It’s so amazing how much I am affected by something as inconsequential as caffeine.
So, here I am. Sitting in a cafe in Pittsburgh. From the time I left New York 3 months ago, I had intentions of writing entries like this weekly, if not daily. Sharpen my skills as a “telling writer”. I am too easily distracted.
An employee here just walked by and commented on how exhausted I appeared. ”How do you just sit there and stare at the wall like that? Where are you right now?”. To be honest, as I wake up I’m not sure where I am anymore. Baltimore? Los Angeles? Boston? How the fuck did I end up in Ohio for the night? Waking up next to someone helps you remember. Like an anchor of personality prescription. But, I have none of that here. If anyone stayed, they left quietly before the sun climbed up through the window.
My hands are shaking. This always happens when I drink coffee alone.
I knew if I left this long bench seat, I would never write this. The walk back to a place you sleep is deceptively defeating. Sitting here in this random city. Sun through the windows, colored by the glass markers telling all the passers by the day’s specials. It looks pleasant in here. There is a painting of Albert Einstein. An exposed brick wall; A muted, well determined color scheme. Nutella and glass bottled Coke on the shelves.
My kind of place.
I did have a good lunch. This place makes a perogie inspired crepe. Complete with home made apple sauce, sautéed onions, sour cream and cheddar cheese. It’s good. Not to mention they dice pickles into their mayo-less potato salad, which has some sort of mild curry seasoning in it. It’s almost enough to make me propose marriage to the same girl that seemed to question my very existence with one simple passing moment of rhetoric. Last time I was here, I made friends with the guy that rang me up. He was asking me questions about my phone in comparison to his iPhone. We talked tech for a while, then about Pittsburgh. He insisted I wouldn’t want to stay long. ”There is nothing for you here.” The fact that he had a thick russian accent solidified my decision to give the perogie crepe a go this time around… I can be very picky about these things.
I think I feel happy, and of course that means I will sit here and try and determine why. I look around the cafe. ’Nice surroundings. No distractions. Silent Majority in my ears. Sunny weather; Good food.’ Naturally, I should be happy.
But, that’s not it.
Often, when talking with clients and sometimes other random people about tattoos, I hear them express how much they like it, “Just as the outline”. Most of the time, I feel the same way. But why.. Is it the aesthetic? I don’t think so. I think it’s something about the idea. I’m not happy here and now because I should be.. I’m happy because I’m lost. Perhaps, some of us like it better when it’s unfinished. Maybe the outline of where something is, allows our mind to fill in our own details. Like a good book. The excitement and appeal is in the potential. Or the prospect that there must be more time because things are not yet complete. What a masterstroke of false comfort. I look up and in the mirror I see there are empty frames on the wall here. Just over my head.
If only I wasn’t so dizzy. If only I would stop shaking. Maybe it’s time to switch to decaff, April.
In two weeks, I’ll be back in New York. Thankfully, only for two weeks. I’m not as bent out of shape about it as last time, but I’m also not looking forward to it. The work load should be enough to keep my mind from collapsing on me, but I’m never well after. At least the summer is nearly here, and with it, the ocean. I can lay in the sun, pretend I don’t notice the shitty tattoos and lack of clothing on girls old enough to be my kid sister, and reminisce on all the summers past. How nostalgic. All of which are welcome distractions from vertigo.
The russian is cooking bacon. I can smell it is as I read over this and realize what it is I’m trying to say. I should probably start walking before I make another decision that could lead to heart failure.