Let’s Live in Brooklyn
My boyfriend has a lot of really cool friends in Brooklyn. Their parents are rich in Jersey, so they can afford to be cool in Brooklyn. They have pitbulls, and gardens, and banjos, and dreams of singing barbershop on subway trains together. When my boyfriend is on a break from tour life, he likes to spend the day with these interesting fellows. Drink beers, pick basil, and meet graffiti artists who strut through the borough like the Mayors of Alt-Earth-Punk-Town or something! It’s an absolute man camp out there.
Cue me, the 70 year old trapped in a twenty-something’s body, returning from a 14 hour day consisting of horribly adult pastimes: chiropractor, talkback to theatre investors, two shows, and a voice lesson in between. My disarmingly laid-back boyfriend greets me with, “Babe…we should move to Brooklyn and have a garden.”
I know it is an innocent daydream, and yes, I am jealous that he is cool. And YES I took on all of this responsibility myself, but seriously… who are you, my audience or my therapist? Despite my current clarity about the conversation, I had imbibed a couple of drinks in the moment, so I decided to be a dutiful girlfriend and burst his bubble. “Really? We can barely take care of our own one-bedroom apartment. You know you have to pick and prune any herbs you grow, not to mention clean and eat said herbs so they don’t DIE, right? We have had a bag of pre-washed kale in our fridge for two weeks that apparently we BOTH refuse to cook! It has been a freaking kale standoff in this place, and you want to add a garden?! We have a stick that was once an orchid, for Pete’s sake.* I only make my coffee to go. I have NEVER had coffee in our home, so I will never sit and drink coffee in a garden. Oh, OH! AND you want to add an extra 30 minutes onto our commute, too???
I’m not actually mad that he fantasizes about Brooklyn, and I am fluent enough in psycho-babble to know that my being upset has nothing to do with his Brooklyn dreams. Afterall, I have an extensive Home Decor Pinterest account myself, and I don’t even have enough rooms for my shoes, let alone fountains and shit. Still, I find myself teaching my sweet man the harsh realities of New York life because he has been away so much of the time I have been living here. I mean, he is having to re-learn the subways, a task I find both charming and upsetting, a reminder of how much time I have spent alone traversing this city. So, yes, I have a “duty” to burst his bubble and catch him up! I want him to know where home is, and know why it is awesome, and know why it can be hard, and know that it is better here, with me, than anywhere else in this city. An out and out LIE, of course. There are much cooler people and places in New York. And because I know this, I will buy him a freaking basil plant from Trader Joe’s, and take day trips to Williamsburg. I’m not too proud to admit that neither one of us knows the trains in Brooklyn, but I don’t mind. We can get lost together.
*Yes, I did say “for Pete’s sake.” I told you: 70 year old in a twenty-something’s body.