Another Easter Sunday

I'm sitting on the couch nursing a sore throat as my bare feet rest on the coffee table next to a pile of used teabags and my fingers traverse the World Wide Web in search of an inspirational quote iPhone case. Celeste and Jesse Forever, which Bevan DVRed on STARZ last night, is playing in the background.

In the movie there's a scene in which a wayward pop star character who's supposed to represent Britney Spears or Ke$ha or someone of the like has a drunken breakdown over a boy she'd been dating and begins to cry and drapes herself around the representative from her management company in a needy hug and says, "I'm just so sad and tired." And right now I get her. I get that Ke$ha stand-in.

Easter's a tough holiday for me. I know a lot of people consider it a happy day on account of the Jesus rising from the dead thing, but it mostly just makes me think about my Aunt Jean who died from Leukemia when I was in college. I'm not sure if she preferred Easter over any of the other holidays but she dressed in pastel colors and wore hats and big earrings year-round so I always assumed she was a fan. Anyway, on the first Easter after she died I spent the weekend in my bed in my college dorm room on Water Street feeling lonely and reading Jodi Picoult's My Sister's Keeper which is about a teenage girl with Leukemia. The book is beautifully written but has a soul-crushing twist ending that took me completely by surprise and I remember bursting into tears when I'd finished and calling my parents and feeling embarrassed for having to do so.

Today, on account of what's happening with my mom, things feel a lot like that day in New York City almost a decade ago except that now I'm much further from home and a twist ending seems unlikely. So as my iPhone continues to buzz with "Happy Easter!" text messages from my friends and family members, I'm tempted to reply "Is it though?"

Psychosis

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy exaggeration as much as the next guy—probably more, actually, but the subsequent tale is by no measure embellished. The contents of the following paragraphs are absolutely true and happened to me.

'How boring could a play with 'psycho' in the title possibly be?' I thought, considering "4.48 Psychosis," the name of this week's assigned show for my Drama in Performance class. "I mean, come on, the word 'psychosis' is rooted from the word 'psycho,' one of the ten most exciting terms in the English language."

Well, as it turns out, boring doesn't begin to describe how FUCKING HORRIBLY, WANT TO PULL MY HAIR OUT, SLIT MY THROAT and BURN MYSELF TO DEATH WITH LIT CIGARETTES, MIND-NUMBINGLY RANCID the "4.48" Psychosis experience was.

Let me count the ways in which "4.48 Psychosis" made me want to stab myself to death over and over again with a dull crayon:

One…

…the theatre provided me with two Everest-certified Sherpas and a three-day supply of oxygen for the mountainous ascension to my seat in the balcony.

Two…

…the American Red Cross fed the world's entire mosquito population, twice, with the collective nose-blood spilled following the sudden rise in elevation.

Three…

…the seats were essentially cheap Frisbees with two arms on each side and a vertebra-crushing back support that sat at an exact right angle.

Four…

…the play was completely IN FRENCH!

4.1…

…I DON'T FUCKING SPEAK FRENCH!

Five…

…the play's only character never varied the volume of her voice.

Six…

…the aforementioned character also never moved, not one single time, for two straight hours.

Seven...

…people were laughing, which means they A) understood French or B) were enjoying themselves.

Eight…

…the select few English subtitles rarely ended in punctuation, a fucking mortal sin in the eyes of an English Major.

8b…

…the unpunctuated subtitles contained phrases such as "I was caught in a web, spun by a doctor."

8c…

…there was actually no period after the word 'doctor' in the previously addressed subtitle.

Nine…

…half of my class left within twenty minutes of the play's commencement, but not I. Because I am a spineless bitch, I stayed in concern of being marked down by the professor.

Ten…

…the standing ovation lasted for eight minutes, although half of the crowd left an hour previous.

Ten and a half…

…THERE WAS A STANDING OVATION!

Eleven…

…come Monday, the students in the class who consider themselves intelligent and deep will pretend they could 'really relate' to the meaning of the production.

Although I could continue listing, I will not. But I do want to express the lone bright spot in an evening of eternal darkness.

From behind me, midway through the production, came a hand. The hand's index finger was pointed straight toward the actress on stage and its thumb was cocked back, ready to fire. The hand stayed this way for a noticeably long time.

Following the performance, I asked the person behind me what he was doing. His reply made my night:

"I kept wondering if I shot this bitch, would she finally vary the volume of her voice?"

END SCENE…

In a New York State of Mind

Never have I seen New York this collectively pleased, this awed, this…human.

As we approached the Promenade, Danielle and I, car alarms blaring, dogs sounding, neighbors audibly questioning the noise, we finally saw what beckoned us from our Sunday night routine. There, high up in the dark October sky, a boisterous series of reds, greens, whites and blues shook the hardness from this city’s armored shell, revealing, for the first time since I’ve been here, a heart. The most amazing fireworks display I’ve ever seen unfurled from a barge centered on the East River, the fireworks reflecting colorfully off the windows of mammoth Manhattan skyscrapers. We stood among a hundred of our Brooklyn Heights neighbors, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, watching the beauty unfold with each skyward shot of light and sound. I, in my bare feet and cutoff t-shirt, Danielle in her pajamas, stood and gazed with the people of New York City as a tradition typically saved for the Fourth of July pushed summer back up into the night sky if only for a moment. We held on tightly to each second, our breathless sighs rooting desperately for a big city in need of small victories. The end of a brilliant finale, worthy only of New York City, brought October crashing back down, and with it, reality.

And we applauded…

Brooklyn

Today I went shopping at some local stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.) for some type of furniture with drawers so that all of my things didn't have to sit out in my bedroom/living room. Needless to say, I found nothing in my price range and really nothing that I had in mind.

On my way back to my apartment, illuminated by the light of the gods, was an amazingly warn, slightly broken, completely free and somewhat usable filing cabinet. I didn't want to steal this treasure, so I sat on the stoop in front of the apartment nearest the cabinet and waited for the owner to return from work. Come to find out, there were several people living in the apartment (considering it was an apartment building), and, of the few people I saw, no one seemed to own the damn cabinet. Finally, a woman walked up to the door and, while she fussed with her keys, I stopped her.

"Uh, ma'am. Uh, umm, is this yours?" I asked meekly, pointing to the discarded piece of furniture.

"Dude, it's sitting on the sidewalk," she said.

I stared at her nervously, waiting for her to continue. Nothing. Then, noticing the puzzled look on my face, she decided to clarify her point.

"IT'S MOTHER FUCKING BROOKLYN, MAN, just take it," she finally blurted.

And I did.

Mother fucking Brooklyn, indeed…