Monday, July 27, 2009

I Heart You, NY (well, most of the time)

I just spent the smartest $125 of my life on a window air conditioning unit.

Open summer windows allow some to lull themselves to sleep to the buzz of cicadas, the sound of ocean waves breaking on sand, or the next-door neighbor’s yapping dog.

Instead, as I peel off my sweaty restaurant uniform (whoever mandated black pants in July is a sadist) after a ten hour workday and bus ride home, the sweet sound of vomiting drifts towards my ears. By “sweet”, I mean it sounds like this girl drank about a gallon of Smirnoff Ice and is now suffering from the drunken, splattering sort of retching. Hitting-the-concrete-and-bouncing-back-up-kind-of-retching. i.e.: Disgusting.

Something our broker failed to mention while we signed our lease: my window’s direct proximity over the garbage disposal area would result in many a jolted wake up on garbage day, as well as a smattering of projectile vomit. Oversight, indeed.

Despite the nausea, I have to admit this is also what I love about New York. Only here would I pay $1,000 in rent to hear vomiting out of my window and have a view of a toilet graveyard from my back patio. The biggest difference between the Big Apple and Anywhere, USA is that we’re all in this together. There is no privacy or personal space. On the bus ride to work I am usually sandwiched between a homeless man who apparently bathes in his own urine and woman toting a Birkin who probably bathes in Evian. We cannot retreat to our suburban cocoons of cars, malls, or privacy fences .

So I’m sleeping more soundly these days thanks to the soft hum of my window unit. But some mornings I can still hear the clink of bottles as the recyclables go out. And like a good New Yorker, I just roll over and fall right back asleep.


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