Tuesday, November 22, 2005

StarBUCK YOU!

I'm not your fucking mother! I didn't shit you out!

This is what Brad and I overheard about four blocks from our house outside the Super Supreme deli. It came out of a woman screaming inches away from the face of a wholly nonplussed man. I can only imagine what made her so angry, but hearing it made me happy for several reasons. The first of which was that she wasn't screaming at me. The very important second of which is that children are not, in reality, shit out.

Someone should remind me of this lady whenever I'm feeling down. I'll clench accordingly, forget whatever is making me glum, and thank whatever intelligent designer came up with the no-poop-babies idea.

This neighborhood never lets me down. Whenever I can understand what someone is saying it tends to be pretty fantastic. I mean, not shit babies great, but who can expect to see a shooting star twice in one night? Listening to two cops talk about the Tarzan boy they both admire for being able to bench press twice his weight (which, if you ask them, is worth being beaten by your father every day) while you wait for your dinner at Twin Lin is so much better than anything I overheard in the year I was back at home. If the suburb of my youth and recent citizenship was a buffet, Starbucks offered a whole lot of boredom macaroni salad but, sadly, little in the way of delicious eavesdropping brownies.

That's not to say I don't think about Starbucks, the embodiment of everything paralyzingly lame about the place where I grew up, on a daily basis. Whenever I do something unavailable to the average Yorktowner I'm totally there. I accomplish something as minor as riding the subway and I can't control my automatic astral projection to the airspace over the cream and sugar station. From there it's a whole lot of pelting psychic Splenda packets down on the heads of kids who graduated with me, still live in Yorktown, and consistently refused to acknowledge me in line at CVS for the whole year I was home.

I skip the line at a club because I know some people who know some people and my very soul wills it to rain only over the Starbucks patio, only on the laptop playing the same Dave Matthews playlist heard there since 1996.

This weekend I found myself in a car with an up and coming musician, a seriously famous music producer whose name keeps popping up in the books I'm reading, and a sickeningly attractive male model who spoke with an accent so perfect I actually began to suspect he was some kind of Al-Qaeda engineered modelbomb designed to infiltrate New York nightlife and blow hundreds of admirers to smithereens.

(Vagina first.)

We parked in the West Village and headed over to a party with a line around the block and a doorman refusing to admit anyone not on the (nonexistent) guestlist. It was when the velvet rope dropped and I followed the musician, the producer, and the model into the party that I not only gave the usual mental finger to the Yorktown Starbucks--I actually began to mentally lecture the entire population of Yorktown High School. I gathered an assembly in the gymnasium in my head, stepped to the microphone, and, after a dramatic pause, addressed my imaginary adolescents.

Children, I said to them, Yorktownians, dream larger than the Chance in Poughkeepsie! Imagine a world beyond an extra espresso shot in your macchiato! Each of you, I say, each and every one of you will have a moment when a coattail lands in your soft little baby hands. Grab it, my countrymen! Hold tight and you too can have an indescribably boring job and still rub elbows with the kind of person who would have actually suffer an aneurysm if they had to spend more than fifteen minutes in our fatherland! Clutch those coattails with your very life, children, and you too can be spared from disappearing beyond the event horizon that is spending your twenty-fifth birthday at Finnigan's.

They broke in to wild imaginary applause. I had a celebratory drink, met an actor whose movies Kai and I used to rent just because he was in them, and called it a night.

I am not used to this kind of thing. A couple of months ago a good Saturday night consisted of buying pads and eating lo mein. Now there are all these cheeks to kiss and doormen waiting to inspect my ID and outfits, outfits, outfits to be put together. I change my clothes twice before I go to bed. Going out more than once a week means I've got to operate on a whole different wardrobe plane. My head is a slot machine of spinning shirts, pants, and shoes and, often, I'm too busy jerking the arm for the outfit jackpot to do things like work, or think, or look both ways before I cross.

It's an unbelievably strange thing to be comped into a club and accidentally bump into the guitar player from your favorite high school band, a band whose lyric booklets you actually studied before you went to their shows. It's even weirder to have to come up with an answer to the question "And what do you do?" in this environment.

What do I do? I go here! I got dressed! I mean, I know the correct answer is "sculpt" or "I'm in a baaaaand..." or, "I'm working on a film installation" or, for full credit, "I work in design." While my technical honest answer has to be "I edit scientific books," the answer that claws up my trachea and threatens to jump out every single time is "I DON'T LIVE WITH MY PARENTS, THAT'S WHAT I DO! I DID MY HAIR!"

Do you remember those Frosted Mini Wheats commercials with the grown-up who liked the fiber while "the kid inside" loved the frosting? That's me, except replace carbs of any sort with a minor existential crisis. The grown-up knows that she's supposed to work on actually securing a job she enjoys, but "the kid inside" is pretty content to go to parties and tell her hometown to kiss her ass over and over again. The result is a tug-of-war between the two, a lot of time spent looking at mediabistro.com job ads and not applying to them, and a small and embarrassing amount of crying over forbidden chocolate chip Pop Tarts.

And then I remember that I'm sitting in the back of a car with a male model and suck it up.

(And suck it in.)

(This is fashion, darling.)

3 Comments:

Blogger secretsekertary said...

so beautiful! congratulations on your many successes.
~ms texas

11:43 AM  
Anonymous anonymousmom said...

you so rock.

see you later - i'm looking forward to it.

12:42 PM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Ditto!

1:32 PM  

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