one minute only

O you were the best of all my days

i’ve eaten a home-cooked meal today, i walked around midtown during dusk today, and i checked out three books from the library. i had forgotten what it felt like to do those small things that make you feel content. 

remember sophomore year of high school when we would use tumblr to passive aggressively talk about our feelings because we were too immature to have the conversations we needed with the people we needed to have them with?

you know how we still do?

If you’re ever walking around midtown during the height of a late summer’s afternoon, let Slow Club’s “Tears of Joy” mark the beat to which you walk. Sit down by the fountain on 52nd and Park right next to the sidewalk and watch all the people walking past, realizing that people have been walking past like this for years, decades, and perhaps will continue to do so for a century or two. In that moment you move so quickly along the axis of time, from past to future. Sometimes New York City feels like the first and last place on earth.

jack and i are waiting for the platos we ordered from some mexican place off seamless. it’s late—almost 10. tonight as the last dregs of light drained from the sky we both spent some time in the backyard of our sublet in fort greene. we’re staying in the bottom half of a brownstone that has a rectangular plot of garden and a hammock. i smoked a cigarette on the hammock and looked up at the cloudless blue sky and watched airplanes fly by. the sky was a washed out blue—no dazzling streaks of pink or purple or vermilion. just blue, dotted with the lights of airplanes and a few faint stars.

this weekend the three of us went out to jack’s grandpa’s home in sagaponack, a town that only recently became incorporated a decade ago and is so tiny everyone who lives there knows about the goings-on of every one else. it’s filled with the kind of immense wealth you only hear about in the real estate pages of the times—our first morning there we walked along a private beach that was dotted with huge modern slabs of buildings and hopper-esque manses. we met up with three other friends, cut through to amangansett in a puttery old volkswagen convertible with an 80s style houndstooth interior. i sat in the trunk of the highlander as we took a cooler full of beers and two surfboards to montauk where we swam in the cold, salty ocean and climbed up cliffs until our skin was covered in a thin layer of mud. both friday and saturday night we stayed up till the wee hours of the morning, nursing beers, grilling hot dogs and burgers, and hovering around the light of the fire as we tried to point out individual constellations from a sky thick with stars.

so far living in new york has gone so smoothly, i’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. it’s as if i saved all these chips over all these years and made the right gamble at the perfect time. i have a job i enjoy and that i’m learning a lot from—a job where i’m able to go down into huge warehouses and storerooms and hold a warhol or chagall in my hand if i want to. i’m moving into a loft in bushwick in a week’s time with two of the most loyal people i know. i have a library card. i have friends who make me laugh and teach me something new all the time.

last week there was a moment where i was walking around midtown after work—walking the few stretch of blocks from where i am at rockefeller center to bryant park. i got a gyro from a street cart on the corner, and there was something particular about how the light of early dusk (a golden light, not a blue one) was falling on the skyscrapers—and something about the mass of people bustling around me—that made me feel insanely happy to be but one speck. finally, i didn’t feel merely insignificant. i felt a part of something larger, better, worthier. it was a quiet (the most quiet) feeling of belonging. 

Poème à la recherche de Gertrude Stein

by Frank O’Hara

When I am feeling depressed and anxious sullen
all you have to do is take off your clothes
and all is wiped away revealing life’s tenderness
that we are flesh and breathe and are near us
as you are really as you are I become as I
really am alive and knowing vaguely what is
and what is important to me above the intrusions
of incident and accidental relationships
which have nothing to do with my life

when I am in your presence I feel life is strong
and will defeat all its enemies and all of mine
and all of yours and yours in you and mine in me
sick logic and feeble reasoning are cured
by the perfect symmetry of your arms and legs
spread out making an eternal circle together
creating a golden pillar beside the Atlantic
the faint line of hair dividing your torso
gives my mind rest and emotions their release
into the infinite air where since once we are
together we always will be in this life come what may

Realize you can be happy this moment for no reason. Otherwise, you eternally depend on conditions for happiness. Unconscious of this moment, you remain a victim of circumstances.

—Arthur D. Saftlas  (via thatkindofwoman)

(via thatkindofwoman)

In college, I used to underline sentences that struck me, that made me look up from the page. They were not necessarily the same sentences the professors pointed out, which would turn up for further explication on an exam. I noted them for their clarity, their rhythm, their beauty and their enchantment. For surely it is a magical thing for a handful of words, artfully arranged, to stop time. To conjure a place, a person, a situation, in all its specificity and dimensions. To affect us and alter us, as profoundly as real people and things do.

—Jhumpa Lahiri, My Life’s Sentences (via thatkindofwoman)

(via thatkindofwoman)