Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Okay, here’s the thing that truly made me leave. I noticed it again yesterday as I was walking along in the light and pleasant drizzle, watching a young stick with red lips and red boots and a red leather coat look around to see if her various reds were attracting the attention she’d hoped for.

A great many people here dress as if for a parade. This in itself does not bother me. I rather like it.

What does bother me, however, and ultimately contributed to my feeling that Enough was Enough Already, is the sense one has when visiting New York City that to live here would be a grand spectacle, an ever-changing panoply, a buffet of eternal champagne and myriad caviars—in short, a parade.

I spent five years waiting for the parade. Granted, I lived in Midtown, which almost never sees anything interesting walk by. It’s an endless stream of old women pushing poodles in prams (yes, I know that’s interesting, but is it exciting? Is it worth leaving Iowa for? No way in the shade.) and young round-bodied men with more money and confidence than sense or sensibility boiling out of the bars at 11pm on their way home to a sodden sleep and a too-early morning meeting.

But really, I have a friend who lives at the veritable Apex, on Clinton between Stanton and Rivington. The grand Crossroads of Cool. And does she have an exciting, paradeful time of it? Only marginally more than me. And that’s because she’s got pets and has to go outside and walk them occasionally.

It took me far too long to figure this out: New York can be Boring. One can have No Life here. No more of a life than any suburb-bound housefrau, and housefraus get dishwashers to make their lives easier, and I’ll bet not a single U.S. housefrau has to haul 40 pounds of laundry across four city blocks every week.

Yes, I admit it. It was laundry that made me leave. Laundry and the lack of parades in my honor. There probably were parades in my honor, but they all happened in the 80s, when I was young and strong and creating parades elsewhere.

At least the poodles are entertaining to watch on my walk to the train.