I’ve been having trouble sleeping. That is to say, I’ve been sleeping too much.
Every damn day, 10-hour nightmarathons - followed by drowsy, half-assed afternoons and late, fruitless evenings.
When I close my eyes, the pictures get clearer, the edges sharpen. I keep remembering new details, when I’d rather forget.
There are always the skeletal bystanders - ominous - stretching their ossified fingers forward from the lead-lined recesses of my mind. Them and their L.L Beans and torn Patagonia gear. Ergonomic baby bjorns slinging from bare cervical spines. And the scattered, dislodged booties. Dear god, the booties. Almost as sad as the empty cat carriers.
I haven’t had time to pursue my investigation. The near apocalyptic weather has kept me, for the most part, inside - thinking. When I do go out, it’s usually to the city for provisions. And frankly, there, I’m overwhelmed with suspicious behavior. But, then, it’s what you’d expect.
It’s here, in the quiet, park-lined, latte-stained streets of the pseudo suburbs where the real shit’s gonna go down. And, when it does, I’m not sure there’ll be a thing I can do to stop it.
I’m feeling a bit stir-crazy. Maybe I can tackle the steadily growing blob of laundry in the corner by the bed.
Back in Bushwick, I would drop off my black and blue cotton tees at this local dive, where the bundles I’d pick up were often light a few shirts. Once in a while, I’d find a strange dish towel buried somewhere amongst my actual possessions. Compensation, I suppose.
Here, there’s a machine in the basement, so I can adjust the settings and detergent levels to my liking, then go upstairs to force-feed my brain reruns of “Tailgate Warriors with Guy Fieri”, and never lose a sock.
Goddamn it. It’s all too convenient. I can’t stand it.
I’m standing at a threshold, two narrow hallways stretching out before me, darkness at my back.
Stepping towards the left, I feel the walls to the right sighing. I walk through and try to see, but nothing is in focus. Myopia clouding my brain and better judgments, I feel my way deeper into the unknown corridor.
Familiar odors waft through the air, inflating my nostrils, whispering directions to my olfactory bulb. Microwaved popcorn, bargain scented candles and rotting egg on a skillet, a sickening yet inviting fusion.
I move closer, beckoned by the promise of quinoa and blackberries in the fridge. I feel for a light switch and open my eyes. I’ve been here before. It’s a kitchen. My kitchen. Desaturated. Older. Deserted.
I meander backwards as the lights flicker and fade. Only the one hallway now - shorter too. I approach the common area, hoping for signs of life. No luck - only a quarter inch of dust blanketing the furniture, like new December snow. I step inside; asbestos coats my face.
Choking, coughing, I try to scream. The muffled vibrations tear a hole into the south-facing wall. Window glass shatters, lingers then falls - onto what I hope are innocent pedestrians. A nagging gut feeling tells me it’s just not so.
I find myself peaking out through the breach. Below are only skeletons, frozen mid-stride, some embracing, others crouching.
In the distance, I hear a siren and chilling applause. “It’s over now, isn’t it?” I utter compulsively. “Yes,” the girl in the glass replies. I pick up a small fragment of the broken window, my distorted reflection grins back at me.
I wake up.
Hypnotized, poisoned, drugged. How else could I neglect such a momentous occasion? My first Park Slope anniversary has come and gone. It has now been a year, plus a month, plus 4 days, and several minutes, since I packed my boxes of dishes, books and grudges and made my way from Hipster Central to Yuppie Ville.
So busy, was I, gorging on good food, great beer, and okay chocolate, that I’ve let my life’s mission fall by the wayside! To uncover corruption wherever I find it! I’ve been blinded by the shiny specialty shops, the multitude of train options, not to mention a Target store less than a half mile from my doorstep, (with a Trader Joe’s just a quick bus ride away. Amazing!)
NO, this isn’t the life, nor are these the words, of a world-class investigator/journalist, but one of an average Brooklynite, one content with life - scum, that is.
Now I sit here, desperately recalling interactions and outings in the hopes that I can scrounge up a coherent conspiracy, and discredit “them” all. From this point forward, I promise to focus, to fight, to expose the seedy (yet well-toned) underbelly of this pilates-obsessed city-state. For better or for worse. So help us, nobody.
Today, I move.
The world conspires against me as usual. Snow. Lots of snow. The day after the first big, and probably biggest, storm of the season, and I await the van guy in my Bushwick condo prison. Anything and everything pertaining to me, anything warm, trustworthy, comforting, taped up in boxes of all different sizes. I feverishly throw remaining scraps into bags and leftover containers. I, of course, procrastinated.
The van guy arrives, his minion in tow. They start to work on my remains, loading everything I own into their vehicle. I’m left to ponder my mistakes. Sure, perhaps I should’ve stayed a half year more with my parents, suffered through a summer under their oppressive hands, saved myself the $5k debt, multiple attempted break-ins and the loss of my beloved word machine. Oh well. Time to move on. I have now this tiny, little netbook as substitute, and the comfort that all that is lost is sooner or later forgotten.
Let’s see, what else can I take with me? Olive oil? All right. Any weapons? No? Too bad. Thankfully, where I’m going, I won’t be needing any. Or so I hope.