I’m sitting on my bed in my little motel room. That’s what this apartment feels like, especially now, in the evening with all of us in our separate quarters. If any of you are in NYC and you have a good camera, might I borrow it?
It’s a snapshot right out of a Buñuel film. A speakeasy lit by the cast-iron lamppost serving the light through the love of its heart. Misplaced shelf unit in the center of the floor, crying for attention without realizing how perfectly it’s placed. A sea blue plastic chair, dingy, unshaven, hiding behind it. Clothes strewn everywhere, two suitcases regurgitating from the pressure of holding someone’s life locked away behind razor-teeth zippers.
The desk is perfect, right next to the bed that, although a modern day futon, is reminiscent of the box-spring squeakers that infested every rent-by-the-hour motel in the soulfully graffitied Times Square Eighties. The desk would make Jack proud. Broken and chipped wood littered with writing books and reading books, a mat, some water and marijuana to smoke.
The floor was once wood, polished and proud. Now, it’s reduced to a work of art. White footprints of a time here that I will never know; a time whose story I am now a part of.
So, here I am, whatever time it needs to be, thirsty, tired, and satisfied. I feel like something is changing. Something is expanding. That day, ten years ago, an old friend from Queens, from the biz, picked me up with a car-full of people to find a hospital to donate blood at. We drove around for hours. No one was accepting. It was strange. It seemed as though even the hospitals were in denial. It would be too difficult to think that, while watching it, they knew that no blood would be needed. That there wouldn’t be that many injured coming from there. It certainly makes sense, though.
I rarely speak with my old friend anymore, but that day put a small, persistent rock inside of me to do something more with what I have. I felt completely defenseless, like the dry scratch of dirt at the bottom of the valley. I was not certified with any of the licenses needed to volunteer down there and now my blood wasn’t even worth anything. Now, when I think back about it, my dissent towards the social system probably saved my life, what with the majority of those volunteers dying now of cancer.
It’s very strange to think the universe could be that specific.
This morning, I woke, again, on the floor because my air mattress had deflated within a few hours of sleeping. I’ve had a bare room for two weeks, battered and broken. And, once more, I receive an omen, pointed out blaringly to the tune of my roommate informing me of the neighbors moving out and unloading bedroom furniture for free. Even now, as I write it and see it, I realize how difficult it is to trust that a way will be shown, always.
I felt it important to write tonight because I am grateful to know the difficult decisions I have had to make lately are showing to be worth it. It’s important to be grateful, if only to unconsciously slide into the habit of it.