The Best Thing about City Life

I find myself blocking out so much of city life by rote, because locking eyes with a pigeon on the ramp above me is not my idea of a pleasant walk to work. So I look ahead, and focus focus focus on getting to my destination---fast. Because for an introvert like me, noticing it all is exhausting. I walk fast. I do the Jersey swerve in foot traffic. And I sigh loudly when there is someone oblivious blocking the subway steps.

The swell of detail around me is both constant fodder and joy but also looks like a big paint gun war when I get home and see only the blotches of memories in my head. Random things stick, like splatters of teal paint in the subway, the little boy picking bandaids off the floor, the elderly man whose coffee is about to spill at the lurching stop at Delancey, and the girl with purple hair who takes off her hood to help.

Do you know what the best thing about city life is?


How luxurious it is to stay home. One of the great things about being in a constantly-stimulating place is that being home is a treat. Suddenly, I realize that I love ironing. I dream about coming home to wash the shower. When there is only one thing before me, like opening the windows and watering the flowers, I can see it clearly.

I read this book recently, and it made me feel slightly more sane. She explains that introverts are often very sensitive and notice everything. This is tiring. So it's ok to stay in, not to go to that event. This is so refreshing for me, and the city sets this all in relief even more.

Tonight, I wish for you a night at home. The lights are dim in Brooklyn and the sidewalks smell of rain.

p.s. Three things I love at home:
Anta pillows from the Scottish Highlands.
Soapnuts. I know you won't believe it, but they really work. Even our jeans and towels come out soft and supple.
This book I'm reading right now.