Today marks my first month living in The City.
There are certainly distinct features that mark a New Yorker. Every New Yorker drinks coffee, has little regard for traffic signals, has a small dog which they walk around with in the morning time, and usually isn’t very nice to people (for good reason, because most people are absolutely insane.)
New York is a scary city because there are lots and lots of people and everyone is taken out of context. You could strike up a conversation with an attractive busboy to find he was royalty in a foreign country, or talk to an innocent little old man on the subway only to discover he wants to rape and kill you. And then there’s the bus driver with a foot fetish. There’s always a bus driver with a foot fetish.
I was wingman-ing for a friend of mine last night who thought the waiter was cute. We called him over and started asking him questions about his Grateful Dead belt, other favorite musicians, where he went to school, and what he studied. Conversation was going smoothly until this sentence somehow casually came up:
“Yea, I mean, I had to be sent away to a guarded facility when I was 17…”
And we just nodded our heads like “Oh yea, totally. That’s completely normal.” Even though we had just realized that he had most likely been in jail or an insane asylum. Neither was ideal. But he was so attractive. There was no way he could be crazy. Maybe it was just a super hardcore elite boarding school.
There was an episode of Sex and the City where Carrie dates someone who was in an insane asylum. The fact of the matter is, when you’re in such a big city full of everybody scattered and uprooted, there is no normality. There is no mainstream, no guidelines, no heuristics to use to figure people out. People become skeptical and cynical and sometimes just mean. I’ve decided to become more open to crazy people. After all, who am I to say that they’re crazy? They’re quite nice and usually very conversational. Who cares if it’s conversation about the cat they murdered last week?
It’s not like I’m all that normal, either. I eat french fries with honey. Now that’s a little creepy.