Thursday, September 27, 2007

Manhattan malaise

My old boss and I used to discuss a condition we called Manhattan malaise: that sense when everything to do in the city, all the shows and events and restaurants and people and possibilities, seems completely boring and stupid. You just feel like the whole city is in rerun and there's nothing remotely interesting or appealing about any of it, and the only thing that grabs your attention is the idea of commandeering one of the ferries to New Jersey in order to get off this craphole of an island, so you start thinking about if it takes any special skills to drive a boat and if there are enough inland waterways to get you where you're trying to go.

I have basically been battling Manhattan malaise for a couple solid weeks now, and have been feeling sort of depressed about things in general. That's partly why there's been a scarcity of posts up here. I don't know why I've been down lately; I think school is really boring me right now, and I feel like each day I'm lurching out of bed to perform tasks and jump through hoops that I would really rather leave unperformed and unjumped. I don't like spending my days waiting for the evenings, when I get to be with L and see friends and watch tv and perhaps even drink. I've caught myself being really irritable and cranky, cutting people off on the sidewalk, mentally cursing out strangers for the smallest and most unintentional infraction, and I don't want to hold on to this anger. It's like an ingrown nail or something, this sense of frustration that is directed inward, where it just digs at me and makes me crazy, and I can't find a damn outlet for it. I have been pounding the streets running, I have been at the gym three days a week as well, but I can't sweat it out either. I don't know. This Manhattan malaise, as I charitably call it in this case, is maybe part of my Piscean character. I don't know.

All that to say, tonight I have had a really pleasant night, and tonight was the first classic Thursday evening of the year, and I couldn't be more thankful. Let me tell you how to spend it: you go to the gym for a hell of a long time -- two and a half hours -- for an awesome set of classes and a surprising amount of decent socialization. On the way back, sweaty and content with pounding dance tracks ringing in your ears, go to Chipotle and find that the thugged out guy behind the counter gives you a free burrito, because you've become friends with him. Return home, burrito in hand, to settle in for a night of the best TV ever. Think fondly of your good buddy James, who used to enjoy these Thursday nights with you. In his honor, make sure you and your wife pronounce the names of the "Survivor" contestants in a funny accent as the opening credits roll. Then watch "The Office" and laugh like a fool and think about why this show is so damn good.

I'm really trying to pull myself out of my funk or malaise or depression, and nights like this really help. My life is still so ridiculously blessed and fortunate; there are so many great people I love and see and miss; the city is still unfolding itself to me. I always try to remember to be grateful, and at times it can be hard, but the beauty of things is undeniable.


Sarah Shingler said...

You know... if you ever want to get off the island.. forget Jersey.. why not try Brooklyn instead :)Guaranteed to charm, relax, and entertain. Plus the view from the Brooklyn Heights on the promenade is spectacular, particularly at night. Just puttin' it out there.

Kim said...

I would be willing to wager that much of your malaise comes from a wicked case of senioritis, which I am suffering from as well.

What do you think of the new crop of survivors? I think they're all pretty lame so far.