Paved paradise, put up a parking lot [ 2003-11-09, 4:39 p.m. ]

�Or in some cases, tore down a parking lot and put up a Pottery Barn.

I�ve been blue lately, and not just because I�m listening to Joni Mitchell. I don�t know if it�s because writing a book in a month is harder than I thought, or because the holidays are around the corner, or because I�ve been lonely, or just that it�s getting colder and darker out and a little blueness is natural.

But it�s there.

I feel as if I have nothing to hold on to, nothing permanent by which to identify myself. Don�t own a house, don�t have family nearby, don�t have kids, don�t have a career or long-term career goals. I usually like those things, but right now, I feel adrift.

It�s easy to feel lonely in New York; all summer long people are out and about, then it suddenly turns cold and the streets become a bit bare. And with the holidays approaching, I become acutely aware of the lack of family in my life. I tout the strength and value of my �urban family� of friends, but I�ve got no family here, no house, no dining room, no dining table�nothing beyond Kent and my friends. Most days that�s plenty. But some days � like today � I feel rootless.

It�s easy to feel lonely in New York; the streetscape changes so frequently that impermanence is the one permanent thing. The restaurant where Kent and I had our first date? Under new management. The ice cream parlor where we had dessert that same hot July night? Now a day spa. Twilo, the dance club where my friend Jay took me dancing until 4:00 a.m. when I was 22 and showed me my first gay go-go dancers? Closed. The Museum of Modern Art, where I went on my very first day ever in New York? Is in Queens. Subway tokens, which I used to buy in little bags of 10? Obsolete. The skyline, unspeakably broken. So much is always changing that I cling to the few constants I can find � like the smell of roasted nuts on the corners of the streets, or the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The greasy pizza place down the street. Central Park. Saks Fifth Avenue. Taxis.

It�s east to feel lonely in New York; people come here to �make it� and they can lose themselves in their work. My husband, my friends, their spouses and friends � everyone is trying, always trying. And I didn�t come here to make it, I can here for me. I�m left feeling like I have nowhere to direct my energies, nothing tethering me. I can�t see where I�ll be in five years, I can�t guess at what I�ll be doing. But I feel like I�m the only one. I know that�s not the case, but I feel like I�ve been left behind. Like I�m on one side of a glass wall, and I can see everyone else on the other, but they can�t hear or see me.

It�s easy to feel lonely in New York; no one stays here forever. I�ve already had to say goodbye to many dear friends, and as each one leaves, I wonder how many more goodbyes are left, and where we�ll end up.

So there you have it � I feel lonely. We went to brunch today at Mr. and Mrs BritGirl�s apartment, and it was lovely. But I was a bitch. Why? No reason. I just feel blue. Now I feel horrible for being bitchy, and sad and a million other things, and mostly I just want to be left alone. But how is that going to make me feel less lonely? My own fucked-up logic, I guess.

Oh, and now Beck�s Sea Change is on the stereo, and that�s not cheering me up either. It�s perfect wallowing music though. So I wallow�

I�ve become an addict of online journals and blogs, and when I read them, everyone is just so fucking fabulous all the time. But is that real? Because I�m sitting here hating my hair and wondering why I ever thought I could write a book, and wishing I was still working in my boring financial services job because at least it paid a lot of money and then Kent and I could afford to buy an apartment. Not so fab, after all.

And I miss my family.

Yeah, I�m blue.

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