2.5 Years Away

New York. My perception of you and of myself has shifted since first moving here. You were romantic and perfect in all your filth and chaos. I was wide-eyed and naïve and up for any and everything. I miss the inevitable “honeymoon period.”

A friend asked me, “Do you love New York?”

I don’t. I don’t know how I feel about it to be honest. It’s an unstable relationship that continues to surprise me in unforeseen ways.

At the time, I didn’t care I was still unemployed. I didn’t care that my roommate was a seven-year-old and that I was sleeping in the top bunk of a bunk bed. I didn’t care about much, and that’s what was so great. I was happy to be here, to be a part of everything; the “important” stuff didn’t matter.

But time moves on. Soon it’s a year, then two. You meet new people who surprise you in all the ways: disappointment, trust, companionship, indifference. You grow together, you grow apart. You’re forced to make decisions about those relationships that no longer serve you, or a career that feels purposeless.

What you’ve been avoiding starts creeping up again–no running now. You go to the place you barely recognize as home. You sit alone in your room and cry. You cry about what you should’ve done sooner, about what you did or said, about your own selfishness, about what is still missing, about wanting to leave again and be any other place that’s not here.

Wrong turns, the future, being an adult, paying taxes. I’m late, overworked, out of money. Please fix my microwave, my sink, the hot water isn’t working. I’m late. Self-induced stress. Figure your shit out. DIY. No heads up. I’m late. I told you so. What the fuck is happening. Is everyone thinking the same. Get me out of here. I didn’t order that. Please don’t talk to me. I’m late. Self-medicate. Drink in excess, spend too much on useless things, run until your knees hurt. I am so, so tired.

The only thing that changes is the scenery. These things are happening to everyone, everywhere.

New York City.

America.

The World.

I’m late.

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