Oh, man is a giddy thing.
My emotional response to Mumford & Sons has changed since late 2009, when I first got to New York. I think I graduated college with Mumford & Sons, or something. They came here on a bus with me, and started pouring banjo amphetamines into my right ear as I got the keys to my first apartment.
On weekends, I’d walk back and forth in front of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue. I’d listen to Mumford and pray for Apple products. Oh, I wanted a lot: aluminum, smooth, gloss, matte. Man, he is a giddy fucker.
That was four years ago. And today, it is Wednesday, and I am not so young. And I am writing about New York.
You see, lads and lassies, New York is ending. It may have ended when I got here. It may have ended when I walked by a glass cube and a glowing pictogram of an apple, listening to someone tell me they really fucked it up this time, didn’t he, his dear?
New York ends when you watch a man stick a cup down his pants. He takes it out. It is hot. He pours it onto the floor in the corridor connecting the 1/2/3 with the L at 14th.
New York ends when you learn that one graphic design firm has been designing your New York for four years: print ads and dinner menus and coffee cups and water bottles. Created by two men named Colin who live two blocks from the Lorimer stop.
New York ends when you sprint past empty buses at night. Vans too. Because terrorism exists and you will die one day.
New York ends when you see a building’s face fall off in Chelsea. Hmm. Looks like The Sims.
New York ends when you start to consider the organic air pollutants: the cheek cells and tattoo residue and hair butter; all the layers of human concealment sloughing off in thick ribbons and entering your body through all of your holes, all the time.
New York ends when you’ve had a headache for forty-eight months and fourteen hundred nights. And you say, yes, friends, I am a walking headache, I am a walking accumulation of black blood in a lobe, in a crack somewhere.
New York ends when you see the man walk out of The Pierre with three suitcases made of gold and four hands and a hundred hats on his head, and he is sipping ten lattes all at the same time, a few in each hand, and each latte is flavored with a different syrup. And he is gorgeous. And he is dead. And his pupils are pointed at your pupils.
And Mumford & Sons just broke up.
And New York ends. We walk past one another. We walk on Prince as the girl who taught us to loop the bottoms of our lowercase Ys in third grade walks on Spring. Right there, on Spring, to our left, right there behind six brick walls. Right there, on Spring, wondering what we look like now, and what we think about in the shower, and Googling our names with “LinkedIn” afterward, and wondering if they’ll ever see us again, and will they?
We don’t want to do this. We don’t. We really don’t. Oh, god we don’t. We never did. We never, ever, neverland did.
Take me out of this place. Bring a claw crane like in those machines at the seashore, and pick me up like I’m a stuffed seahorse.
I really fucked it up this time, didn’t I, my dear?