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New York and Life Support

Something Melody said to me tonight made me consider how I felt about living in New York.

We had this discussion some time ago, about how we weren’t really ‘of’ any particular place. Home had little relevance to us culturally when we were the proverbial class outcasts (all you geeks know what I mean,) and the cotton fields of my home town have given way to cheap housing and families making it less familiar by the day. We moved north with work a few years ago to Connecticut, where we weren’t ‘of’ that community either. And finally, we moved to New York where we still aren’t ‘of’ this community. But who here is? I’m sure (although I have not researched this,) that many of my countrymen feel this way. We are a very mobile society in the United States. Perhaps not as mobile as the Roma, but still fairly mobile.

What makes New York unique in my mind is how foreign it is to my sense of normal. Perhaps it’s the skyrocketing cost of living; less so the constrained space. I don’t feel ‘welcome’ in New York, rather I feel that I am living here on life support as an astronaut or a SCUBA diver. My life support is money (as it would be anywhere,) but the stakes are much higher. My rent isn’t an alarming part of my income, but it along with the cost of living in general increase at a seemingly higher rate than my past residences. And for that reason, I feel as though it’s all very short-term, and that sooner or later I have to come back to recharge.

Naturally, I’ll just have to be more clever than this, but in the short term I simply wanted to document how I felt at this particular time for friends and family. Living here is still exciting – every day of it truthfully – but leaves little time for introspection and lazy comfort.

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