Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Contemplating my own life, zip code after zip code.

Work was exceptionally crappy today. I mean a really bad day. And I've had many of those, but today was just about as awful as it gets. I left work feeling completely deflated. I was path-less. I had nothing to do, and nowhere special to go. I wasn't particularly hungry so didn't hurry home. There was nothing special on TV tonight, except for Lost, my favorite show, but it wasn't until 10pm. I think it says something when the one thing you have to look forward to all week is a TV show. Not to say Lost isn't fabulous; it is! I get really caught up in the storyline and recently the stories have really tugged at my heartstrings, really affected the core of me. Which could mean one of two things: 1. The stories and actors in Lost are so good that anyone would feel this way. 2. My life is so crappy that I'm starting to relate to characters on TV.

I needed to shake it off. I got on a bus, at Spring Street, and decided to sit on that bus for as long as I needed to. I didn't have a plan. All I knew was that the last stop on the bus was Lincoln Center, and that was good enough and far enough for me.

So, I stared, expressionless, out of the window. Through the trendy cafes in the West Village, then Chelsea. The hideously huge poster of Elton John on Madison Square Garden. The gaudy and tacky touristy stores between 34th street and Hell's Kitchen - the type where you could buy a digital camera for $25 and it will absolutely work for two days, and not more than that. Finally reaching the beginning of the Upper West Side. The beautiful people. This is where I got off. The hour I had to myself and my thoughts completely changed everything. I started to feel like I knew myself again. I had purpose. I was getting a bath mat at Bed Bath and Beyond if it would kill me! I got a bath mat, and the doorman to the store (yes the Upper West Side BB and B has a doorman) gave me a smile as I left the store. Then, Barnes and Noble - my favorite book store. I went straight to the top floor, where they have magazines and Starbucks tables. With a cup of coffee, anyone can sit there all day flipping through magazines and books they never intend on purchasing. That's usually me, but today I happened to get Delicious Australia. Beautiful, glossy, gleaming next to the American magazines. I also got food. Because if I'm going to sit and torture myself looking at food, I might as well eat too.

Starbucks has good food now! I think I read an article about it. Serves us right! If they are intent on taking over the world with overpriced coffee, they might as well serve edible food for a change. I sat there, speed reading my Delicious, eating an overpriced asiago cheese pretzel and drinking a strawberry lemonade (more like slushy, actually). This was good, really good. I was happy.

Then, I went home. It was time to go home, after all. I started reading a book I picked up for my sister from the library -- John Leguizamo's autobiography, Pimps, HOs, Playa Hatas, and All the Rest of My Hollywood Friends. John Leguizamo is hilarious. This book is hilarious. I was laughing out loud on the subway, even though I was getting suspicious looks from my fellow travellers. Laughing out loud is big for me. I must confess that when I write 'LOL', usually I'm not. I love to laugh. Laughing is awesome. I am inward-laughing kind of girl, definitely not an LOL kind of girl. So when I LOL, well, it is good! Things had turned around. I felt good.

So when I was getting close to my stop, I was ready to go home, to face another day tomorrow. One stop before I had to get home, I overheard the woman next to me talking to her partner on the cellphone. It sounded like a classic Ilana-Rafa convo. "What do you want for dinner?", "What do you mean you didn't take the patties out?", "No, I told YOU to do it.", "Fine, I'll get something for myself." She proceeded to speed-dial a sushi restaurant (good girl!) and order ahead for a pickup. You know, I'm amazed at times at how alike all of us are. When I'm feeling low, I often think there is no one else on Earth thinking what I'm thinking. But, that's not really true, is it? We are all images of each other in a way.

I walked up the stairs from the train platform, seeing familiar surroundings I never thought I'd be familiar with. And I thought, "it is going to be OK."


Kelly-Jane said...

Your life isn't cra**y, it will be ok!


Anna's kitchen table said...

You are right, life is a cycle that keeps on spinning, sometimes we're up, other times we're down.

But it helps to know, doesn't it, that after every down, there will surely be an 'up' to keep us going.


Lisa said...

John Leguizamo is hilarious -- I'll have to check out that book. At least you have places to go besides Publix.

Shaun said...

Ilana, sweetheart - You're allowed to wallow and have a pity party for yourself. It's the only way to then truly appreciate the great moments. Life is a bore without its ups and downs, however much we despair during the tremendously tragic and sad moments in our lives.

vonsachsen said...

Ilana, I don´t really know what to say but I´m feeling all warm around my heart.I hope you´re still feeling OK and I want to thank you for this post. You just showed ME, that even others can have ups and downs...

vs xx