I was planning to get up early anyway, but at 7 a.m., a loud boombox started pounding out hip hop in waves as if someone was circling the block. The sound was unrelenting: torture by hip hop. I imagined a lowrider from East L.A. driving back and forth, preening his feathers for lower Manhattan. Turns out it was three white guys making a movie in the alley below my window, the same alley, I'm almost certain, that I shot in for the end of my short film (the film that brought me to CA) more than 25 years ago.
Last day, tying up loose ends. Did I do what I wanted to do here? Going back to that same alley, here's a photo I took, on one of my early walks:
The Excuses, in Cortland Alley
"I ran yesterday," this wall post begins, but then the writer gives excuses why s/he can't run today, but will run tomorrow: it's raining, s/he's sick, traveling, has the wrong shoes, etc. I thought about this a lot while I was here, the excuses for not writing, how there's always an excuse not to write: raining, sick, traveling, wrong shoes. So I tried to stick to my plan of writing everyday, but still, it didn't happen, and at one point I felt discouraged, that I'll never finish a project, i.e., a story, a book, a script.
There were people to see, lovely friends from long ago that I still consider my closest friends, and places to go: Philli, Providence and Canajoharie. There were my kids. One of the main reasons I come to this loft is to make a little, funky home in the middle of NYC for awhile. Not having my kids around in LA is sort of like torture by hip hop, an annoyance that builds and builds. But for them when I'm around, it's also torture; I can see their annoyance with me, the parental figure still telling them what to do.
As they get increasingly more independent and stay away from home longer, being in their life like this might not make sense anymore. What is it, exactly, they need from me? Sometimes I have to admit, past a certain age, not much. I remember that same feeling with my parents, annoyed when they called, or antsy sitting at dinner with them wishing they'd leave already. Maybe this is karma coming back to haunt me, but maybe this is how it should be, or rather, just how it is.
I didn't write everyday and I had lots of excuses but I'm trying not to, in the parlance of therapy, beat myself up about it. I took off from the point I had imagined, and although I didn't quite get there, I made a good start.
Taking off on White Street
Goodbye good friends; goodbye NYC; goodbye, especially, goodbye loft; you won't be the same when I get back, but please take me in again.