At Lunch I Went And Saw Art
I’ve had a really hard time talking about my trip here and what’s so strangely uncomfortable about being back in this city without sounding like I’m criticizing New York. I haven’t yet found the right approach.
I told a friend that coming back here was kind of like seeing your ex-boyfriend again, and realizing you no longer have feelings for him, but deciding that you can totally hang out and be friends. The problem is that all of your friends are still dating this guy, so all of the things you noticed about him that turned you off — his bad breath, how he’s sometimes a little aggressive and loud — are still part of what they’re in love with. (Or what they overlook because they’re still in love with him.) So you can’t say it out loud — just because he wasn’t right for you doesn’t make him wrong for everyone — or you sound like a total bitch.
I’m sorry for sounding like a total bitch.
Today on my lunch break, I went by myself to the MoMA to see the Cindy Sherman retrospective. There were tourists wandering aimlessly in front of people’s sightlines, zigzagging through exhibition rooms, holding the audio tours to their ear. The black and white film stills circling the walls, Cindy on 6th Avenue, the steps of a cathedral, in a hotel room. I was suddenly filled with joy for the people I love who get to live here, who are living out amazing stories, like the stills from their own film, backdropped by a city built for the movies, who still thrive on noise and bustle and things-to-do. The ones who love it here. Love going to the MoMA on their lunch break. Love how the skyscrapers look against the matte sky. Love having lunch in the park.
Just because it didn’t work out for me shouldn’t leave me bitter or critical of past geographies. That’s no way to keep a friend. And I really do think we’re going to make it as friends, New York, you and I.
Just be good to my friends, New York. Because if you hurt them I will come after you and I will UNLEASH.