Thursday, 7 May 2015

A Lady, A Bench And Me

‘You don't go to a restaurant based on it's brunch menu. You always go back for dinner...’, is the advice a stranger gave to me the other day while we were perched on a bench on 79th and Lexington. The 42-year old woman - who cared enough to share her words of wisdom with me - was referring to New York and really giving it try. She commented on how she thought that it seemed like I had been here a lot longer than 7 months and I told her this was in fact due to my intense study of Gossip Girl in order to fit in. Kidding; kinda.

So just how did this stranger and I get into matters of love and life? This cheese fest began firstly with me stuffing my face with pizza right before an interview at an Upper East Side gallery. At this point, please note that I really have no shame or nerves apparently because who else eats pizza right before an interview? I think i’ve won there. Anyway, as I was sat outside of Farinella (who by the way do Ladies Night on Wednesday’s, which means free wine), thinking about what to say in my interview, I saw a bus load of tiny human’s in uniform walk by. They belonged to a private school and naturally I thought of Gossip Girl. ‘$41,000 a year’, the brunette lady whispered to me and I almost dropped my pizza. I have never thought about how much it would cost to send a child to a private school, because I really don’t need to right now but holy fucking cow, forty-one-thousand! My only thoughts were, ‘Bitch, these little kids ALL better be the next Steve Jobs.’

That was all the invitation I needed to then strike a conversation with the woman whose name I forgot to ask. Out of nowhere, as she talked about Upper East Side life, I felt a sudden urge to ask her a deeply personal question. Word vomiting as you know it, is pretty uncontrollable and before I could even stop myself I asked her if she was happy. Now I wonder if a stranger asked ME this whether I would make that, ‘are you fucking havin’ a laugh mate face’ or whether I would just stare blankly. Thank god she took it well because it wasn’t long before she answered my question with a deeply disappointing ‘sometimes’.

SOMETIMES. Why would you only be happy sometimes I thought? I explained how that since I moved here a lot of people seem to hate NYC or have a lot of resentment toward the city for kicking them in the butt and that’s why I wanted to ask her such a thought-provoking question. She told me that it was mainly due to her being in a corporate job for twenty years that made her feel so isolated from people as she spent most of her days in sync with other cities on the phone. Now it was time for a career change but this made her nervous and the end result was to see a therapist. I told her to fuck that whole mentality and that if she really wanted, she could change things herself. I asked her if not NYC, where would she go and her reply was ‘only London’. So just what is it about big cities that make us develop such an attachment, where happiness seems to come second to everything else? I wish I had the answers mate. I am still talking to strangers on benches trying to find out.

No comments:

Post a Comment