wiped off.

Oh, and. The night before, when they were over, Fitz was playing with rocks that are the fillers in our planters on the rooftop...nice rocks, smooth ones...but he accidentally smashed a rock into my nose, and one nostril was bleeding. Jon was like, Kristin, you're bleeding! And I was like, No way, but oh, I was. And it healed quickly with some warm water but the next day I was chiding Fitz about it and he got all quiet and was like, Kristin, I didn't mean to.

But here's where the story takes its turn.

The thing is, Jon knows this.

(I am very honest.)

I cannot seem to fall out of love with G. I think of him basically hourly. I know this is bad. I close my eyes and what I see are his copper penny eyes blinking at me as he wakes from sleeping. I see his face so close to mine, smell his musk and feel his small yet rigid frame wrapped around mine. I can't stop thinking about him. I remember the most impressionable moments: the time we were in a cab on our way to Kennedy for me to move to LA, and he had a gift for me, and I asked, "It's a box of razor blades, isn't it?" and he blinked at me and said, "You got me." Or the time he tugged on my arm at that vintage store in Topanga Canyon and dragged me to its backyard only to announce, "You need a bowling ball," (the bowling ball which lives in my bathroom in Brooklyn to this day.)

I guess it's a reality that you can fall in love once.

You can love and love and spread awesome amounts of love, but you can only fall, yourself, just once.

I have done it.

He was like...a canyon, for me. The extreme elegance of what falling in love is like: stumbling, picking back up from the ground, smiling so intensely that you cannot even remember what started the smile, feeling your toes curl, lying in bed listening to music that creates the most perfect soundtrack to your life while staring at Brooklyn through his window while cats climb across you.

I remember distinctly getting into a rental car with him, in Los Angeles, to drive hours to Nipomo, California. I was terrified: spending that many hours in a car with someone would normally evoke the crazy in me. Yet, it didn't. And when he wanted to pull over on the random side of the PCH to buy avocados, and when we stood in the small tented area of fresh produce sales and selected our brown bag of avocados, I remember thinking that I'd never again feel as in love with anyone ever again.

And that time we trekked down the snowy streets of Brooklyn, the empty streets covered in snow, and how he would grab my hand so awkwardly, hold it for a while and then drop it, and how we would take the flights of stairs afterward to his apartment, and how he would kick off his shoes in the hallway (he never wears shoes into anyone's home) and how he would always offer me he would very much at random throw his length over me while we were seated on the couch, sometime his head in my lap, sometimes his legs over me.

The way we spent our day at Disney World, acting like we were having a miserable time, taking photos of us looking desperately disgusted in the "Happiest Place in the World." Laughing so hard, so immensely immersed in one another. How he would always come through for me. How he helped me survive Florida.

What's ridiculous about this whole thing, this weird life place I'm in, is that Jon would step barefoot on hot coals to get to me. He is the kindest and gentlest person, and I love to spend time with him and hug him and laugh with him: last night, he played an entire playlist of awesome 80's music over the phone for me once he put Fitz to bed: REO Speedwagon, Phil Collins, Air went on and on. And his smile and laughter are contagious. And he's handsome, and he does awesome things like this: Fitz went into my room yesterday, and crawled into my bed. Jon knows that I have an irksome issue with my bed getting fucked up...I am OCD about it...and Jon became extremely distressed seeing Fitz rattle around in my bed. He was like, Fitz, don't do that, you don't understand how Kristin feels about her bed, and Fitz was cute and tossing around and Jon was like, Fitz, out of her bed, NOW. It was cute parenting but also at the same time cute relationship stuff, if that's what we're doing, me and Jon.

And this is precisely where I have hit the crossroads. Jon knows exactly how much I love Greg. Jon is well aware that he is walking on precarious territory. But he also knows that I am a sensitive poetic soul who has a wide open heart to take in basically just anyone. And maybe he's taking advantage of that?

Maybe Greg is, too. I become so sensitive so easily. I take things piercing right to the heart. I can't stand the thought of hurting anyone (though I hurt people on a regular basis and I really hate that.) What is G doing to me? Is this intentional? Why is Jon so much less hurtful and yet why is he not the one that I want? (Though, I do want him always in my life because he's sensational.) What is up with my fucked up heart?

May 16, 2015


G's Brooklyn Heights Stoop, Early Winter, 2015

We all have them. We carry them, these vices, in our purses, in our backpacks, in our hands (and in our minds.) I'm subject to possessing so many (coping) mechanisms that I might, at some point, as a person, even humbly define the term itself. 

It's strange being back in the City: good strange, but nevertheless strange. I adopted this place as my "home" so many years ago, even when life handed me tangled finances, a bad break up, difficult friendships, trying commutes, loud and angry white noise created by a City of 11 million people. In many ways, this was my life mission: live somewhere where the sound would overcome me. Live somewhere where the noise would drown me out: me, my own internal figurative shouting, the layers of grievances leaving my lips, the sheer concept that everything basically looked like rubbed black gray felt. Life is an ear infection, buzzing, get through it. Suffer. Crawl out of proverbial holes. Just keep going.

It's so much easier to keep going in New York City than anywhere else in the country that I've ever lived. People are bruised, here, and continue to take beatings. We sandwich against each other on subways, bags filled with everything and nothing jamming against someone else's bag filled with everything and nothing. We risk stepping on those terrifyingly unstable floor hatches that lead to the basements of bodegas. We eat from food trucks, and like it. Winter makes us insane, and summer makes us crazier. It's almost as though the overflow of abundance (redundancy at its finest) is what keeps New Yorkers on the move. We're aching for movement. And we aren't short of that.

It's hypnotic, living in such a frenetic environment. 

Yet, it's so different being back in it. I felt it to be novel, interesting, incredible, when I lived here before. Now, to me, it's a jungle. This is New York City. You come here and fall against a wall, lose footing, stumble. New York City eats your heart out. 

I can't say that I want out. I want this emphatic lifestyle. It screams. Working in Midtown reminds me of how loud life can be.

In my private and solitude moments, I know New York City will take care of me.  

May 02, 2015


French pen pal letter to my mom from Claude, written in 1966

Yes so I'm now 38. It's a brilliant thing: I take no exception to turning older particularly because What's the Point, We Can't Stop It. And, if I don't mind saying so, I'm an exquisitely adorable 38 year old. I have my issues, but don't we all?

My birthday weekend was astounding. I wound up going into work that day, despite that I traditionally take my birthday off as a National Amazing Holiday, and Harley, one of our Project Administrators who is adorable, little, rich (we tease her of it), from the Hamptons (we tease her of it), neurotic (we try not to tease her of it: for instance, she keeps only an even number of pens in her pen cup; I admire and adore her) snuck out to a bakery near our office and bought me a cake. She brought it back and the staff scuffled around to collect everyone in the conference room and then they summoned me and those gathered broke into "Happy Birthday" and it was...all too sweet. After work many had agreed to go have drinks to celebrate, and I selected a random Midtown spot (Midtown is the worst place to go out, ever, but convenient for all of my friends) and I left the office early to locate the place, and within half an hour, after texting Harley and Arvinder (another awesome girl in my office) my location, second floor of The Harp, I turned to see an entire cavalcade of Shawmut team members climbing the stairs to the second floor of the bar to meet me. My heart soared.

I did wind up seeing Greg later in the weekend, although I completely canceled our trip to Providence. I have so many justifications for canceling, the number one being that he had been so silent for so many days that How could I feel like an Amtrak Ride and My Favorite Band Live could help us? At that rate, nothing (seemingly) could salvage our deterioration. Which feels like round 2 of deterioration. 

We had sort of mutually agreed to meet on April 18th, the evening after my birthday, but I received a text that he was with his Mom and Bob in Jersey and potentially wouldn't be home until 9:30 or so. Now, not only is the L train not running on weekends through until May 18th, which makes travel from Williamsburg difficult, but also...Greg, seriously? 9:30? I just turned 38, not 28. So I texted him not to rush back and that maybe Sunday night, April 19th, would be more conducive. 

He complied via text, and so Sunday he invited me for pizza in the evening (he had a bike ride in the day time.) I'm supposing it is utterly clear that he didn't actually clear space in his calendar for my birthday, rather filled it with other things, thus I was a filler piece if he could figure out how to squeeze me in somehow. We did meet for pizza at Motorino in Williamsburg, and spent maybe two hours together there. His leg bumped mine once under the table and I thought I could die. Hating him emotionally is impossible despite these social quirks he has. Hating him physically is impossible as his presence, his body, is the one that reminds me that I'm alive.

And when we decided to exit Motorino, he elected to grab a bike to go back to Brooklyn Heights and I elected to grab a cab. I stared at him briefly: he neither attempted a birthday hug or even, at this point, a smile, so I waved enthusiastically as I jumped into the taxi. And that was my birthday experience with Greg, April, 2015.

I cannot say that I have any regrets, canceling the Providence trip, turning 38 without him. He seemed dismissive enough of my celebration of being born that I basically wrote him off.

And since he has left for California (he is about to enter his second week there) I'm sort of of the mind that I just don't have the energy to wait around for verbiage from him anymore. He's totally fallen silent, again, and so now we're non-communicative and I am absolutely filled with venom over it. Who does he think he is? Some sort of fucking voodoo hippie head doctor? Over it. I fell madly in love with a guy that I now am not sure I know, at all.

The dashboard display of my life, for my birthday, would read something like this (and let's say that I am about to embark on the 9th anniversary, at the end of May, of me having not driven a car) (so, my dashboard is figurative):

Age: 38
Speed: Full force
Mental state: Happy, with shades of dark blended in
Exuberance: Overwhelming and powerful
Life: Filled with meaning and true experience