Fall is absolutely my favorite time of year. Fall is New York’s very best season. Let me always visit New York in the fall.
There are so few dogs in New York City. This makes me inexplicably sad.
I can’t write about New York without talking about New York as an ex-lover, as a former sanctuary that now is only causes pain when I think about it.
a) It is easier for me to be in a relationship with NYC when I’m alone. My favorite times here were wandering the city alone, engaging, observing; the smells, the energy, when my attention is really devoted to the city. Maybe I am monogamous with cities. Maybe I should live in a city that has no soul such that I can have richer human connection.
b) Sometimes it feels like NYC is the root of all of my bad decisions, all of the ghosts that haunt me.
c) … Something as of yet unarticulatable.
I ache for the past, but I don’t miss the drama.
I miss New York City. I could live here. Could I live here? It’s not as scary as I remember. Except the fear, destruction, dysfunction are lurking under the surface, I know they are.
And then I walk around a corner and the entire wall of some high-end sunglasses store is a motherfucking SHARK that is about to attack and I will never survive here. And I can’t even take a picture because your phone is dead and this wouldn’t translate.
The bar for what behavior is “crazy” seems so much lower. “Well, that dog [on the subway] looks well fed, even if it is wearing a superman halloween costume (though it’s well past halloween) and has a pacifier around it’s neck. That homeless woman muttering to herself whom it’s attached to probably treats it okay.”
The cliche of it all. Cabs honking in Times Square, traffic stopped in the intersection as the light changes. A thick male Jersey accent yells: “Shaaaat Aaaap! Knaaak it aaaff!” And everyone around me laughs. “That was perfect!” a woman with a Long Island accent next to me quips.
I think I should only go to musicals alone. They make me cry and cry and cry. They are always, always worth the money. I never regret it.
When the exit is at the opposite end of the train platform, I feel like an amateur.
When someone passes me, walking faster than I am, on the subway platform or sidewalk, I feel like an amateur.
I love New York. I’m not sure I realized it.
I hate New York. I could never afford to live here again.
Maybe if I lived here again, I wouldn’t be trying to figure out all those things I figured out the first time: gender orientation butch/femme lust/longing how to fight how to fuck how to heal how to survive. Maybe the next time I’ll have a vision for how NY and I could collaborate, and I wouldn’t become this hollowed out version of myself, waiting for a strong wind to blow down the Hudson and reanimate me.
Published by Sinclair Sexsmith
Sinclair Sexsmith is "the best-known butch erotica writer whose kinky, groundbreaking stories have turned on countless queer women" (AfterEllen), who "is in all the books, wins all the awards, speaks at all the panels and readings, knows all the stuff, and writes for all the places" (Autostraddle). Their short story collection, Sweet & Rough: Queer Kink Erotica, was a 2016 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. They identify as a white non-binary butch dominant, a survivor, and an introvert, and use the pronouns they, them, theirs, themself. Follow all their personal writings and all the updates through patreon.com/mrsexsmith.