*nods* I always have to control the amount and type of information with which I come into contact on a daily basis. I consider "information" to include that which comes from people as well as through indirect media like the net or TV or radio. Otherwise I get overwhelmed.
I think any city will break your heart, if you let it. I've lived in San Francisco and New York, and visited more big cities than you can shake a stick at, and they're all beautiful and horrible all at once.
Yes. I'm starting to think that Ian (a friend of ours) was right when he told us the single most important piece of advice he could give us about moving here was that we needed to get out of the city at least once a month.
I think my heart broke reading this entry
The amount of misery and sadness I see every day here can be overwhelming. It's in your face in a way that it never is when people don't have to use their legs and public transportation to get everywhere. When things go awry for people, privacy often isn't an option. They have to have their heart-wrenching breakup conversations outside on the pavement, on their mobile phones. Things like that. I'm not inured to it yet - I don't know if I'll ever be. I have some coping mechanisms for when I'm not at a hundred percent, like wearing headphones or burying my nose in a book. And when those fail, there's writing it out.
I was sitting here thinking of something to comment and then I just started crying. I really liked your post, in a sad way, if that makes any sense.
Yes, it makes sense. I hope you don't mind that I take that as a high compliment. Thank you.
I'm glad. It seemed a bit odd, posting an entry like this after a weekend which was overall a lot of fun, but for some reason it demanded to be written when I got home Sunday night.
I know exactly that feeling of revulsion and compassion. I've experienced it many times.
Do you mind if I add you? I'm a friend of thatdamnninja's and I'm stealing some of his friends, at his behest.
It's a confusing mixture. On the one hand, the desire to help, on the other, the desire to get away as quickly as possible.
I don't mind being added. :-)
You just reminded me of so many things.
And once again, I'm glad to be able to read your journal.
Thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it.
BTW, speaking of storytelling, what kind of feedback (if any) were you looking for with Vanguard City?
Pedestrian cities do that to you. You still see it here, but nothing like the interaction you get on the subway in Hong Kong, Boston or New York. Every big city has it, but the interaction is missing. I both miss it and hope I never have to see it again.
Yup. It's completely different from anything I've experienced before, and I've always been a city girl. However, all of the cities I've lived in have had cars as their major form of transport. When people have to walk or ride public transport everywhere, their lives are much more exposed. They can't travel in their bubbles of privacy to their santuaries - home, car, office, bar - whenever something goes awry.
Public displays of intoxication can be heartbreaking. Friday night I was at one of my bars and an older guy, Ray, got completely pissed. At bar time, he was so drunk he fell off the stool and needed to be walked home. That wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't such a crackpot. He is a bitter old man who likes to offend. One night he talked about how the bar we were in used to be a "jigaboo bar for fruits and degenerates". It's hard to feel bad for people like that...
Thats the thing about alcohol...it reveals who you are and what your feeling. If your feeling a little pathetic about yourself, it will show. If you have some self-loathing, it will show. This is why most drunks are pretty nice people overall, for most people are pretty nice. Even the ones who got drunk because they were depressed rarely are rude to others on purpose...
You have to be careful how much you allow yourself to notice in this city. If you don't, it will break your heart.
I can. But you've documented it beautifully. Thank you.
Thank you. It just sort of popped out when I got home Sunday night.
(P.S. I received your postcard. Hooray!)
Nice vignettes. Okay, not "nice," but well-written. Well seen. Thanks for posting.
This kind of stuff has been part of my landscape ever since I moved to NYC, and I've become so good at hardly noticing anymore...it terrifies me that I've got this little person now who's going to notice everything and not only notice but ask "Why, Mama?" and I'm not going to have the slightest fucking idea what to say.
Thanks for taking time to read, Ms. Busy Bird.
I think not having all the answers is one of the scariest things about becoming a parent. I have enough trouble with my own ignorance without having its limits constantly being explored by someone else, let alone someone else who expects me to be right!
Last Saturday night I was at King's Cross St. Pancras on the platform with some friends when we see a medium build guy dragging a girl much bigger than himself towards the platform. The train arrives and we get on and he hopelessly looks around for someone to help him. One of the guys we were with, being the good samaritan runs out of the train and helps him get her on. She is passed out drunk, wearing very little clothes. Her skirt is all the way up and she has on a thong. I have never seen anyone so drunk that they pass out completely and be totally unaware of what is going on around them. The guy covers her with her coat, but keeps an experession of hopelessness. I guess he was wondering what he would do when he gets to his stop.
It's kind of shocking, isn't it. I don't know much about where you've lived in the past, but I've mostly been in cities and towns where the main form of transport is cars. Of course people in cities that aren't pedestrian-friendly also get really drunk and behave badly, but you tend to see them only in certain places, where you learn to expect it. Bars, clubs, concerts, parties and the like. Then they get in their cars and go home. It's very different to see out of that context: in the streets or on public transport.