The Crackden And Me

I was just about to feel like the old me.

And then it happened. It got cold. Then colder. And then even colder. Yup, it snowed.

GASP. Faint. Die!

The hoopla from the New Years dissipated fast in NYC. People went back to work. Hibernation kicked in. All was winter. Literally death.

Somehow the beginning of the New Year strategically, and I suppose/know somewhat naturally, makes everything feel awful. That is unless you were off vacationing oh so glamorously and instead of hiding from winters doom you said, “oh looks like an extra day at the beach.” Yea thanks Facebook I forgot all my friends were in Miami, Mexico or any other warm destination starting with an “m,” “Fuck you.”

Its insane how there can be this collective high on positivity and overall doing better, but the second the weather changes, SPLAT. Minds change too. Oh wait. I know what this is. It’s S.A.D. literally and clinically. Seasonal something (Affective if you want to be technical) Disorder. The weather literally weathers on you and you give in to gloom. It is gloomorous, I asked Honey Boo Boo.

For me it is even more gloomorous.  And here is why. I am currently sitting on an air mattress, in a multimillion-dollar apartment pre renovation. And yes I know it could be way way way worse and I am beyond lucky to be living in NYC for a month for free, but lets just play into my woe-is-me Woody Allen plot line.

The lights are dim at best. The shower continuously has one drop of water dripping from it. The sound of water hitting the ground is reminiscent of Chinese water torture, kind of. It’s an open floor plan so you are reminded nothing else is around you except well, the air mattress. And there’s that drop of water again. Speaking of the shower, I had to share mine today. Yes, I had to be a good New Yorker and shower with possibly the largest cockroach I have ever seen in person or anywhere else. I suppose the little guy just wanted to conserve water. You know those cockroaches, really environmentally friendly. Needless to say I freaked the fuck out, took the quickest possible shower, and only one of us survived. He drowned himself and sits on the drain as I write. I do not have the power to remove said friend.

Downstairs, yes this apartment is two floors, my possessions on the east coast swindle down to about two suitcases and 4 big plastic bags, which I will not unpack because I will just have to repack them. It makes you feel even more transient to have things in a suitcase. I could unpack, but best not to.

I am sans Internet so the only way to entertain myself is Amish style. I.e. read a book, play with myself or be Amish and type on my Mac Book Air. Did I mention when I purchased said Mac Book Air, I found out that someone had stolen my identity? You might be asking, “What the fuck are you talking about?” Well to sum it up short; I wanted to finance my laptop over 18 months with zero interest, because who doesn’t love more credit card debt, so I applied for BEST BUY’s BEST BUY Citi Bank Credit Card, and when doing so was told one had already been opened in my name, and that I had over $5,000 worth of charges on it. I know right, Fuck me! And you think that they would make it easy to fix this thing because it was so easy for someone in the Bronx to waltz into Best Buy and say, “Yo, I’m Barrett Pall I want some laptops on laptops on camera equipment,” that’s what I was told “I” bought. But no. I have to go through paper work and more paper work and talking to some nice man named Adam at Citi Bank’s identity fraud center because apparently this is just super easy to do they have a whole business built on it. Makes you think, huh?

Anyways back to my penthouse apartment, yes I swear it really is on the penthouse floor. And yes, this place will be a fucking palace, I know this for fact as the two most amazing and stylish men anyone will literally ever know have graciously let me stay here. But at the moment it feels more like a crack den and I am squatting.  If you saw it, you’d get it.

Actually, in some ways it’s like real New York. I mean this place probably hasn’t been touched since the 70’s or 80’s, back when New York was “New York.”  Like when the real creatives lived in NY, and people actually squatted in these huge apartments and when rent was basically free. OH MY GOD, I’m living in RENT, but lets hope without the AIDS and death. I kid, I kid, but seriously no AIDS and no death please.

I know I will have that grand day when I look back on this and laugh. I mean I am already finding the humor in this whole scenario that is my actual present life. I am literally laughing now by myself, but I look forward to the day when it is that different kind of laugh. The laugh that says you were young and exploring and figuring out stuff even though you thought you already had. The kind of laugh that says look where we’ve come kid.  The kind of laugh that says, “It’s finally all ok.”

Anyways, the more I write the more I realize the charm in the apartment I call home for the next month, or less depending on when I find that gem apartment. I know this isn’t home, and I know this is just temporary as are these feelings of lost, craziness and despair.

I am truly beyond grateful for those who have been so giving and helping as it reminds me of the family I’ve created around me full of really good people. I mean I am warm, inside, alone with running water, heat and a working stove and fridge. I am “homeless” but not without home all because I have had the privilege of meeting wonderful generous people.

Maybe this apartment is exactly where I need to be right now. In a throwback to the artsy true New York City. A time long ago when the essence was real and gritty, not rich and so demanding. I needed to center myself and just be with myself. Its like the kind of place you dream of finding in NY. I mean it has a fucking fireplace that works, like 20-foot ceilings and an open floor plan.

Maybe the apartment is the ultimate metaphor for myself? That diamond in the rough. Yes, the floors need to be redone badly, the pipes are backed up, the kitchen needs to be gutted, as does the bathroom. There are “friends” that come to join your showers, a window is broken, and its not been touched since 1977. Fresh paint and a rug are definitely not the answers here. But its charming when you really get to know it. Amazing location. Amazing potential. Amazing bones. Not a total piece of shit, but also not move in ready. Looks amazing from the street, but when you walk in its definitely rough around the edges. It’s just screaming for someone to breathe new life into it. Or rather a little love. Some time. Some patience. And some settling.

I cannot believe I didn’t see it before, but it seems so obvious now. I am the apartment. The apartment is me. I just need a little love. And while I keep searching for it externally, it looks like I ultimately need to be with me and find my self-love. No not that kind you perve. And who are you kidding, I found that at 12.

So now I take in the little things. The howling of the wind. The clicking of my keyboard. The incandescence of vanilla candles as they spread a happier scent. The peace one can find by being alone. The hidden beauty in an apartment unknown.

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Posted on January 31, 2014 .