NYC on Film
We sat on the floor of Yazzy's place and let the long anticipated sunlight stretch through the rusty rectangular windows and melt the ice in our cups. I mimicked the sun and lounged with in on the couch as she let her words spiral into newly remembered stories of her childhood across the sea.
Emma and I get on the wrong train often. Both bobbing our heads as the train dips away. We love Brooklyn, I think that's why we frequently find ourselves having gone an hour in the wrong direction. The cafes and expected attire of glitter and jackets three sizes too big. Our phones nearly dead and the last few percent used to play one last song. The train empty. That's how we spend weekday nights.
A couple nights before Stef left, we went out to a show and were the only ones swaying in the crowd, we danced all the way down the street to the diner. Years from now I'll go back and sit in our booth, worn out with time, and see girls laughing with big old fashion cups of soda and it'll take me back. I've now sworn off champs. Off the piles of pink sprinkled pancakes and cookie dough milkshakes. The potato hash and creamy coffee cups. I went one to many times and ate one too many fries, but i'm sure i'll be there again in a week.
It snowed this day. My jackets were all packed away so I pulled on a couple of sweaters and carried each mattress out to the curb, then the dresser and clothes. The pots and pans. The trash pile looked more like an art piece, dried roses and broken gold jewelry. The sidewalk was slick with the first flakes. Then we found that we couldn't leave it all there and hauled it back in. Our friends got in a taxi and Emma's place was emptier than I'd seen it since August, only then I hadn't known it to be anything other than empty. But now, with the snow muffling the noise, and the footsteps all gone, it was melancholy.
Before we moved. We'd make ourselves at home at Sammy's. Sitting on the balcony until the sun and stars switched places and we'd move inside to a vibrant array of lights gleaming off the lenses of our soft pink sunglasses.
She'd put on Bowie or Jack White and confess her love to the two and we'd shimmy and boogie until we collapsed into bed to write music of our own, waking up in the morning and tossing on the same sparkly dresses for the walk to breakfast.
We got up too early one morning. The apartment was still dark, Franklin and I had tired eyes that only coffee could brighten. Staggered, we each left the house and met down the street. Em handed us steaming cups and a paper bag, mine held an everything bagel with hummus. It was cold as we all climbed into the car for the ride over the bridge. We met Yazzy, Paige, and Ali on the roof. read more.
Stef and I spent baby blue nights tucked in her room. One of us sitting on the window sill and the other in the bed, or both cuddled up spewing far fetched concepts. The room illuminated in hazy light. Clothes scattered on the floor and chatter and clanking and honking from passersby fluttering in the window.
It was a cold day, but the sun was out. We (em and I) linked arms and rushed to the counter to grab pale yellow cups to warm us. We mused over the river in the distance and how unintentionally cinematic life appeared. She had a flower tucked behind her ear, it kept falling as she scanned the room for an empty table.
We hopped on the train, one of us squeezing past without a ticket. Mushing into the crowd of moms and dads and brothers and women and men and everyone being anyone they want to be. All wearing pink hats and marching with signs and smiles and chants.
We cut my hair one night with kitchen scissors, and died Em and Franklins hair while they sat on the bathroom tile. I paint my nails only to smudge them when I pick up a paint brush minutes later, impatient. I twirl outside when it's snowing and write letters to myself in the form of photos, because I know one day these days will feel far away and maybe colors or faces will snap me back.
And we go dancing. Horror disco. Cowgirl hats, glitter, and sweatshirts. Boots in our hands when they get too heavy for boogieing feet.
Then came laundry day, and even this I grow sad realizing i'll one day forget. We set our timer for 25 minutes and use leftover quarters to buy $1 coffee. The news comes on, I don't watch the news. Someone went missing and I spent the day thinking about obscure things and places and feelings. I ran out of socks (thus laundry day) so my toes were cold as we walked back home.
Kailee came over. Draped in pink silk she pulled on a jacket an jeans. We walked out past Tina's and jumped over melty puddles of snow to get to the Deli.
A rose for femininity, for my hometown, for the women who brought me up. For the first gift I remember getting (a wild rose plant). For the ones who fought before me, the one who birthed me and loves me and taught me to find beauty in the world. For the ones who linked arms with me in preschool and that I grew up with from that point. The women I know I can trust. The ones I no longer get to hug. For the women in my life who showed me that strength is being true and diligent and knowing your power and using it for good. For myself, as a reminder that I continue to grow.
Jackson came over and gave me a beautiful rose tattoo.
We order pizza at midnight and dance to "just one more Bob Dylan song" as Sammy would say. If I feel lonely I climb in bed and listen to old voicemails or paint. Make coffee and perch on the couch with old books. Wander through junk stores and flip through photos from before I ever walked on earth and things feel a little less strange, or more so, but in a comforting way. I make friends and doubt what I say because my mind's always ahead of me. I look at plane tickets to remind myself that I can always see at things from above.. Perspective.
I met Syd, her hair cascades down her back and flickers back and fourth in the light. We eat brunch and she squeezes in to Emma and my little sunlit bed.
We first found solace on the blue velvet couch the day we moved in. We talk there late into the night or don't talk at all, only speaking in hands gesturing to the pot of coffee or lavender pen. But the cushions slip off sometimes and the coffee spills onto the pant legs of my pjs. Some mornings I wake up and sit with the curtains open and the whole street is silent until we go out walking on it.