Sunday, July 20, 2008
I want noise outside my window.
Outside my window is quiet. It's 2 a.m. and all is silent. Inside, it's me, listening to opera and worrying about more car-related stuff. Boring, domestic worries. Nothing out of the ordinary. It's just another night in Nashville for this husband, father, son, worker, wannabe writer, forever dreamer.
Meanwhile, my lust for life in the big city is back. I'm happily married and this is a marriage which brings together a country girl who has no use for the "hurry hurry" attitude, everything you want is here notion of big city life, and this city boy who sees a hair too little romance in the "take it easy" attitude, everything you need is here notion of a slow-paced small town life. We compromise easily here in my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. It's an easy town for compromise and happiness. I love Nashville.
But right this minute, actually these past few days, it's all things New York in my head. I borrowed E. B. White's Here is New York from my local library and read it in a flash yesterday. Down time at work tonight was spent perusing Flickr accounts full of New York City seduction: Hotel Chelsea, the Bronx, Greenwich Village. My heart beats a special beat for New York. I recall a very nondescript photo of me sitting in the window of the Hotel Chelsea which hides somewhere in storage along with many other pictures from my one visit there with my father way back in 1991. Something about that trip permanently turned my head ever so slightly but forever in the direction of that wonderful city. It's been seventeen years and its pull now is as strong as it ever has been.
There's this man I work with. I admire him more than he knows. He lived in New York for a number of years and tells the greatest anecdotes of his time there. He always prefaces apologetically when he's launching into another tale. "Yet another New York story...," he always begins. Of course, the truth is that I hang on his every word. Everyone in his stories is from somewhere else: Jamaica, Germany, Japan, etc. Everyone there is brave, doing there what they could not do in the place of their birth.
I'm happy here. In Nashville, my wife and I have our struggles, but it's a good place for the kids. And, as I mentioned, it's also a good compromise for a country mouse and a city mouse in love. If you like the arts, sports, or music, Nashville is good. If you like outdoor activities like hiking, boating, or biking, Nashville is good. It's just times like these that I wish I had a few grand to drop on a nice escape. I'd sit on my hotel bed at the Chelsea, look through the Village Voice, and listen to all of those cars outside my window, honking in the city streets like it's rush hour at 3 a.m., never sleeping. Similarly, I'm rarely sleeping, always dreaming.
Tonight, I dream of New York. I wish I was there.