It’s been a while since I’ve been out, really out in New York. I’d forgotten how it is. It’s always the same, in that it’s different every time. I forgot how the money disappears from your wallet. I forgot how many other people are out at any given time, but especially on a Friday night, and how acute and complicated is the quiet hum of their own private pain. I forgot what it’s like to ride the subway, a glass or two of wine in you from dinner, hair wet, clothes clean, at almost eleven, and know you aren’t late at all. I forgot what it’s like to emerge in Manhattan and stride across the pavement, all alone, moving fast, boots banging on the sidewalk, looking at everyone with naked aggression. No one calls on Friday night, because everyone has already called. While you’re on the way, the phone is mercifully quiet, everyone is already committed to his or her orbit by centripetal force, you are already expected, everything (including you) is in motion, and you are not even so much you as a part of the night about to fall into place.

And then you do, you arrive, you drink, you dance, you inadvertently offend, you squint at yourself in the bathroom mirror. Drugs are exchanged in the bathroom, good drugs, and for a while everyone is happy, and the future is bright.

I forgot how witty everyone is in New York, or maybe it’s just my friends and the friends of my friends, how I can’t even keep up. Everyone is so vast, so complete, so incomplete. You get the feeling that we are all being a lot more honest than we are willing to admit, and wonder if you’re just high.

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