I’ve been wandering the city the past few days like a living ghost—haunting places I used to know, almost knew, will never get to know. I see people who will disappear out of view soon, who will haunt me while I wander the streets of a new city, getting lost, being confused, asking myself why here, why again, will any place lead to contentment, to peace? Then I’ll ask if I really mean these things, or if I’m only posturing, the way artists do: amp the tragedy and authenticate the experience. Why do people believe that things only really matter, only really happen, when the price they pay is in their own suffering? Why isn’t celebration more celebrated? We get so caught up so often looking for the truth just below the surface, the ugliness behind the glamour, that we can’t take a moment out to enjoy ourselves. We need to see the happy people in pain to appreciate what they don’t have—it brings us ordinary folk closer to their level.
But what do these musings have to do with anything? Nothing, really. But listen: the summer has been light, airy, not full of too much responsibility, and consequently I have not been my typical “intense” self. Now, “intense” does not mean depressive, or sad, or-Hamlet like in any way. It just means I ponder, I dwell, I tend to look closely, sometimes too closely, at aspects of life I think other people forget about while they’re out there living. (Okay, it’s a little Hamlet.) Basically, I stopped being an observer this summer and started living. I had an acting professor in college who once advised us that each of us was going to have to take some time off from our work at some point and live a little; just so we knew what the fuck we were talking about when we were acting those experiences on stage. I hope that I don’t cut myself off from experiencing things for the sake of watching, for the sake of observing so that my approximations on stage can come close to the genuine article. But I’m a little too realistic to believe that I succeed in that wholly. I’m an only child, what do you want? The problem with being a watcher is that you really don’t understand what it is people get out of certain experiences (falling in love, staying out all night till dawn, being wasted, being high, feeling like an utter failure, feeling totally alone, feeling like you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread) unless you experience them for yourself. You can’t. It’s utterly impossible to analyze those things. You can categorize, devise a chart of cause and effect concerning the events, but it’s not the same. “I’m older than I was when I came here,” to paraphrase Odets. So I took the summer off, off from sitting just outside the action, and played a little. And I had a great time. But I’m ready to sit out again, I’m ready to philosophize, I’m ready to exclaim about every piece of art I see, “It was A-MAZ-ING!” and run off on tangents about the human condition. Because this is who I am, and to deny my nature is the worst I could do. Needless to say, this blog is going to get a lot more emotionally driven. Sorry kids, but objectivity is only so interesting anyway, right? “Of course ‘right!’”
The other thing is, in response or reaction to my angst-ridden opening paragraph, I still feel nothing. I sat down with Kate the other day and asked her if she was excited for her upcoming wedding, and she said that she was honestly apathetic. She just wanted it over and done already. I concur in that sentiment to my own travels. I’ve been keeping this blog since March, and I feel like the suspended limbo is just about all a girl can take. I leave in five days, and still haven’t opened a travel guide (though I did buy a map today).
I am writing this entry on my MacBook (because I am obsessed), started to on the subway, and now in a movie theater in my old neighborhood, waiting for Righteous Kill to start, and really hoping it won’t suck. With Pacino AND De Niro, you expect more, always. With London and huge life transitions, you expect more. You hope, anyway. I will miss New York, but I am ready to leave—still, not eager, not (overly) sentimental. Just ready. But that doesn’t feel like anything more than it is. And that’s okay.
I will probably forgo posting until I get over—too much to do, and limited Internet access over the next couple days. So I’ll check in with you guys when I’m on the other side of the pond. It’s a big ocean, I know, but if you kids are in town, please look me up. I’m sure by then I’ll be “feeling” homesick.