Jaysus. It’s been 6 months since I moved over to the states. Months are starting to blend into each other fairly quickly now and time slows down for nobody, especially in bloody New York city where everybody is in a rush. In two months time I will be relaxing in Cork city bai; feet up watching reruns of Friends with a lovely cup of proper tea; as opposed to sitting behind a desk not doing much watching reruns of Game of Thrones on my phone. The two countries are truly worlds apart.
I haven’t actually done much by Irish people standards since I’ve got here. I’ve worked and I’ve drank. Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying myself but the shifts I work don’t allow me to do much else. Weekends and nights restrict your opportunities for travel. Hopefully I’ll get my weekends back and be able to jet off to friends from college all around America. San Francisco and Minnesota top the list because of friends living there but I also want to see more of New York city and places like Boston, Washington and Connecticut. So let me tell you what to expect of New York if you stumble across this blog in a few years time because I clearly know everything after six months.
This city is tiring. It’ll chew you up and spit you out. I couldn’t recommend living here more, but be prepared for days off that you planned a sightseeing tour of the city or preparing for a night out with friends to end in you not being able to budge from the couch. My job isn’t hard; I’m a security presence that hands out packages and takes shit from wealthy residents; but working so much and taking into account the time it takes to get home on a somewhat unreliable subway service, it wouldn’t be long before you’re cursing the very thought of the city and of work. Rush hour subways in Grand Central are special type of hell. More often than not you’ll be almost nose to nose with someone in as foul a mood as you are.
No matter how generous and humanitarian you may think you are, you will also get sick of the sheer amount of homeless people in this city and on the train. In relation to this, if you catch someone staring at you, determine whether you could take them in a fight and continue to stare at the ground until your stop or that person gets off. Chance a look every now and then to see if they’re still interested in what the top of your scalp looks like. There is literally no point in staring back at them as they take it as the invitation they never received to freak the shit out of you. I made the mistake of looking at a rotund Asian man on the 4 train home one morning and he proceeded to stare into my soul. I couldn’t look away. I fell in love that day. I never saw him again. But that’s just one of the dangers of the subway.
Invest in a good pair of earphones or if you prefer, bring a book. You don’t even have to read it, just look at it until you get to your stop.
I live in Woodlawn in the Bronx. The part that I live in is a predominantly Irish area. Prepare for some Irish people you meet that are living in different parts of the city and the state to scoff at the idea of moving from Ireland to an Irish village situated in the Bronx. They will take their monocle out to get in a good, proper laugh at the nice area, cheaper rent and great social opportunities. Prepare for a lot of the people you meet living in Woodlawn to profess their hatred for the place and how it sucks you away from the real experience of New York. Prepare to see the same people out drinking in Woodlawn and having the time of their lives. Revel in the fact that you are not experiencing noise pollution like that of the city or the boroughs closer to the city like Queens and Brooklyn. Cry the next day when you have to leave for work at least an hour and 15 minutes in advance because you’re so far away from Manhattan. Soak it all in and enjoy it. Ride the gnarly wave of the hangover and force the fear back down into the blackness of your soul from whence it came.
I’m sorry about the way this post is laid out and paragraphed. I’ll set a plan for tomorrow’s post. If anyone reads this and if, by a slight chance it affects you in even the slightest way and even if it doesn’t and you made it this far just take one thing home with you from this long-winded post of me complaining: accept that you’re tired, make your peace with it and prepare to be tired all over again. I’m still young but a big part of growing and maturing is admitting to yourself and anyone within earshot that you’re a.) wrecked b.) work was some balls today c.) work will be a balls tomorrow, and finally d.) nobody likes their job and if they do they’re either lying or they are new and haven’t found out everyone can be a dickhead for no reason. Or at least that you think everyone’s a dickhead on this given day. Opportunity is plenty here but don’t expect it to be easy. Especially if you’re burning the candle at both ends by working six days a week and drinking for four of those nights. That’s definitely not me by the way. I don’t have a problem, fuck you!
Choose to work. Choose to go out too much. Choose that last shot of tequila that you know will set you over the edge. Choose the cigarette that makes you twice as drunk, especially since it’s the first air you’ve gotten in hours. Choose to work that extra day even though you’ve been complaining about lack of days off for weeks now. Choose the dodgy hot-dog from the dirty cart on 25th street because you’re hungry, broke and you just don’t care. Choose loving that hot-dog. Choose bonding with fellow Irish and other immigrants over how the city is too busy and realising you miss the people from home and not so much the place. Choose blogwriting as a suitable medium for your thoughts and pent up anger towards everything. Choose stealing directly from Trainspotting, which is a fine film. Choose New York City. Choose Life.