Sometimes it feels like I am the only person under 25 who doesn’t think a good time has to do with judgment as blurry as your vision and the type of sleepovers that don’t involve fuzzy socks or face-masks.
Especially in New York City.
This is a city that is drenched in sex and possibility – both of which are open for business 24 hours a day. But sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in it.
I come from a small town that doesn’t allow much room for imagination when it comes to social life. Which ends up leaving young people on Friday and Saturday nights being obnoxious in restaurant bars that offer high chairs, or someone who owns a fire pit’s garage with a couple of 12 packs. The closest thing to real nightlife is over an hour out of our county lines. Growing up in an environment like that made me feel like I was being gently smothered more and more with each passing week end.
Now I find myself in one of the biggest cities in the world. Yet slowly but surely I’m feeling the same pillow over my face yet again.
Here is my hypothesis on why this is:
NYC contains such a multitude of possibilities, after a while those possibilities start to feel a lot like pressure.
It’s as if because we know there is such a vast number of things to explore just a subway ride away, it is our young adult duty to go out and indulge in those dapper happenings. Constantly.
When I first moved here I thought I could never get tired of it. Who could get sick of high heels hitting the pavement and music flooding the streets in and out, with the opening and closing of doors that lead into dimly lit rooms full of playful sin?
Well, me. The answer is me.
Those bars and galleries and theaters and markets are all starting to feel a lot like half open garage doors and fire pits sending off smoke in drive ways.
I’m starting to ask the nicely dressed men in their 3 piece suits the same question I asked all the boys with trucks and hoodies back home:
Is this all you do?
Call me crazy but Manhattan is starting to feel less like a place of endless choices and more like the only option.
I talk to people my age and the only reason they make it through Sunday through Thursday is because of those city lights. And I cant help but feel out of place amidst these moths.
For the past couple of months, I have been craving a long midnight drive to nowhere like it was water in the desert.
I want to throw on a sweatshirt and jump in a friend’s car at the time of night that leaves little traffic on the freeway and even less traffic flowing through our phones. We would stop at the nearest gas station; load up on too many snacks bought out of gluttony and over-preparation. No short dresses or pea coats or perfected hair. Just knees on the dashboard, fights over radio stations, and endless little conversations about all the things we never talk about because no one takes the time to listen. I want to know about your first fistfight and tell you the story of when my mom cried in a Jack in the Box bathroom stall because I cut my own eyelashes when I was seven.
Because honestly, who cares about what I order for dinner or what you think of a Monet when I don’t even know the way your laugh sounds? What does it matter how much time you have spent in university halls or sky scraper offices discussing politics and policies and racial inequalities with someone when you never took the time to find out who their favorite band is?
But maybe that’s just me. Maybe its not even me, me. Maybe its just the me right now. The small town me that has seen the other coveted option for three years now and is suddenly longing to be given back her first choice.
All I know is yesterday I stared at the back of a guys head (a guy who has edited some of my most well crafted pieces of writing and I with him, a guy who I see at least two days out of every seven) for an hour and 45 minutes of class and could not stop wondering what his favorite flavor of slushie was, yet never got the courage to ask.
It’s like we’re in this culture that’s more comfortable revealing the most intimate, private details about ourselves – namely trust with our tipsy vulnerability and naked bodies – before we feel safe enough to tell what our first stuffed animals name was or about that time our sibling gave us a bloody nose.
I’m starting to feel as if I am an island of a human in a vast ocean of 20 something year olds who equate relationships with substance abuse and the walk of shame.
I don’t want to know what your voice sounds like intoxicated when I’ve never even heard it hit the octaves of excitement it can reach when your favorite song comes on the radio.
I’m beginning to wonder if I’m not so much in a generation of millennials who’s down fall will be the lasting side effects of a Kardashian overdose. But more so a generation of people who’s down fall will be the inability to simply be someone’s friend.