I Need A Vacation

I found this glove on Gay Street today as I walking in the brisk fall cool of New York City.

Normally, this would be something that would delight me, a morning excursion discovering a surgical glove left somehow inflated on a car-less road on Gay St in the West Village, right near where I grew up.

And I guess I did take some pleasure in it and had to fight the will to tweet it as “Found on Gay St: [picture]”.

But the thing is, that’s my will nowadays, stemming out of my life in improv, out of my blogging and social media connections, out of having to react to people I don’t know telling me on the 12:08 subway “I went to Pop Burger today because of you” and other people not giving a damn.

There’s a sense in my mind I have to have a reaction to everything, a line, an explanation. I’m playing scenes, writing things in my real life, something I used to think was real cool, but now I can identify the problem with:

I have too much to deal with.

This might seem strange now coming from where I am in my life. Unlike previous points where I was super-depressed about my failure to live up to director-ly dreams, to times where I had that angst about meeting people and having a community after college, to the many, many times I felt anxious about my lady-situation…

Well, I am better with most of those things right now, or at least more calm.

But that need to react to have something right away, it stops me from being able to filter what I can deal with in my life from what I can’t.

In the past few months I’ve over-committed to classes, to trying to find someone, to projects that my friends and others have asked me to, because I feel that pressure to react right away, to say yes, to make something, to seize the opportunity, I’m 24, come on, let’s go.

But on Saturday morning after waking up after doing two improv shows, with a two hour rehearsal before and work before that, with trying to arrange dates–

I woke up and wasn’t awake.

I drank coffee, I ate breakfast, but I just couldn’t wake up.

And in was in this moment, this bleary Saturday where I went to do even more improv practice and more socializing, that I realized I was just doing things for the sake of doing things. And I didn’t know what I wanted. And I just wanted to get out of here.

My parents had been urging me to go on a vacation.

I called up my boss, whom I actually admire, and asked him where he went when he was 24 and needed a break. What life was for him then, what was necessary.

“Well if there’s someplace you want to visit.” He asked.

“There’s no place, I’m just 24.” I repeated.

“Ah yes.” He replied. “Twenty-four” with that emphasis.

And he had stories about Paris and about other places but Paris stuck and I just felt without a plan, I should go. Who knew?

It just seemed like something a vaguely-writery 24 year-old who didn’t know what he was doing would do, someplace he would go.

I would buy Chester Brown graphic novels and read them in French cafes. I would walk around Paris with my solar bag and feel super-cool.

I would eat Pain Au Chocolat and drink espresso. I would get a list of places from people I knew on where to visit. I would stay in some hostel.

Upon communicating this to them, my parents, who had been searching for what I had stated I had needed from them: some purpose for a vacation, booked me a flight for the dates that overlapped with my boss’s vacation and I was given some reviews of hostels.

I had had the idea at 1 and by 5 my journey was set and I was writing lists of things to do on my iPhone and wondering if those cassette tapes still existed people listened to at night to learn French while sleeping.

I wondered how much my terrible high school French could get me by.

I went to a nearby American Apparel and tried on medium-sized turtle necks and slight vees only to find out that while I could fit into a medium it just hugged the gut that was still there.

But the large was too large which was nice.

So much for hipster vindication.

A week ago, I didn’t want a vacation. There was so much to do, so many classes, events, people to meet, life to be had.

Today, I feel like counting the days, I can’t wait as people pitch me ideas and ask for pitches, as I slowly reach my threshold for improv, as I stare back at the ground at New York City and feel less excited by a wonderful discovery, less able to feel and appreciate, less aware of the dynamic.

“The first sign of madness,” My boss told me. “Is when you don’t leave the city for a few months. The second sign is when you decide it isn’t necessary to.”

In some ways, I feel better as I mentioned.

I have a job I don’t hate. I’m turning in to some kind of a performer. If I’m not happy romantically, I’m putting myself out there (and trying to fit into American Apparel).

But there’s still that need, that lack of hesitation. I’m still not centered in a place that’s right for me.

I saw  “Sweet and Sad” today at the Public Theater, which the amazing Jay O. Sanders, a neighbor and a kind man to me, did a wonderful job in.

In that play, a family tries to deal with love and loss on the tenth anniversary of 9/11. By the end, nothing is resolved.

There was no allegorical truth to the play, or if there was, it wasn’t in focus.

It was more just the way we talk to each other. The way we are. The way we try to deal with big things in our lives and patterns.

It was true to that.

And sad and sweet.

And I felt changed seeing it.

***

I’ve already tweeted about this and I’m not even going to post a picture, but briefly, I’m not “retarded”.

Often in my life I miss social cues and I call out myself (as do others) for particularly being unable to detect sarcasm.

My own blood today posted here taking a comment from one of my blog posts on a different site showing someone who thought I was an inspiration because I seemed to have some spectrum of autism to them.

I don’t have autism or Aspberger’s. I’ve been over this. I have a very nice therapist I meet with weekly. We’ve discussed this. I think she would probably goddam tell me if she thought this was the case.

In fact, my ex and I bonded in a bar the night we met over the fact that people had accused us of having Aspberger’s and then ended up being a long fruitful relationship, so I guess there’s that.

But last week I was going to post a non-malicious blog post and I got in a fight with my father about it where he said “I thought you had tact” and it just pushed that button of thinking I didn’t have these instincts, that there was something wrong with me that not even I know. I was angry for days.

It’s a scary, twilight zone-y type thing.

The only thing I can really say on the subject is that I am who I am.

And really, fuck you people who call me that.

Thanks.

***

To be honest, I was biased against this sandwich.

I had eaten a delicious 10:20am Brunch with my pops over at The Dutch, which I somehow convinced him to do despite not wanting to eat anything, full of Fried Chicken and vinegary-cole slaw. It was yummy and a frickin’ abbondanza of food.

It was around 1:20 and I probably wasn’t due to eat until later.

But there were plans. There was a play to see. Maybe there wasn’t time.

So I went to ‘wichcraft.

As a rule, I don’t give a damn about Tom however-you-spell-his-name, hadn’t gone to any of his places and had gotten a chickpea sandwich there in my college days that had made me nauseous.

So I don’t know why I went for a sandwich there at all and particularly not Chicken Salad, which I usually abhor as being some mayonaise-y three-day old mush you’d see at a deli under plastic wrap.

But they said roasted tomatoes and multigrain bread. And pickled onions. And all that was good for me.

And I had just eaten a honey-butter biscuit (bad dieter).

So I tried it.

It was yummy.

Light mayonaise, the sweetness and texture of the multi-grain bread, tomatoes and juicy red pickled onions providing some flavory and crunch. Endive for even more texture.

Low on calories, high on flavor.

It filled me up and I didn’t feel bad eating it.

And so look at me now I sound like a diet infomercial.

I’ve become what I hate.

I need a vacation.

Oh wait.

***

WICHCRAFT

Free Range Chicken Salad w/Roasted Tomatoes, Pickled Red Onions and Frisee on Multigrain- $10.50 (tax inclusive)

8th St bet Mercer and Broadway. (multiple locations)

NR to Prince St. 6 to Astor Pl.

8th St near University Place

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3 Responses to I Need A Vacation

  1. Julie Brown says:

    You are who you are….and that’s okay. I am who I am, as well. We deal with what we have to deal with in the ways we know how to deal. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong. Whatever….we do the best we can….
    You are so lucky to be going away…..to a place unknown….explore, let go….have fun. Make it memorable, so you can tell your kids and grandkids about it….

  2. TLM says:

    That’s not a surgical glove. That thing looks like it fell off an early Halloween costume.

  3. megan says:

    I know you said you had too much to deal with, but that was a looooooooong two weeks!! 😉 have a kick ass vacation!

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