Paperblog A Brie Grows in Brooklyn

A Brie Grows in Brooklyn

"Mabel's not crazy... she's unusual."

Hey bitches. I am trying to steal one day. Just one, to write. But it’s impossible. So instead, I am stealing my morning. BUT FIRST LET ME WRITE A BLOG POST.
This is going to the a dumb one.
Ok, so I’m 31 now. Guys don’t really hit on me that much anymore. One reason why, I realized yesterday, was because I dress like an adult.
Let me tell you how I realized this. BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN SPORTING A FUCKING CROP TOP. In that thing, men don’t even have time to register my face before they’re like, “21 year old.” 
So I’ve been wearing a crop top because I’m a lazy motherfucker. I bought it on Saturday so I’d look fashionable on a night out with my friend Julie. Then, I haven’t had the courage to look in my closet, which is a mess, so instead I’ve been just wearing the fucking crop top because it actually doesn’t look that bad on me.
Let me share a secret with you. Not having boobs sucks until you’re 30, and then you realize it’s the most awesome thing in the entire world. Because I’m tight as a teenage boy in the top half of my body. I have no fat in my bosom, and therefore very little in my arms and stomach. Another great thing about having boobs is that you immediately feel lumps when you get them, like I did recently. DON’T WORRY IT WAS A CYST.
So, the crop top. The crop top is a juvenile thing to wear. Who would have thought that men liked children so much. Oh, I would have.
First, this guy at Fanelli’s, where I met my friend Kat, was like, “Excuse me, do you know you’re wearing a crop top?” He was old and he was singing songs at the bar.
Then, Kat and I walked past a construction site, and some guy literally almost fell over on his face.
Then, we were at a restaurant called Glasserie in Greenpoint (go and get the whole rabbit, trust me), and this table of middle-aged Australians sat down next to us. “Who would have thought we got seated next to the prettiest table in the whole place,” they told us.
"Is this because I’m with you, Kat, or is this because of this crop top?" I asked her.
On the way home on our bicycles, the attention increased. “They can’t even see our faces,” Kat said. “Maybe it’s because they know we’re badass for riding in this windy weather?”
I’m not usually one to draw attention to myself — unless it’s in blog writing — but I was like, “Kat, I hate to say this, but I’m pretty sure it’s the crop top.”
In essence, if you have the physique of a nubile and lean 14-year-old boy, wear a crop top, and you will pick up men you don’t want to be your boyfriend.
The end. Now I can rest easy knowing that those of you who just check this because you’re obsessive compulsive have at least something new to look at.

Hey bitches. I am trying to steal one day. Just one, to write. But it’s impossible. So instead, I am stealing my morning. BUT FIRST LET ME WRITE A BLOG POST.

This is going to the a dumb one.

Ok, so I’m 31 now. Guys don’t really hit on me that much anymore. One reason why, I realized yesterday, was because I dress like an adult.

Let me tell you how I realized this. BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN SPORTING A FUCKING CROP TOP. In that thing, men don’t even have time to register my face before they’re like, “21 year old.” 

So I’ve been wearing a crop top because I’m a lazy motherfucker. I bought it on Saturday so I’d look fashionable on a night out with my friend Julie. Then, I haven’t had the courage to look in my closet, which is a mess, so instead I’ve been just wearing the fucking crop top because it actually doesn’t look that bad on me.

Let me share a secret with you. Not having boobs sucks until you’re 30, and then you realize it’s the most awesome thing in the entire world. Because I’m tight as a teenage boy in the top half of my body. I have no fat in my bosom, and therefore very little in my arms and stomach. Another great thing about having boobs is that you immediately feel lumps when you get them, like I did recently. DON’T WORRY IT WAS A CYST.

So, the crop top. The crop top is a juvenile thing to wear. Who would have thought that men liked children so much. Oh, I would have.

First, this guy at Fanelli’s, where I met my friend Kat, was like, “Excuse me, do you know you’re wearing a crop top?” He was old and he was singing songs at the bar.

Then, Kat and I walked past a construction site, and some guy literally almost fell over on his face.

Then, we were at a restaurant called Glasserie in Greenpoint (go and get the whole rabbit, trust me), and this table of middle-aged Australians sat down next to us. “Who would have thought we got seated next to the prettiest table in the whole place,” they told us.

"Is this because I’m with you, Kat, or is this because of this crop top?" I asked her.

On the way home on our bicycles, the attention increased. “They can’t even see our faces,” Kat said. “Maybe it’s because they know we’re badass for riding in this windy weather?”

I’m not usually one to draw attention to myself — unless it’s in blog writing — but I was like, “Kat, I hate to say this, but I’m pretty sure it’s the crop top.”

In essence, if you have the physique of a nubile and lean 14-year-old boy, wear a crop top, and you will pick up men you don’t want to be your boyfriend.

The end. Now I can rest easy knowing that those of you who just check this because you’re obsessive compulsive have at least something new to look at.

Comments 7 notes
All of these colors together look less good together than I originally thought.

All of these colors together look less good together than I originally thought.

Comments 2 notes
Growing up, we always joked that my best friend Kim’s dad was in the mafia. He’s actually a lawyer with a practice in Queens. One time, he took my own father to a back room card game in his stomping ground. When my dad walked in, Mr. Savino joked, all of the Italians made a run for the door. They thought my Irish dad was an FBI agent. 
Although Mr. Savino is not actually in the mafia, knowing him has certain benefits. There’s an Italian restaurant called Parkside in Corona, Queens, where he gets treated like royalty. He knows a guy who knows a guy who might be able to get you out of a parking ticket. He was born in a small town outside of Rome, but he came into his own on the streets of New York City.
One place where he spent a lot of time was in pre-hipster, Williamsburg. “Welcome to my empire,” he joked on Saturday night, when we stepped out of the car on our way to Fortunato’s, a bakery off Metropolitan. Across the street was an apartment building Mr. Savino bought for a song back in the 1980s.
"You own that building?" Caleb said. I could see the gears working in his head. "We could live in that building," he was saying to himself.
"I don’t rent to family," Mr. Savino said before Caleb could voice his idea.
Mr. Savino is not my friend’s dad; he’s my second father. When we were younger, we often went on family vacations with the Savinos. “Your parents just packed up in the middle of the night one night and left,” Mr. Savino told me of a trip to the Amish country. I remember him walking me, Kim and our little sisters around Rome, asking baristas to put hearts in the foam on our cappucinos. 
"Hey!" Mr. Savino said to Mario Fortunato, the owner of Fortunato’s Bakery. Mario was twice wrongfully imprisoned after being accused of taking a hit out on a guy with the help of another guy who owned a pizza parlor. I’m not fucking with you. Google that shit.  He didn’t do it. Now he’s suing the state for wrongful imprisonment.
"How’s it going," Mario Fortunato said when we walked in. His son was in the corner, gold crucifix around his neck. We ordered our gelato and cannolis, and sat down at a table in the corner. "You know that scene from the Godfather, when he says, ‘Take the cannolis, leave the money?’ Caleb asked.
"Yeah, yeah," Mr. Savino said. "But I think it’s, ‘Take the cannolis, leave the gun.’"
I kicked Caleb under the table, hard, and then I ate the rest of his gelato.
While we sat there, the community passed through. A little old lady with a big bouffant. A steady stream of cops who entered through a side door, hugged Mario and his son, and then walked away with steaming cups of coffee.
I fucking love old New York. It’s my blood. I’m not from anywhere else. My family is three generations here, motherfucker.
"An apartment might be opening up in a month," Mr. Savino said to Caleb while we walked back to the car. "I’ll let you know."
"We’re family," I explained to Caleb in the car. "He doesn’t want to rent us anything but the best."
The best apartments. The best cannolis. The best chicken parmigiana. The best treatment. Caleb only half understands anything Mr. Savino says, but to my ears, his accent is so familiar that I don’t even hear it. 

Growing up, we always joked that my best friend Kim’s dad was in the mafia. He’s actually a lawyer with a practice in Queens. One time, he took my own father to a back room card game in his stomping ground. When my dad walked in, Mr. Savino joked, all of the Italians made a run for the door. They thought my Irish dad was an FBI agent. 

Although Mr. Savino is not actually in the mafia, knowing him has certain benefits. There’s an Italian restaurant called Parkside in Corona, Queens, where he gets treated like royalty. He knows a guy who knows a guy who might be able to get you out of a parking ticket. He was born in a small town outside of Rome, but he came into his own on the streets of New York City.

One place where he spent a lot of time was in pre-hipster, Williamsburg. “Welcome to my empire,” he joked on Saturday night, when we stepped out of the car on our way to Fortunato’s, a bakery off Metropolitan. Across the street was an apartment building Mr. Savino bought for a song back in the 1980s.

"You own that building?" Caleb said. I could see the gears working in his head. "We could live in that building," he was saying to himself.

"I don’t rent to family," Mr. Savino said before Caleb could voice his idea.

Mr. Savino is not my friend’s dad; he’s my second father. When we were younger, we often went on family vacations with the Savinos. “Your parents just packed up in the middle of the night one night and left,” Mr. Savino told me of a trip to the Amish country. I remember him walking me, Kim and our little sisters around Rome, asking baristas to put hearts in the foam on our cappucinos. 

"Hey!" Mr. Savino said to Mario Fortunato, the owner of Fortunato’s Bakery. Mario was twice wrongfully imprisoned after being accused of taking a hit out on a guy with the help of another guy who owned a pizza parlor. I’m not fucking with you. Google that shit.  He didn’t do it. Now he’s suing the state for wrongful imprisonment.

"How’s it going," Mario Fortunato said when we walked in. His son was in the corner, gold crucifix around his neck. We ordered our gelato and cannolis, and sat down at a table in the corner. "You know that scene from the Godfather, when he says, ‘Take the cannolis, leave the money?’ Caleb asked.

"Yeah, yeah," Mr. Savino said. "But I think it’s, ‘Take the cannolis, leave the gun.’"

I kicked Caleb under the table, hard, and then I ate the rest of his gelato.

While we sat there, the community passed through. A little old lady with a big bouffant. A steady stream of cops who entered through a side door, hugged Mario and his son, and then walked away with steaming cups of coffee.

I fucking love old New York. It’s my blood. I’m not from anywhere else. My family is three generations here, motherfucker.

"An apartment might be opening up in a month," Mr. Savino said to Caleb while we walked back to the car. "I’ll let you know."

"We’re family," I explained to Caleb in the car. "He doesn’t want to rent us anything but the best."

The best apartments. The best cannolis. The best chicken parmigiana. The best treatment. Caleb only half understands anything Mr. Savino says, but to my ears, his accent is so familiar that I don’t even hear it. 

Comments 10 notes
Billyburg.

Billyburg.

Comments 3 notes
Last night.

Last night.

Comments 7 notes
I went out to Red Hook to read this afternoon. When I left from my apartment, it was bright and sunny. As I approached Valentino Park, which faces the Statue of Liberty, I noticed that the water looked strange, like mercury. Across the New York Harbor, New Jersey was black. “Oh my god,” someone shouted. 
All of us Brooklyn dilettantes went to the water’s edge. The guys in their cut-off Carharts with their dogs. The stay-at-home fathers, climbing on the rocks with their children. Weirdly, there were only guys around, I don’t know why, is it the apocalypse? AM I GOING TO BE BRED?!?!
"The Statue of Liberty is gone," someone said. And it was, behind a wall of clouds. 
The storm was moving fast. “I’m getting out of here,” I said to the guy with the dog next to me. 
"I just got here," he said, which was everyone’s problem.
I paused for a second because it was so fucking beautiful. The way the sun glistened those last few seconds.
On the way home I almost got hit by some bitch driving a BMW. “Fuck you,” I screamed at her.
"In my next home, I want to be able to watch storms roll in," I rehearsed under my breath. I didn’t want to forget the sentence, but now that I’ve written it, I see that holding it in my head was a worthless task.

I went out to Red Hook to read this afternoon. When I left from my apartment, it was bright and sunny. As I approached Valentino Park, which faces the Statue of Liberty, I noticed that the water looked strange, like mercury. Across the New York Harbor, New Jersey was black. “Oh my god,” someone shouted. 

All of us Brooklyn dilettantes went to the water’s edge. The guys in their cut-off Carharts with their dogs. The stay-at-home fathers, climbing on the rocks with their children. Weirdly, there were only guys around, I don’t know why, is it the apocalypse? AM I GOING TO BE BRED?!?!

"The Statue of Liberty is gone," someone said. And it was, behind a wall of clouds. 

The storm was moving fast. “I’m getting out of here,” I said to the guy with the dog next to me. 

"I just got here," he said, which was everyone’s problem.

I paused for a second because it was so fucking beautiful. The way the sun glistened those last few seconds.

On the way home I almost got hit by some bitch driving a BMW. “Fuck you,” I screamed at her.

"In my next home, I want to be able to watch storms roll in," I rehearsed under my breath. I didn’t want to forget the sentence, but now that I’ve written it, I see that holding it in my head was a worthless task.

Comments 28 notes
After handing in my book this morning, I planned on spending the rest of the day relaxing. But something nice just happened, and I have to blog about it.
So Caleb and I might as well open a bank, because we’re constantly lending people money. We must both be walking around with “charitable loan givers” written in invisible ink on our foreheads, the words only visible to the desperate.
One such man was Tony, our next door neighbor. Tony, who sometimes gets in screaming matches with the Mafioso across the street. Tony, who chain smokes cigarettes, and has a very cute cat.
In the winter, Tony approached Caleb as he descended the steps of our brownstone with Franke. “I’m really sorry to ask, but can I borrow $20 from you?” he asked. “I promise, I’ll pay you back.”
"You’re never seeing that money again," I told Caleb.
Very soon after, we forgot about it.
Today, our doorbell rang. I was settling into a ham sandwich. I had just changed into my pajama pants. “Hey,” said Tony when I came to the entrance. He was standing with one foot holding the door open. In his right hand, he held a lit cigarette. In his left, a $20 bill.
"I borrowed this money from your husband a while ago," Tony said. "And the other day, I saw him, and I was like, man, I forgot to pay him back! To be honest, I crossed the street to avoid him, I felt so bad."
"It’s really not a big deal!" I said. I figured the money was a kind of insurance. Above Tony lives his sister and brother-in-law, Fran and Frank, who are the mayors of our block. What harm could come to us if we are generous to them? I specifically think of a story someone once told me, about how the entire neighborhood in Carroll Gardens got together one time to get back someone’s stolen bike.
"Nah, I feel bad," said Tony. "I was in the hospital for a while with clots in my bladder, and the medication must have made me forget or whatever."
"Thank you so much," I said to him. "It’s really nice of you to pay us back."
"What’s your name?" he said.
"Brie," I told him. 
"Nice to meet you," he said, switching the cigarette to his left hand before holding out his right palm. 
"How’s Franke?" he asked. Because everyone on our block knows Franke by name, she causes that big of a fucking racket.
"She’s good," I said. Franke was barking her head off from behind our door, right in the background.
"Alright then," he said. "See you around."
"I feel guilty," Caleb said when I told him the story a few minutes later. Caleb and I are both total suckers. We lend people money, and then we feel bad taking it back. This is why I’ve recently put a moratorium on my charitable loan bank. I need that shit for manicures.
The lesson here is: being a Good Samaritan is never bad. When I walked Franke again, Tony was out with a group on the stoop a few doors down. “Hey Brie,” he said. “Hey everyone,” I said. And the whole lot of those old Italians smiled back.

After handing in my book this morning, I planned on spending the rest of the day relaxing. But something nice just happened, and I have to blog about it.

So Caleb and I might as well open a bank, because we’re constantly lending people money. We must both be walking around with “charitable loan givers” written in invisible ink on our foreheads, the words only visible to the desperate.

One such man was Tony, our next door neighbor. Tony, who sometimes gets in screaming matches with the Mafioso across the street. Tony, who chain smokes cigarettes, and has a very cute cat.

In the winter, Tony approached Caleb as he descended the steps of our brownstone with Franke. “I’m really sorry to ask, but can I borrow $20 from you?” he asked. “I promise, I’ll pay you back.”

"You’re never seeing that money again," I told Caleb.

Very soon after, we forgot about it.

Today, our doorbell rang. I was settling into a ham sandwich. I had just changed into my pajama pants. “Hey,” said Tony when I came to the entrance. He was standing with one foot holding the door open. In his right hand, he held a lit cigarette. In his left, a $20 bill.

"I borrowed this money from your husband a while ago," Tony said. "And the other day, I saw him, and I was like, man, I forgot to pay him back! To be honest, I crossed the street to avoid him, I felt so bad."

"It’s really not a big deal!" I said. I figured the money was a kind of insurance. Above Tony lives his sister and brother-in-law, Fran and Frank, who are the mayors of our block. What harm could come to us if we are generous to them? I specifically think of a story someone once told me, about how the entire neighborhood in Carroll Gardens got together one time to get back someone’s stolen bike.

"Nah, I feel bad," said Tony. "I was in the hospital for a while with clots in my bladder, and the medication must have made me forget or whatever."

"Thank you so much," I said to him. "It’s really nice of you to pay us back."

"What’s your name?" he said.

"Brie," I told him. 

"Nice to meet you," he said, switching the cigarette to his left hand before holding out his right palm. 

"How’s Franke?" he asked. Because everyone on our block knows Franke by name, she causes that big of a fucking racket.

"She’s good," I said. Franke was barking her head off from behind our door, right in the background.

"Alright then," he said. "See you around."

"I feel guilty," Caleb said when I told him the story a few minutes later. Caleb and I are both total suckers. We lend people money, and then we feel bad taking it back. This is why I’ve recently put a moratorium on my charitable loan bank. I need that shit for manicures.

The lesson here is: being a Good Samaritan is never bad. When I walked Franke again, Tony was out with a group on the stoop a few doors down. “Hey Brie,” he said. “Hey everyone,” I said. And the whole lot of those old Italians smiled back.

Comments 7 notes
The process of finishing the book has been very intense, and I find that I can only work for a concentrated amount of time, starting early in the morning. After, I’ve been reading a lot or spending time with people from where my writing voice originates.
Those people are obviously my family members.
"I need a new pet, my fish just isn’t cutting it for me," my sister Blara said when she got in our car on Sunday. We had gone to pick her up from her apartment on the Upper East Side. "Caleb, I made you a bloody mary!!" she proclaimed, handing him a gigantic water bottle full of red liquid. It was 2:30pm, and he was driving a car.
"Are you gay or straight, what’s the deal?" she asked my brother Stuprendan over speakerphone.
"I’ll be gay or straight, whatever gets me the most hits," Stuprendan said. His video diaries get modest views, but hundreds of users leave comments on them. People around the country have been sending him video responses. “If you don’t think Brendan Walsh is hot,” said one kid. “Then you are a retarded lesbian.”
"We need our own television show," my sister said as she chain smoked American Spirits.
"They’re good for you, they’re made by Native Americans!" she protested when I noted that she was smoking too much cigarettes.
"Is there anything else you can use to charge your phone?" Caleb asked her when her phone ran out of batteries, and we didn’t have the appropriate charger.
"MY VAGINA!!!" my sister screamed.
"You sound just like your sister," Caleb told her.
"This guy just said that I was only a 7.3!!" she complained. "That’s so mean!!"
"You’re at least a 9.8," I told her.
"Oh, he was just kidding," she said a few minutes later.
We walked around Red Hook. We walked around Carroll Gardens. My sister wanted to keep on moving. “This place is boring,” she said whenever we’d stop somewhere for a drink. “AGREED,” I told her. 
"All of the people here are ugly."
At the end of the day, she came back to our apartment to watch television. 
"Do you think mom and dad are just like, relatives, and that’s why we’re so fucked up?" she asked me.
"Maybe," I laughed.
"This conversation is making me uncomfortable," Caleb said from his computer.
A few minutes later, she called an Uber cab. “Sorry, you bitches are boring,” she said. “I can’t be here unless I can look at my phone messages.”
She gave me lots of material. Now, back to final editing. xo

The process of finishing the book has been very intense, and I find that I can only work for a concentrated amount of time, starting early in the morning. After, I’ve been reading a lot or spending time with people from where my writing voice originates.

Those people are obviously my family members.

"I need a new pet, my fish just isn’t cutting it for me," my sister Blara said when she got in our car on Sunday. We had gone to pick her up from her apartment on the Upper East Side. "Caleb, I made you a bloody mary!!" she proclaimed, handing him a gigantic water bottle full of red liquid. It was 2:30pm, and he was driving a car.

"Are you gay or straight, what’s the deal?" she asked my brother Stuprendan over speakerphone.

"I’ll be gay or straight, whatever gets me the most hits," Stuprendan said. His video diaries get modest views, but hundreds of users leave comments on them. People around the country have been sending him video responses. “If you don’t think Brendan Walsh is hot,” said one kid. “Then you are a retarded lesbian.”

"We need our own television show," my sister said as she chain smoked American Spirits.

"They’re good for you, they’re made by Native Americans!" she protested when I noted that she was smoking too much cigarettes.

"Is there anything else you can use to charge your phone?" Caleb asked her when her phone ran out of batteries, and we didn’t have the appropriate charger.

"MY VAGINA!!!" my sister screamed.

"You sound just like your sister," Caleb told her.

"This guy just said that I was only a 7.3!!" she complained. "That’s so mean!!"

"You’re at least a 9.8," I told her.

"Oh, he was just kidding," she said a few minutes later.

We walked around Red Hook. We walked around Carroll Gardens. My sister wanted to keep on moving. “This place is boring,” she said whenever we’d stop somewhere for a drink. “AGREED,” I told her. 

"All of the people here are ugly."

At the end of the day, she came back to our apartment to watch television. 

"Do you think mom and dad are just like, relatives, and that’s why we’re so fucked up?" she asked me.

"Maybe," I laughed.

"This conversation is making me uncomfortable," Caleb said from his computer.

A few minutes later, she called an Uber cab. “Sorry, you bitches are boring,” she said. “I can’t be here unless I can look at my phone messages.”

She gave me lots of material. Now, back to final editing. xo

Comments 11 notes

A Tale of Urban Suffocation

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So, I am like, officially severely depressed. When I used to get like this when I was younger, I would fight it really hard. I would listen to all of the people who were like, “Just go for a run, endorphins are good for you!” or “Stop drinking, drinking is a depressant!” And I would try all of the shit that they told me to do, and none of it would work, and that would make me feel even more desperate because I would start to lose hope that I would feel better. I’ll tell you the only thing that has ever snapped me out of depression quickly, and that is MDMA, I shit you not, I don’t want to talk about it anymore because my family reads this, and also, I feel really uncomfortable even admitting I’ve done that drug, I want to be clean cut.

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People who say you need a clear mind and consciousness and to eat well and do yoga to have a balanced minds have genetically balanced minds that might get a little bit mixed up because of life happenings. People who have fucked up inbred island-born Irish Catholic minds like mine know that there’s really nothing you can do to save yourself besides go on medication, which is exactly what I’m going to do so that I can start walking around my neighborhood without saying meaningful things like, “I fucking hate this place, if I have to stay here for one more day, I am going to fucking kill myself.” 

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I understand, after talking to some people this weekend, that I am not alone in feeling depressed. I’m pretty sure almost everyone I know in New York in depressed to some degree, with varying degrees of functionality. This is a horrible place to live, I’ll tell you. People use the excuse of, “There’s so much going on here that doesn’t happen in other places!” Without admitting that they don’t go to the things happening here because they are full of hundreds of Brooklyn children on scooters in Crew Cuts clothing screaming and making everyone else hate children. Such as was the case with the street fair that happened in my neighborhood yesterday, which caused a traffic jam for a ten-block radius, and caused me to call Caleb hysterically crying because I couldn’t find parking anywhere, not even in front of a goddamn fire hydrant.

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Comments 7 notes
My boo.

My boo.

Comments 7 notes
There are some days — a lot of days — when I think the only person keeping my sanity intact is Johnny, the guy who sits in front of the laundromat around the corner from my apartment.
Depending on the weather, I see him once or twice a day. “How’s married life?” he asked me for months before I got married, confusing my engagement with a wedding. “My parents were married 32 years, and were together six years before that.”
Johnny is a local. He’s what I miss in New York. The sort of person who knows what you’re up to; the sort of person who notices if you’re not around. “You sure you’re going to get out tomorrow?” Johnny asked me the day before I left for Knoxville. “Big rain predicted in the forecast.”
"You get out in time?" he asked me today.
"I did, but we got caught in it on the way back," I said. "There were six hour delays, and we landed in a downpour. It was dangerous."
"Very scary," he concurred. "You take a black car home?"
"My husband picked me up," I told him. Husband being a word that’s still unfamiliar in my mouth. It’s a relief to use it with Johnny, however. So as not to alienate him, I’ve just pretended I’ve been married all these long winter months.
"Good for him," Johnny said. "My parents were married 36 years, and they were together 64 total."
"That’s an accomplishment," I said. "Gives me hope."
"Have a good day!" Johnny says. He never keeps me long. Just checks in with the temperature. 
"Hello," I sang at the nurse sitting with two elderly ladies a few stoops later. "What’s the matter?" she always croons at Franke, who barks almost non-stop on our walks. 
"I like your red," I told the nurse, because she was wearing an all red outfit.
"Thanks," she said, and averted her eyes. I got too personal too soon, even though I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 2 years, and see her as much as I see Johnny. Johnny, the only person in my life worried about me flying in a rain shower. 

There are some days — a lot of days — when I think the only person keeping my sanity intact is Johnny, the guy who sits in front of the laundromat around the corner from my apartment.

Depending on the weather, I see him once or twice a day. “How’s married life?” he asked me for months before I got married, confusing my engagement with a wedding. “My parents were married 32 years, and were together six years before that.”

Johnny is a local. He’s what I miss in New York. The sort of person who knows what you’re up to; the sort of person who notices if you’re not around. “You sure you’re going to get out tomorrow?” Johnny asked me the day before I left for Knoxville. “Big rain predicted in the forecast.”

"You get out in time?" he asked me today.

"I did, but we got caught in it on the way back," I said. "There were six hour delays, and we landed in a downpour. It was dangerous."

"Very scary," he concurred. "You take a black car home?"

"My husband picked me up," I told him. Husband being a word that’s still unfamiliar in my mouth. It’s a relief to use it with Johnny, however. So as not to alienate him, I’ve just pretended I’ve been married all these long winter months.

"Good for him," Johnny said. "My parents were married 36 years, and they were together 64 total."

"That’s an accomplishment," I said. "Gives me hope."

"Have a good day!" Johnny says. He never keeps me long. Just checks in with the temperature. 

"Hello," I sang at the nurse sitting with two elderly ladies a few stoops later. "What’s the matter?" she always croons at Franke, who barks almost non-stop on our walks. 

"I like your red," I told the nurse, because she was wearing an all red outfit.

"Thanks," she said, and averted her eyes. I got too personal too soon, even though I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 2 years, and see her as much as I see Johnny. Johnny, the only person in my life worried about me flying in a rain shower. 

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I told Caleb I thought Bushwick was beautiful today, and he told me I was taunting him because I wanted to move out of Carroll Gardens. ”I’ll fix it,” he said.
"How?" I asked him.

I told Caleb I thought Bushwick was beautiful today, and he told me I was taunting him because I wanted to move out of Carroll Gardens. ”I’ll fix it,” he said.

"How?" I asked him.

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Real People I Love: Kate, A Woman With A Hairless Cat, An Apartment in Bushwick and a Gut Feeling She Belongs in New York

Hey y’all. In the weeks before the wedding, knowing I wouldn’t have much time to write, I asked a few women I’ve met if they’d agree to do an interview with me for my blog. They were women that I’ve met through various channels — other friends, Facebook, Tumblr — whom I’ve corresponded with for a while online before meeting in person.

One of these women was named Kate, and I met her a few weeks ago for dinner in Williamsburg. Our friend in Los Angeles set us up; she said we would fall in love, and we did, at a communal table while a dumpy couple with identically bad complexions gaped at us while we talked about ecstasy, hairless cats, denim dresses, and God. 

The story of our generation of women has yet to be written. The only models we have thus far are extremes — the extreme privilege and attitude towards sex as characterized by Girls; the extreme lifestyle promoted by “Lean In,” in which women must model her behavior after men in order to be successful in a male-constructed corporate world; and the extreme attitudes about sex, love, marriage and motherhood promoted by articles about women in New York Magazine and The Atlantic.

I thought it might be interesting to tell the story of Kate, a woman who lives in Bushwick with her hairless cat, Smalls; has parents who live in Maine, one of whom is a pilot; who falls in love; who isn’t famous; who doesn’t live a life based around some sort of ideology; who works an office job. She’s like me; she’s not like me. She’s completely unique, but also normal. I think she’s really wonderful.

I wish I could write a better introduction to her, but I don’t have fucking time thanks to this goddamn wedding (I thought I was above the wedding thing — GUESS WHAT I’M NOT), so instead, I leave you her answers to my insane questions, unedited and uncut. 

1. What’s your job, exactly? 

Oh, I’m a glorified secretary. Everyone thinks I’m being self-depricating when I say that, but, not only am I not self-deprecating, it’s true and it’s exactly the job I applied for and exactly the job I want. I say good morning to everyone as they filter in, I buy the groceries, and restock the snacks, I clean the kitchen, I ask about mothers and kids (that’s not true, I actually don’t ask about anyone ever because I don’t really care, they volunteer and I humor the convo…when in Rome), I suffer fools and affect, and I sass everyone within earshot and within inches of HR violations. Also, I have two different nail files an arm’s length away, references to the need for coffee and alcohol on various pieces of flair, and pictures of my cat wallpapering my desk walls. I’m a secretary.

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Over New York Avenue (or near or beyond it). 

Over New York Avenue (or near or beyond it). 

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Let’s Kill Them: Adventures in Yuppie White Utopia

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Whenever the couple in the apartment below us turns on their television, I stomp on the floor. They must not know what that means because the volume gets neither louder nor softer.

“Did those people drop their bowling ball again?” I imagine they say to each other.

When they first moved in last summer, Caleb reported that they were Australian — or at least had Australian-sounding accents. He ran into them outside, and they told him they had relocated to Brooklyn from Houston. They had three gigantic dogs, and a couch so dirty that Caleb couldn’t believe they were moving it into their new apartment. “I think they might be white trash,” he relayed to me mournfully on the car ride home from LaGuardia airport, where I had just landed after being trapped in the bowels of hell (Florida). 

“Their dogs bark constantly, and their television is on night and day,” he continued. “Our floors vibrate. I think this is going to be problematic.”

Caleb’s fear infected me. I hated the neighbors immediately.

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