Monday, March 1, 2010

Love Letter.

I’ll say this.  I miss New York City.  I miss the way the street looks at 3 A.M. when you’re the only one on it in Chinatown.  I miss jogging over the Brooklyn Bridge and getting a sip of water in City Hall Park.  I miss being a lunatic and no one caring.  Every time you turn a corner in Manhattan you know every one and no one at the same time.  You loose your own identity in that city, because you become a part of that city.  From Spanish Harlem in the Summer with Hip Hop blasting all around, to glasses clinking in the West Village, to bottles breaking in Washington Square park.  I miss my favorite street and how it always changed.  Every day there was a new store on it or a new beer on tap, or a new bum,  or new student at NYU. 

You see the new kids on the block in NY and you wonder what the years will do to them.  They could go from Ivy League graduates to busboys.  I’ve seen that happen.  They could go from busboys to media moguls.  I’ve seen that happen.  They could take one bite of a NY winter and call it a day.  They could walk through Bryant Park in June and find the love of their life, or their favorite view of anything.  They could get a ticket for public urinations and loose their teaching license.  I’ve seen that happen.

I saw Casablanca in a park at night drinking wine, a bum wipe her but on the street with a sweatshirt left outside a Salvation Army.  I saw money, lots of it, and ate ramen noodles, lots of them.  I ate Brooklyn up like a girlfriend that’s been away at war.  I held the buildings in NY in my hand like we were lovers.  I rode the train and sighed every time I saw downtown, because I am NY.  I tormented myself on purpose running in a hamster wheel only getting off to tie my shoes and pound the pavement.  That pavement was always there though.  I could always count on it, and it could always count on me. 

I had conversations with New York that I’ve never had with God, my parents, or a girlfriend.  I’ve cried from every emotion at some point all because New York was there listening and waiting for me to give and take from it. 

You could leave your apt at 7PM when you didn’t feel like going out, and come back $1000 bucks richer and with the name and number to the person you could very well either kill, or marry, and everything in between.

And so after seven years, three girlfriends, Two apartments, about 35 pounds, 9 jobs,  700 cups of coffee, god only knows how many shots of Jack Daniels, 5 wardrobes, 47 hair cuts, infinite sandwiches, countless embraces (both good and bad), 200 packs of Parliament Lights, one staff infection, two commercials, 35 shows, two summers of fame, tears, beers, and about 100 movie stubs, I was out like Bud Light on dollar beer night. 

Does New York City hate me?  You bet your ass it does.  It’s hated me all along, and I love it for that.  That’s the point.   You ever fight with a significant other but it feels good?  Like the argument might change your relationship for the better, and then you have make up sex?  That’s what it’s like with that city except you can change the world for the better via that city, and the make up sex is better than anything every written or documented.  When NYC talks back to you, or pats you on the back you don’t feel it in your wallet, you don’t feel it on your back.  You smell it on the street.  It winks at you by blinking lights telling you to cross the street.  It’s the feel of The Post in your hand.  It’s the smell of Indian food on the Street.  It’s getting drunk and calling your friends outside a bar in winter with your breath and your dreams meeting up in the air to “talk it out.” 

It’s New York.
I left with a pocket full of question marks.
I’m coming back with a fist full of periods.


  1. Jesus Matt... this is some incredible stuff!! It sounds like your voice came back for this one. WOW.

  2. You told me once that of all the relationships you ever had, that the one with NYC was the most meaningful. You told me "We have good days and we have bad days, but when we go to bed at night, we know we were meant for each other."

  3. This is the McManus that I know and love and hate.

  4. This should go in the Red Headed Step Child anthology.