Monday, January 07, 2008

Off to a Good Start

Last Fall I felt like maybe I was spending just a teensy bit too much time by myself.  There were a number of reasons for this (one being I felt like my brain was turning to oatmeal), but a big one was talking to myself.  Oh, I don't think it's a problem, really.  I talk to myself when I'm alone all the time.  The problem is I was getting caught talking to myself in public.  A lot.  After a while, when I noticed someone looking at me like he thought he needed to drop a net on me, I began putting a hand up to my ear, and tilting my head, so it looked like I was talking on the phone.  This works surprisingly well, but I thought the the fact that I had a contingency plan for when I got caught talking to myself was a bad sign. (When one is in mid-town, an alternative plan is to act like one is running a monologue before an audition; yes, I have a back-up contingency plan.)  

As the Fall progressed, I began seeing more of friends, and, even better, having more events here in the apartment.  So far though, 2008 has broken all records for socializing in the apartment, and I'm thrilled.  I'm hoping that if I get to talk to friends more often, I'll be less likely to walk around in public like I'm in the middle of my living room.  In One week there has already been three social gatherings here; New Year's Eve has already been reported on, then Melissa and I invited Charles over on the 1st to help us with leftovers.  He was great company as always, but did NOT pull his weight in the getting-rid-of-leftovers department, being all concerned with eating sensibly and other such nonsense.  He's 6'5", built like a lumberjack, and he let himself be out-eaten by a pair of marmots.   Hm.  There may be a reason he's built like a lumberjack.  Charles, do you feel objectified?  Tough shit.   

Moving on... the third gathering was last night when I hosted my informal arts support group,
known as the Exploding Yurts.  Don't ask, I'm sure any story you come with up will be far funnier than the original.  Once again I got to trot out my new bowls and plates, as well as using the other ceramics and linens that really ought to get out more.  I'm perfectly happy to use nice stuff when it's just me (see above), make a celebration out of every moment yada yada yada, but that still only cracks out a few things at a time.  There were only four of us last night, but I still got to go apeshit with placemats, serving bowls, cloth napkins, plates, cups and other random gew-gaws.  (Is 'random gew-gaw' redundant?  Is a gew-gaw ever NOT random?)  I've used up all my votive candles, which feels like a victory somehow, since I've had them sitting around for five years or more.  Ya just gotta remember to use them.  

I'm hoping this is a new pattern.  I guess I could do more than hope, it's not like I'm a passive participant in all this.  I can make a point of inviting people over, right?  I seem to forget that. I think this apartment calls people in more at this time of year; every January has been more social than almost any other time of year.  The streets are quiet and the place gets cozy, sitting on the top floor with all the windows, even the ones on the courtyard, getting a fair bit of light.  As the weather heats up, I start looking around for ways to be somewhere cooler for the Summer.  I do not deal with heat well.  Unless I can be submerged in water any time I want, I would happily avoid temperatures over 75 F.  When I haven't managed to find work out of the city, I spend most of the time in my place panting in front of my air conditioner.  It's a small one, and I don't want to share.  I definitely don't want to cook.  Even eating is fairly unappealing, frankly.  Come Summer, most of my socializing happens in air conditioned public spaces, if it happens at all.  

So, I make a mental note; this is the time of year when I love the city most, when it and I get along best.  Make the most of it.  Have lots of parties.  


Jess said...

We have good air conditioning, in case you want to visit this summer. In the meantime, post a photo of Charles. :)

somewhere joe said...

Back-up contingency plans are part of the texture of life in Man. Layers, subtexts. Complicated spheres and chess moves. You get into it. Energy. You can surf that crest for decades. New York is incomparable.

The city is a beast in the summer. I like beasts. The Village piers in August. Or the Hamptons. Quogue Island. Cherry Grove. New York and Florida is all I want.

Java said...

somewhere joe, you live in south Florida. It is always summer there. Hot summer and hotter summer.

Patrick, that sounds like exactly what I would do if I lived in the city. I live in a small South Carolina city and I do some of that stuff. Like talk to myself. And I can tell, for me anyway, when it's a healthy thing and when it's beyond healthy. Talking to the racks of skirts at Wal-Mart today wasn't the healthy kind. Complaining about the high temps today while I was on the bus, that was perfectly fine. But I don't have any contingency plans. WYSIWYG.

somewhere joe said...

What? It's never been 100 degrees here. Summers are more tolerable than in NY. It's been in the sixties for weeks.

john said...

Happy New Year Patrick (I know it's a bit late...but I've been missing from blog land for awhile).

Cooper said...

So endearing.

I talk to trees. I talk to my truck. I talk to various objects I own. I give things names that most people never name. (Do you have a name for your best mixing bowl?) I rest my case. :)

Like Joe said so beautifully ... textured layers. I love that.

I am sooooo with you about the heat thing! I think I have written before that I am a winter person ... an autumn baby ... a spring soul. Summer, unless immersed in or near water, makes me feel listless. (Who could ever feel listness near Joe, though, eh? )

Patrick said...

Jess: I knew I would be opening a can of worms with my comment about Charles. I doubt he'd be willing to pose for the kind of picture you have in mind. I might be able to talk him into wearing a superhero costume; he's definitely a superhero. Thanks for the invitation; I would imagine it's also just cooler out on the Giland anyway, yes?

Joe: I too like beasts, it just seems most of mine tend to be Polar. Well, no, I love Summers as long as I'm not locked in my fifth floor walk-up hot box with the tar roof in Harlem. And even then, it's mostly just a few weeks out of the year. In general though, I feel like Summers are meant to be lived outdoors among trees, water, grass and/or beaches. Cement jungles make me crazy. It doesn't get up in the 100s where you are? That is a plus. I worked briefly in St. Petersburg on a theatre that was also a river barge. I was there for the month of March, and we started rehearsing later and later in the day, finally moving it to the middle of the night, so we didn't have to be outside in the worst heat of the day. Is St. Petersburg substantially hotter than where you are?

Java: I agree, there is good talking to oneself, and the not so good. Remember, I live in NYC, so if people are looking at ME funny, then I really have to be acting wacko. That's why I do the fake ear-piece phone thing.

Happy New Year John, good to have you back.

Cooper: Oh, I animate everything, my houseplants, my tools, my paintbrushes. I've named my computer. My family members all name their cars (I've yet to own one). I don't see this in the same vein as talking to myself at all, though others might argue it's further evidence that not all my dogs are barking. I think whenever I find myself repeating conversations out loud that have already happened, that I get a little worried. It's one thing to rehearse a potential conversation; it's also fine to revisit and revise an old conversation. But simply to repeat, unchanged, a past encounter? I think that's a little weird. Maybe my brain is recording things so I can write about them later. Yeah, let's say that.

somewhere joe said...

It doesn't get into the 100s anywhere in Florida. I was curious so I just looked it up... the highest temeperature ever recorded was 109 in 1931. The average high in the month of August at Miami Beach from 1948 - 2007 is 87.9. Here in the southwest it's sunny, 76, 50% humidity, low tonight 59. T-shirt weather at last. I was starting to miss it. You get that way after a while. I like summer here too, deserted and otherworldly, relentless though it can be. It's an acquired taste. It's not for everybody, though, I get that...