I'll Wear Any Color As Long As It's Black

0 7 / 2 8 / 1 0

Posted in / / / by Jeralyn on July 28, 2010


There’s never enough time when I visit my friends . . . but still, there was no way I could miss Massimo’s birthday party — I don’t think I’ve missed a single one in the eight years we’ve been friends. Sometimes I can’t believe how young we were back then. I was looking at some old photos (will try to scan/upload later) and I was completely shocked at how seriously childish we look. We have such babyfaces . . . maybe it’s just an outward projection of my inner contemplation on our lost innocence or whatever, or maybe it’s just because so much has happened and our styles have changed so much in the almost-decade we’ve been friends . . . either way, it makes me feel old to remember being so young.

Sometimes I wonder if I knew I would leave New York before I even went there because of my obsession with Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion. I know I quote her all of the time, in my mind, on this blog, to my friends — but the essay “Goodbye To All That” has always resonated with me. I just never knew how shockingly similar my own story would seem next to it.

I would stay in New York, I told him, just six months, and I could see the Brooklyn Bridge from my window. As it turned out the bridge was the Triborough, and I stayed eight years.

In retrospect it seems to me that those days before I knew the names of all the bridges were happier than the ones that came later, but perhaps you will see that as we go along. Part of what I want to tell you is what it is like to be young in New York, how six months can become eight years with the deceptive ease of a film dissolve, for that is how those years appear to me now, in a long sequence of sentimental dissolves and old-fashioned trick shots—the Seagram Building fountains dissolve into snowflakes, I enter a revolving door at twenty and come out a good deal older, and on a different street. But most particularly I want to explain to you, and in the process perhaps to myself, why I no longer live in New York. It is often said that New York is a city for only the very rich and the very poor. It is less often said that New York is also, at least for those of us who came there from somewhere else, a city only for the very young.

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