Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Skin Shedder

As I was taking the train home last night, it suddenly struck me how completely life has changed in the last few weeks . I thought about my car for a second, and the searing, shocking thought "You don't have a car anymore," hit me profoundly. I saw my old car's comforting beige interior for a second (my car's name was Sara) and felt this awful sense of distance and loss.

I felt suddenly very disconnected. I have shed that old skin and I am now a person who takes trains places. I have read the entire New Yorker magazine three weeks in a row (it is easier to read magazines on the train). In my previous life in LA I read one New Yorker magazine cover to cover, once, and it took WEEKS. Now, my co-worker made some comment about Wolfowitz at the World Bank and I had all this intelligent stuff to say because there was a New Yorker article about it last week. In my previous life, I would have thought dully, "Oh, is Wolfowitz at the World bank now? Did I know that?" and made some sort of vague response to her remarks. Today I rattled on, New Yorker-informed, about the similarities between his and Robert McNamara's administrations and I thought for a second, "is this me talking?" I am waiting for someone to ask about Chinese political prisoners based on this week's issue. That will be astonishing if I start rattling off an opinion about that!

I am much less raw vegan now than I was in LA. Partly because my kitchen is not set up yet. Partly because I am lazy. Partly because I need a little more comfort to ease the transition. I have taken to getting Starbucks frequently. In the last four years in LA, I have not had anything but hot tea at Starbucks. Since moving here, I have lost count of the decaf lattes with soy and chais with soy. I am almost a different person. I am a familiar person, because this life harks back to my college years, spent in Chicago. But different. I take stairs without complaining. Getting me to walk up a flight of stairs in LA was impossible.

Yesterday, my friend Kay and I passed on the street in our neighborhood. She was getting her laundry and I was getting produce at one of the stalls. We said hello, confirmed that we were going to the theater tonight to see Dying City (I had forgot!-- I am still a space cadet half the time, some things don't change) and then we went our separate ways. I used to be joined at the hip with Kay when I visited NY. She hosted me and took around everywhere. Now my life here is separate from hers. That feels odd somehow.

The comic book store here has some sort of reward program where they give you $20 in free spending for every $100 you spend. They told me yesterday that I am already up to $50 spent. I think I went to the comic bookstore once every four months in LA.

I think I am changing into something better in some ways. Something a bit more alert, informed, and interested in life. Some of the insulated feeling you get driving around in LA has fallen away from me now. I am waiting to see what I become now-- like a catepillar or tadpole. It is a curious and disconnected feeling.

Didn't feel like working on the one act last night. Definitely have to change the title, I think. Was joking around with Robert on yesterday's post, and now I can't get "Days of Never Going to Get Produced" out of my head. Inauspicious.

Work has picked up a notch today and I actually have things to do. Bummer. You mean they actually want something in exchange for the big raise and chance to live in NY? The nerve. Later.

2 comments:

Jack's Shack said...

I don't know if I could ever get used to not having a car. After so many years in LA it is ingrained.

Johnna Adams said...

I am surprised at how well I am managing. It is like discovering gills or some strange new anatomical feature, this ability to function with no car. It is a talent I did not think I possessed.