lonely lovely city

lonely lovely city

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Domestic solipsism....

The other night I couldn't sleep. Snuggled under my egyptian cotton sheets at around 1 am, I came across this NY Times article about the art of living on one's own and the benefits it reaps. It states there is personal freedom in having your own space. Even NY Mag wrote an article referring to the NY Times bit. (The highlighted words are actual links to the readings)

I've lived alone without roommates for eight years in NYC. While rough patches took place, I wouldn't change it. The freeing part is being your own boss and adhering to your style, hence the word, your. Can't get enough of that word. I had dreams when I first came to NY as a twenty-five year old boy from Los Angeles. The thought of signing my own lease, cleaning out the space, buying the items that represented personal taste on my terms was like a dream I thought that wouldn't present itself. After I don't know, say five years, I moved into my first home by myself in Brooklyn. Then, five years later, I relocated back to Manhattan, with another pad in the East Village. Fast forward two years later, still single, alone, and in the East Village. Alive and well.

I don't what it is, but the thought of entering four painted walls without the impingement of others is priceless. Countless times, I mentioned how overwhelming NYC becomes. What makes it easier? The apartment factor. All of us in the urban pool deserve an adequate space that is ours and ours alone. I don't care if it is three hundred square feet or a three bedroom palace near Astor and Broadway, you need your own nook in the world. I call it a fortress really.

Incense is always placed in a tiny vase in my bedroom, along with a couple bottles of red wine stored on the kitchen counter and a bag of candy in a jar that was once used as a chemistry set, proudly displayed on a bookshelf near the diary of Anne Frank. Oh, I can't forget about the organic, scented bubble bath I buy that soothes my muscles. I know, I am quirky. But, I've been able to live rather successful on my own. The true issue, as the article suggests is the threat of having other people come into your life or your space who endanger your routine or setup. It implies that while the upside is independence, the subsequent downside is becoming set in one's own ways, incapable of making concessions for others, mostly, intimate personal relationships.

If I had to carve out an existence I wanted, it would include a loving partner that I shared my life with. I am not one of those people who would cast someone out of my home or life for not picking up their socks are leaving dishes in the sink or even forgetting to put the cap on the toothpaste. Just like many, love overrides the aesthetics, in most cases. I would probably roll my eyes, sigh, and kindly ask them to not to do it again.

But, I am a little worried. How do I maintain this sense of self-sufficiency while remaining open to other men that can enter my circle and add value to my defined sense of order? I need to let the walls come down just enough for someone to see how beautiful I can make their home look and feel. Until such a time arises, I will hold my own, as I've been doing. Just not as much, or hard.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Seemingly so....

I often wonder if the life of a celebrity is better.

Here are the some of the good things I see when referring to one.....

1. They have fame.
2. They have wealth.(Supposedly)
3. They have enormous pools of fans.
4. They have access to resources that most of us can only dream of.
5. They seem to have endless perks.

This is the downside.....

1. They have little or no privacy.
2. Almost everything they do or say is magnified for the world to see.
3. There are greater expectations for them to perform and exceed.
4. A few are lonely and misunderstood and lost in a world of addiction.

These are just some of my observations about the notion surrounding celebrity. Many I am assuming, myself included, hold on to this grand idea that if I become famous, I'll be okay. I will get the things I need and want in order to achieve fulfillment, or maybe, receive some sort of validation of who I am.

I can't help think of Whitney Houston. She was such an iconic, multi-faceted, talented, powerful, intelligent, and beautiful woman who seemingly had it all. Or so we thought. I remember as a young boy dancing to,"I want to dance with somebody," or "How will I know." I used to think she must have an amazing life full of joy and love and success. I am sure she did to a large extent. But, deep within, I think she was lost and lonely and misunderstood, and most of all, unhappy. Perhaps there were too many people to appease, or too many unrealistic images to uphold?

Another article that caught my eye pertains to George Clooney. He comes across as the man that has it all. Classic looks. Charm. Fame. Wealth. A sustainable career. Droves of fans. Creative film projects. The list goes on. What struck me as surprising was his lack of confidence when describing what he has achieved. Here's a man that I could only dream of being, and he's somewhat discontent with this existence. He discusses loneliness and how things are not what they seem in the entertainment community.

Not only did I think it was a brave admission to make about being lonely, but how he isn't quite in love with it all. It almost feels he's advocating for a linear life towards choosing to be within one's own terms, not based on the assumption of what others expect of you.

Everything we see on the net is about celebrity. Their lives are for us to see. What they wear, what they think, what they do, who they do it with, where and when they do it, what they eat and purchase, whey they live, who is in their personal affairs, and of course, what upcoming projects they are committed to. With the advent of the technology, celebrities are unavoidable.

Do you think they have a better life? Are their problems trivial? Would you want to follow in the footsteps of one? And, more importantly, what makes one? How does one make the segue from a normal person to a star. Comments please...

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ready. Set. Go?

There's this guy at the gym I fancy. I've seen him for months, if not for the past year, working out besides me. We're usually dripping in sweat on the precor machines, immersed into our own worlds while listening to our ipods. We've exchanged the occasional mutual gaze, or as I call it, the I am checking you out, but I don't care about it look. You know, its the thing we do when we want to show our interest in someone, but never quite pursue it. I don't know what it is about this mystery man, but whenever I am near, I feel a knot in my stomach. Its like I am a school girl with a mad crush who does nothing to illicit action.

I gather he's around my age, well nestled into this thirties, short just like me, no six pack, just like me, but cute as hell with a killer smile. If I stand correct, he might even have brown eyes, just like me too. I know he's checked me out because as soon as I look to him when he looks at me, he turns away. So, this dude has gotta be gay, right?

In my last posting, I mentioned running into my former boss and therapist within a mere two days of one another. So, it makes no surprise that when I hit the treadmill or the weight room, he's front and center. My schedule at the gym varies depending on classes and other commitments. Sometimes, I visit in the mornings and others in the afternoon. He's also there at the same times as I am like clockwork. Is this a coincidence?

Today in the back of the gym as I grabbed a stretch mat, he came from behind and grabbed one at the same time. He said I should go. But, I insisted he get first pick. As I waited, he took another mat and handed it to me and smiled. It was the killer smile I was referring to earlier. It sounds sophomoric, but I enjoyed that moment. I kept thinking how chivalrous it was. I noticed no ring on that hand of his as well.

Many guys have broken my heart. I internalize those rejections and believe there's something wrong with my physicality, the way I dress, the way I didn't say something right, or what I didn't do to garner his interest. I don't want to be one of these people who doesn't take chances based on what their past has presented them. The older I become, its challenging to dismantle the taint that dictates how undesirable or unworthy we once deemed ourselves to be. In this perplexing planet, there must be someone out there who matches with us. At least, that is what I am telling myself.

What's the worst that could happen if I approach him and he scoffs at the thought of having a coffee? He could say no. Which is fine. Neither of us owes each other anything. Or, playing it on a positive note, he could say, sure. The point is to take that chance and see what happens. I am ready to some degree. I am set on getting my love life on track again. I am just not so certain about the go part.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weird week....

A few days ago heading to class, I ran into my former boss. It was interesting. We were both cordial and exchanged niceties. Then, yesterday, I ran into my former therapist. I saw her a couple of times in my neighborhood, but just casually nodded, dashing for nearest street corner. So, when I crossed the street en route to my gym this time, I couldn't help but stop. Our conversation was brief, with me doing most of the catching up. She looked good and relaxed. Again, it was just as awkward as the run in with my boss, but a bit more personal.

What is it about NYC? Why do we have to run into that a specific individual at a specific point and time? This is after all, a borough of 3 million? Why now? My former boss and therapist in a span of two days? Weird.

I am beginning to understand that situations such as this are not circumstantial. They are meant to be. How can one interaction with someone who contributed to your history illicit such a reaction? I am still not sure what the meaning behind this is, but I am leaning towards kismet, you know that thing called fate that is unexplainable, but readily available. Why at that time, on that block, in that moment, did I run into them? Closure.

I really didn't get closure with either of them when our relationships ended. This was probably another sign towards taking care of unfinished business. As I parted ways, I left feeling sad, but glad that I was afforded the ability to exchange pleasantries. For a long time, she was instrumental in some of the changes I weaved into my own personal existence. But again, bear with me, why for the life of me on the island of Manhattan, as dense and populated at it is, would I have these chance encounters?

I keep banging my head, marveling at the opportunities that are thrown at me, or us I should say, in order to move on. NYC embodies this mysterious power in that it forces us to confront our past, even when we are not ready to. If I was back in Los Angeles, I might have not had the gift of running into them seeing as people there are ordained by their cars. Since people rarely walk in that town, God love them, why would they have to run into people from their past?

The thing about NYC is that it forces all of us who chose to stay here to deal with people, mostly situations, that some might find uncomfortable. Manhattan isn't a large mecca, it is a small pool of fish, people from our pasts, that ruminate and linger and eventually swim back to us till we deal with our own messes. Its almost like every action leading up to the decision we make of when to grab our keys and take certain streets, there are reasons for things that are beyond our control, down to the exact second. BAM. Here you go. Take this and that. BAM. This is how life goes sometimes.

It also doesn't help that I am facing another birthday on Thursday, which only signifies I am getting older in spite of ample amounts of denial. Finally, a new week is upon me. Hopefully, its more celebratory and less awkward.