This time last week, I was laughing incredulously at the thought of native New Yorkers fumbling in over-preparedness and speculation as a category one hurricane spun its way towards the New York Bay. I’m from Florida, after all, and sans systemizing a practical voting system, we really got our shit together.
Sandy slapped me and called me out.
I received a slew of emails this morning saying that power had been restored to my dorm. It hit me like the hour after spending half a day at the beach; refreshing, yet, all-at-once tiring and irritating. It’s odd to admit, but I was kinda bummed. People are expecting things out of me now. Texts can’t be delayed or ignored. I feel the need to take the elevator again. I revered the contentment that had flooded me for the past week; I had everything that I needed on my back. I backpacked around Lower Manhattan; slept on different beds, got drunk in overpriced bars, and was overfed benevolently by my school every single day. I was the displaced Nomad- a fornicating leaf tumbling in the Broadway Wind Tunnel. It was oddly sexy, sometimes daunting and intimidating, but mostly invigorating.
Last night I ended back in the East Village. In celebration of the power returning to the East Side, several friends and I bucked up and purchased a giant vat of Maker’s Mark. It weighed more than my right thigh. Soon after, we dashed on over to Sophie’s Bar, on 5th Street between A and B. I mean. It was open. It was cheap. It was crowded. The group and I hunkered down and set ourselves back with a couple Picklebacks each; shots of house bourbon followed by another shot of cool and spicy pickle juice. Delicious.
Then, morning. Apparently.
I set out to the Key Foods Supermarket nearby and attempted to buy some eggs and butter. This happened.
Yeah, there was nothing there. The freezer aisle just beyond it was fully stocked up on Brooklyn lagers and Pilsner, so that was nice. Though, apparently it’s the same thing all over the village. Walking back I found entire dumpsters filled of spoiled dairy product and sun chips, oddly enough. I really love Sun Chips.
So, I headed on over to grab a bagel instead, and ended up over at Tompkins Square Bagels.
I mean, you wanna talk about carbo-overload, bagels are the way to be. They surpass bread and croissants in any and every way; they’ve got volume but no density- BAGELS GOT DENSITY, they have that, by default. Especially me, I’m the kinda guy who loves to consume for the sake of consuming and feeling the entirety of something affecting the entirety of my physical being; bagels- they tire my mouth and plaster by stomach lining. Add some scallion cream cheese to it— forget about it. I’m sold.
Now, Tompkins Square Bagels. Today. After the storm. It was packed. A line of hungover and finally-powered yuppies (the wondrous kind) stood in line, eagerly looking ahead to place their bagel orders. Standing in a row, we were able to peek into the open and exposed kitchen. Here, they make bagels the old fashioned way. They toss the wads of dough into a giant kettle with boiling water. The dough eventually rides up to the surface and is scooped out, placed on wooden blocks, and put inside the bagel oven.
The result: THE New York City Bagel. Crispy on the outside, doughy and meaty on the inside. The everything bagel I had was salty and oniony; perfectly seasoned with everything required to make the everything everything you could ask for. The organic egg and cheese and Applegate bacon that overflowed from all sides not only made the whole meal almost twice the size of my fist or heavier than a chipotle burrito; it made it a masterpiece. Sweet bacon, molten cheddar, and a sheet of egg folded four times. The bagel was like a Temperpedic mattress- with the memory foam; I constantly pressed the sandwich in my hands as I tried to cram in huge mouthfuls, and it never smeared or fell out onto the paper wrapper. I never had to use my fingers and it was perfect because of that.
Jesus. I’ve never written so much about a bagel. #Carboholic #Problems
With my stomach stuffed and my legs wobbling from the night before, I ventured to my West Village Dormitory. Apparently there’s an extra hour of time tonight, which is great and all; I guess it’ll be an early morning as all I have planned for the evening is a couple slices of pizza and red wine coming out of a bottle with a twistable cap.
I feel like a toasted almond in this artificial light. I feel crusty on the outside, gooey and mushy on the inside. I figure that could be because I haven’t worked out in a while and I always figure my tummy’s gooey on the inside. Or it could be that I haven’t left my chair in the past two hours, so again, back to the gooey tummy bit.
I think it’s like an odd reversal of that bad taste in your mouth. I had a really great one up until the power came back on. I was there for myself and had to figure it out for myself. Through that I was able to extend myself as openly as possible for others, but ultimately, it was all me and the pack on my back. Now that’s gone. And I suppose I could go back to it. I could just do it. But right now, Phoenix is playing on my Spotify, and I have plans to vacuum tonight.
It’s funny how we feel obliged to stick around for the things we have, but it’s only in situations where we have no other choice but to go with the flow and the smack-in-the-ass Spontaneity of it all, that we realize what we actually need. I’ve figured out what I needed out of this past week to the survive in this City. Now all of it is packed back into my bedroom, along with my DVD copy of The Prince of Egypt, a Giraffe stuffed animal, and a map of the World I haven’t even seen yet, and for whatever reason, it’s THOSE things that are keeping me here.