i saw these two dragging an industrial sewing machine around on third avenue. i wanted to steal the machine.
for some reason, having baseball diamonds next to traffic is very new york to me, even though that definitely kind of happens along lake shore drive.
out of my element: well, yeah. college. new york city. i am soooo midwestern. the other day someone said that i don't look like a midwesterner, but i have sort of a midwestern attitude. which after going to new york and taking a 2.5 hour walk from grand central to bushwick, brooklyn i guess means i'm friendly.
new yorkers don't look you in the eye
and when they do they will not return your smile, fucker.
i like smiling at people on the street.
because we're both on the street.
we are linked by the cement under our feet.
we are going somewhere independent of each other and yet here we are, together for a fleeting moment.
why not smile and say
we're all in this together?
if you're having a bad day,
if you hate people who look like me (what do i look like? i dunno.),
if you hate the fact that you're here in a big city where you don't matter,
but maybe i can make your day a little better
or maybe i can weird you out
or maybe i can make you think
or just give you a story to tell to your cynical friends
with my smile.
it definitely happened where i caught someone's eye and beamed at them
i'm really excited to be here and happy to be alive right now!
and they had to do some kind of double-take.
so yeah, i had another night in new york city. all by myself. which would give my parents (how does holden caulfield put it?) "about five hemorrhages a piece," if they knew.
i went to see grass widow and vivian girls (again!)
stupid party and bitters also played. before the show i was walking around trying to find the market hotel (because new york's numbering is fucked (chicago's grid has spoiled me)) and a guy carrying a guitar stopped me and asked if i knew where the market hotel was. i told him that was where i was headed too. he was the bassist for bitters, dylan. so we found the market hotel and he went to sound check and i went to dunkin' donuts for some hot chocolate, because the doors weren't open yet.
inside was me and
other people who'd arrived too early.
trying to look cool
leaning against the walls and smoking cigarettes and sipping beer.
and i've got black sharpie slashes on the backs of both hands and a eugene o'neill play in my bag, which i'll try to read in the dim light that i can't even tell where it's coming from.
until the first band starts of course, then i'll go and watch them play.
and all the bands were good. grass widow and vivian girls, so glad i got to see them play. i got the vivian girls' set list at the end, cool and now it's taped to my bedroom wall.
photo: vivian doskow.
i don't have very much to say about the show: i'm glad i went, i think it was the first time i went to a show alone, but saying that doesn't feel quite right. i know i saw mika miko by myself a couple years ago but it was an in-store show at reckless records in wicker park and it was a summer afternoon, so the sun was shining and it felt different. i feel like there must have been another time, but if there is it won't come to mind.
there was more dancing to vivian girls this time around (my left eyebrow is bruised).
it was funny not having anyone to check in with.
a guy whom i'd sort of met at the no age show re-introduced himself to me, apparently i struck his fancy a second time around.
a lesson learned: while the buddy system is probably effective and valuable in situations of getting lost or falling victim to some violent crime, &c., i feel that possibly its most valuable and readily accessible use is to keep oneself from getting hit on. i had no buddy, i got hit on.
twice. on both legs of my train ride back to bronxville: subway and metro-north.
the boy on the subway had been at the concert, and we just talked about music and college and he thought i was "awesome" because i have a bratmobile patch (homemade, of course) stitched to the cardigan i was wearing, and he'd never met anyone who liked bratmobile before. a little before i had to get off the train he said,
"this might sound ridiculous, but can i have your phone number?"
"no," i said very simply.
he mumbled something about me being "another cool person to go to shows with" and i said i really wasn't in the city enough.
and then i shook his hand and got off the subway.
i fortunately got to grand central in enough time to locate my train's (the last train's) track and get to wander around a little before getting on.
when the train did start to board i got on and settled into long day's journey into night in comfortable lighting.
a couple minutes before the train departed a guy asked if i would mind if he sat in the open seat next to me.
remember: i'm a midwesterner.
"not at all," i said and moved my bag to the ground and went back to reading.
"i'm sorry, i hate being that guy," he said.
"it's no problem," i said.
he was not content to let me read. he wasn't annoying, we just talked.
my legs were crossed and he noticed my sequin sneakers and then my calves. he liked my calves. weird...
and then at a different point. he reached down, i don't know what i thought, i thought he was going to touch the sequins on my shoes,
but he sort of ran his hand up my left calf and on his way up, took my hand,
and OH MY GOSH JUST THINKING ABOUT THIS IS SORT OF GIVING ME THE WILLIES.
but it didn't at the time. i removed my hand.
i was just saying to myself, "okay, emma, be present, you don't know what's going on, so try and figure it out." he wasn't threatening, and there were a lot of people on the train, several of them were sarah lawrence students.
he asked for my name and i told him and he asked if i had a last name.
"i don't see why you'd need it," i said. that was good, you sounded smart there, tough.
"i don't have one of those." i don't like lying (of course i'm not at all opposed to lying to creepster strangers) and i am so happy i get to deliver the line "i don't have a facebook" with complete honesty. i had to say it twice, last night.
i'm done with this story.
there's more to it, but i'm done with it, because i'm thinking about how creepy this guy was, how he seemed okay and normal and kept saying he didn't want to be "that guy" - the one hitting on the underage girl (remember the slashes on my hands?); even though he totally fucking was. and i keep thinking about what i could have - should have? - said to him because WHAT RIGHT DOES HE HAVE TO ASSUME I WANT HIS ADVANCES, what right does he have to be "disappointed" that i wasn't as "bold" as he'd hoped? EW. FUCK HIM.
but hey, now i've got a getting-hit-on-at-night story.
it was so nice to get back to my apartment (which i cleaned the common areas of today!) and fall into bed and feel the day in my hips and my lovely calves.
oh god, thinking about him makes me want to shower. and i'm not the biggest fan of showering.
i have a radio show to plan.