It’s Hard To Live In The City


I spent $31 this morning. I’ve been very careless lately, and carelessly I’ve bought and lost $31.

When I first moved to New York a few months ago, I lost my metro card that was meant to last me a month. Since then I buy a 7-day metro card for myself, which is cheaper, or, at least, cheaper if I were to lose it. I cried when I lost my metro card. I’d spent nearly everything I had on moving to New York. I know that this is an irrational fear, that the probably of such a thing happening again is slim because of my heightened consciousness about the whole matter, but our greatest fears are our most irrational ones.

I know that my unexpired metro card is somewhere inside my bag, but I felt lazy and bought a new one instead. Careless. I felt tears well up in my eyes on the train. I was reading, and then I was not, and then the line was a blur, and then the paragraph became a blur, and then all I could see was a blur. It wasn’t because of what I was reading, but because I had suddenly realized of my carelessness. It had sneaked up on me and I was unprepared. What is it about the subway that makes one contemplative and aware? I think that the purpose of the subway is not to transport its patrons from home to work to gym to bar to work to work to home and then a stranger’s home but rather to ensure that we don’t forget ourselves, or lose a part of ourselves in its motion.

I got a fur coat as a present a few weeks ago. It was $20; I don’t think it’s fur, not in its true sense, but it’s a dark chocolate brown, the color of my hair, with gold buttons down the front, and the way it hangs off of my body makes me wonder that perhaps this coat had been meant for me, that it had not been too late before I found it, that I was just in time. The coat is like a better extension of myself, and I am only thankful for the endless winter because I can wear my fur coat for longer. I can be my better self. When I went to visit my parents, my mother said to me that she had never thought of me in a fur coat, but now that she had seen me in it, she thought it looked good and that I looked good, and I knew I was my better self.

A few days ago I received a weekly financial summary from a site that a boy I once liked made me sign up for. What is it about boys that brings one closest to terrible realizations? I hadn’t unsubscribed because I liked the pie charts because it reminded me of school, when I was younger and most quandaries or at least mathematical problems could be solved with the aid of a pie chart. The pie chart said that I had spent $49.43 on clothing. It made me sad, as I had not bought clothing that week and had spent that amount on necessities like cleaning products and eggs and milk and a bottle of water, and it made me sad because it made me start to think if I had been doing anything for myself. My worst habit is that I tend to lose myself.

People say it’s hard to survive in New York. They’re wrong: it’s only hard to survive in New York if you make it hard to survive.

image – Audrius