Three Days a Brooklyn Resident: Thunk, Thunk, ThunkI'm settled in now, mostly. I'm living out of garbage bags and boxes in my friend's sublet ... but the truck's been returned, the storage shed filled and I've managed to make a tub of hand-cranked ice cream in the new kitchen.
Here's a tip for all you ice cream makers out there: if you're making coffee ice cream, never, ever flavor it with espresso. The results are cold and creamy, yes, but suffused with a black grit that triggers the bowels while destroying your bedtime. The taste is not unlike eating the sweet sludge from the bottom of a Turkish coffee.
My farewell party was better than I could have hoped. All the folks I loved the most in DC came ... along with a mysterious emissary.
Suicide_blond has been a regular reader and frequent commenter here over the past year or so. She's always had a few kind words for me, punctuated with vigorous ellipses. When some of the DC blog scene's egregious rotten twats have had a good go at me, she's stuck up for me. I've never met her in person and I'm not sure I ever will.
After the farewell drinks had flowed for a few hours, a tall, grey-haired man in sunglasses and a suit walked into the bar. He immediately began shouting my name at the top of his lungs. All the patrons around him followed suit, until finally my friends grabbed me. He said
This card's from Suicide_blonde. She wants to stay anonymous
He handed me a card, addressed to my name at And I Am Not Lying, For Real. It read "Dear Mr. Simmermon: Enjoy the Big Apple ... or die trying!! Put some Johnny Cash on the jukebox & have a round on me ..." There was a twenty dollar bill inside.
The man in the suit took a photo of me with the card and us together, then walked out into the night.
That's class right there -- weird, story-worthy class. It's better than meeting in person, if you ask me.
Moving day was clear, cool for July. Every other time I've moved, it's been a hundred degrees out. The one time I moved in December I was in Australia, so it was still a hundred degrees. I had plenty of help packing and cleaning from some incredible people, and the day was pretty painless, all around.
I got up early Sunday morning, well before the alarm. I was heading up to hail a cab to the U-Haul facility (never, ever use U-Haul), when I just had to freeze. The street was completely quiet except for the trees whispering. I was just absorbing it all when I heard this sound all around me, from inside and outside my eardrums -- a sort of THUNK, THUNK that shook me to the mitochondria.
I've heard that sound before and I love the way it makes me feel. It's the best feeling in the world.
I got the truck, we loaded it up, ate some pizza and swept the apartment out. Me and my friends stood there in the empty place, swapping stories and toasting from a warm bottle of ouzo. Our laughter rang out in the empty apartment, and the stories started to fall flat pretty quick. It was time to go -- two hard dude-hugs and I was out.
I was driving the truck down 16th Street, taxidermied owl in attack position strapped into the passenger seat and lucky ram's skull on the dash with "Like a Rolling Stone" blaring when I heard it again: THUNK, THUNK, THUNK, louder this time, and feeling better with each THUNK.
I heard the sound at 16, as the theme from "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" announced the Ramones' imminent performance. I heard the THUNK an hour before landing overseas with 3 grand and nowhere to live, heard it when I flew to LA this winter to pitch a TV show.
It's the sound of my life as a giant roller coaster, THUNKing its way up that first big hill with me in the car up front. I can see the track curving away up ahead and I've got no idea what that first drop's going to feel like, but I know what it is. It's the wild ride of the rest of my life, fast and full of turns. It scares the crap out of me and it's the most exhilarating feeling in the world ... and every time I feel it I say "hello, old friend. Didn't think I'd see you again, and I'm so glad you're back.
I've been living out of trash bags in Brooklyn for the past three days. Haven't got a job yet, but I've got some leads and I can't think of anything at all that I'd rather be doing.