City Knitter

This is a rerun of a blog I wrote somewhere else in April of this year:

You know, I really hate shopping.  And crowds.  And actually, people.  I kind of hate people, too.  So you might wonder – what in the world do I find appealing about NYC?  I wonder that myself.
I spent today walking fast, trying to get places, trying to make everyone happy, knowing no one was.  It’s not like it used to be, I kept thinking.  It’s not a family-of-five kind of trip.
When the teenager was little, I used to take her into the city, just the two of us.  We lived up here, and we would go almost every weekend.  We went in for brunch to the Acme Cafe (“A Pretty Good Place to Eat”), wandered the overwhelming piles of books at The Strand, sipped coffee at Le Figaro’s Cafe – a place I learned of from a friend in a long-ago postcard.  She tagged along, not understanding that this was supposed to be my life.  I was supposed to go to college here, I planned to anyway. I was supposed to be young, hip.  Not someone’s mother, not just starting college at twenty-four.
The supposed-to-be’s were stacked up behind me like dominoes and I strained to keep them from running me over. Everywhere I went was a reminder.  I wanted so much to be a part of it all, to be someone.  And maybe I never would be.
But now I go and I see – these people try too hard.  Everywhere I hear the sounds of post-modernist angst, push the limits, be different.  With all the effort to be different comes a kind of sameness, a monotony of loudness, strangeness.  It’s enough to make a person ill, maybe even crazy.
I walked around today with my camera taking pictures of doors, signs, things that made me laugh.  I knitted on the bus with a baby asleep on my lap.  I looked foolish.  I didn’t care.  Does it matter?  I create, too.  I create smiles, small people, knitted things. I’m not cool, and I think people like me anyway.  I never imagined I would be this person, but I’m glad to have the city, once in a while, anyway, to remind me that I am.


2 Responses to “City Knitter”

  1. I keep meaning to respond to this and say…yes. I share your sentiments completely. We are so far out, we’re in.

  2. I was so determined to like you forever, then I find out you are a fantastic writer. A poetic thinker! Now I simply wish I could see you again. And be friends. (and Melissa too)
    Thank you for being crazy enough to be there to help me get my baby out. I am getting tired, and considered not doing it. I wanted to sleep. For a year. I decided to sleep when they’re grown. I’ll be the old lady snoring in the rocking chair, and you can be the knitting old lady. Deal?

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