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

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

Iíve been blue lately, and not just because Iím listening to Joni Mitchell. I donít know if itís because writing a book in a month is harder than I thought, or because the holidays are around the corner, or because Iíve been lonely, or just that itís getting colder and darker out and a little blueness is natural.

But itís there.

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

Itís 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 ďurban familyĒ of friends, but Iíve got no family here, no house, no dining room, no dining tableÖnothing beyond Kent and my friends. Most days thatís plenty. But some days Ė like today Ė I feel rootless.

Itís 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 Ė 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.

Itís east to feel lonely in New York; people come here to Ďmake ití and they can lose themselves in their work. My husband, my friends, their spouses and friends Ė everyone is trying, always trying. And I didnít come here to make it, I can here for me. Iím left feeling like I have nowhere to direct my energies, nothing tethering me. I canít see where Iíll be in five years, I canít guess at what Iíll be doing. But I feel like Iím the only one. I know thatís not the case, but I feel like Iíve been left behind. Like Iím on one side of a glass wall, and I can see everyone else on the other, but they canít hear or see me.

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

So there you have it Ė I feel lonely. We went to brunch today at Mr. and Mrs BritGirlís 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 Beckís Sea Change is on the stereo, and thatís not cheering me up either. Itís perfect wallowing music though. So I wallowÖ

Iíve 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 Iím 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, Iím blue.

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