I wrote this at 3am
The thing people don’t realise when I talk about New York is the following.
What it feels like to listen to Radiohead.
But I don’t realise my own future yet. The poverty. Why do I need to convey a useless feeling, several feelings about how a 6 pack of Heineken I picked up from the bodega (illegally, underage) made me feel like an adult. Like a man. Then. I sat down at my (boyfriend’s) nyc desk and smugly typed about that moment in all its solitude. I didn’t have a clue. I still don’t. But it was so important to capture it at the time the same as it is now. Because you equally don’t care now as much as you didn’t then. It feels sometimes that no one ever feels things or stops to think. Like me. I knew then that the profound exquisiteness I felt at 18 years old sitting at that damn desk I would never get over, get past. My entire fault as a writer hinges on my inability to “get over” emotions I need you to know.
I was very moved by the reality in and of itself that I was sitting in a chair, at a leather top man’s desk writing away on a laptop in Brooklyn. It was 2001. I even still journalled with pen and paper in a diary at the time. I knew how perverse that was. Anyhow. This was the same chair I sat in when the first tower was hit by a commercial plane. I hear that noise. My BF that morning had enough of me. After it took him four hours to walk home with other zombies covered in rubble (or not) across the Brooklyn bridge that day, as I reflect now. Many years later. Many years after having PTSD from this day I didn’t expect to have such a profound effect on myself. Feeling ostentatious about it all. Being CUT OFF by all kinds of people, in backyards, years later whom ALL want to tell me their experience from that day which I genuinely want to hear and ALL pale in comparison from my day.
I listen to them all regale me with how they were nowhere near New York City. Nowhere near the chair I was sitting in at the time I heard that sound I heard. How NOT 18 years old they were, like I was.
Like how New York City was gonna be my big break. How dating a 29 year old during a heatwave summer, and you distinctly recall your bf threatening you that morning of September eleven that you better find work. Get on that. (We blew through my savings so quickly that summer) Every self-important person you ever meet will try their hardest to cancel out your story. Especially when it’s epic compared to theirs – I have far better 9/11 stories based on all my beautiful, hilarious friends who slept through 9/11 then the idiots who over-talk MY shit about that day. I have like, 100 guys in my memory being annoying as fuck to my face about “9/11” and not one of my actual New York City friends who experienced it with me there has said shit about it to my knowledge. None of them are fucked up like me. All I fucking hear is Toronto (or anywhere Canada) idiots tell me their experience like it interests me. The only reason it does is because I cannot believe being interrupted by people 100 times to tell me THEIR 9/11 experience over mine. I WAS THERE. THEY WERE NOT. I totally understand their need to tell me their personal desert storm moment BUT. It severely pisses me off. I lived there until the middle of October and experienced the aftermath. Thank God this is 14 years later (actually had to do the math) and I can “speak” “freely”. Even at the point that I say “black hawk jets” “Black fighter jets” The real shit that was happening immediately after those towers were hit – all drunk “conspiracy theorists” salivate at the prospect of shutting ME down to argue their story AT me. Like I give a fuck. I was 18. I am 32 at the time that I write this. I will NEVER care about your experience from that day. There are no amount of Discovery Channel biographies I can watch that re-tell that day for me.
At this point in my life I’m finally receptive of the inside job possibility. However. I know it happened. I heard it and saw the act. OR the reality. It is only people who interrupt to tell how they all watched it in school, in a library, because it was the most special day that ever happened to them throughout their meek existences. They NEEDED to tell me their whereabouts that morning just as much as I need to describe my Radiohead “I’m finally a writer” experience to you in only that I know that you don’t give a fuck, maybe I’ll forget this in the morning like a lover gone wrong but, the more I age, the more I need to tell you about this time in my life because I know it’s a precursor to other things. Where ZERO people have ever deigned to encourage or inspire me. I am SO blogging this tomorrow. The only reason I started a blog, my blog, was because I was told to by a mentor of mine to take my audience to my own “platform” called a “blog”. I was already blogging “for free” on VICE’s Wassup forum. I taught myself html, scanned in film photos of myself. I lived between Toronto Cabbagetown (highschool internship) and Home Hardware, Mississauga. Before trolls really existed, I was still getting trolled. But I could handle them because I was so young at the time and was good at carving them on sight in real time and it was part of my online persona. VICE published a zinger of mine every month in their magazine. Do you know what that does to the ego of 17 year old hahah.
One time my boss at this place in Cabbagetown I was working in had printed out a very detailed two page letter of intent/manifesto emailed to me from an online bestie of mine (one of the viceland celebs at the time there were 4 of us) and put it on my desk. My workstation. I am a PC girl but used a mac in this home office. After working for this woman for awhile using all MAC computers, I got it and thank god cos after this I interned for VICE and they use Macs too. Anyway the psycho thing about Macs at that time is not only are they orange, aqua, or blue, but I was taught to re-jig with a paperclip. Also, that all documents “cascade” and/or disappear and your boss will print out the “lost” documents and leave them on your desk to humiliate you the next morning.
Now. I have never talked openly about this experience because I signed a non-disclosure BUT I’m not saying her name or publication but I will say that I was basically a full-blown adult being treated “as such” worked to the bone while my fellow classmates found local businesses that paid them hush-hush. This was a highschool co-op placement that gives you work experience.
I went out of my way to find a Toronto placement. SO I could be in Toronto. I wanted to run my own magazine. This woman met me with long blond hair when I went for my interview with my co-op teacher. I went to England for summer school and cut it all off that summer then came back to my co-op placement with short dyke hair. I found this woman through a woman who was friends with my U of T older crowd when I dated an older guy. Actually insane now that I think of it that it slipped thru adults cos I was Go-training daily to a mentally unstable woman’s house everyday to be essentially her assistant. She was poor and thankless as fuck. The one piece I had published in her quarterly she went out of her way to make me feel like shit about that she edited it like crazy. I was her subscriptions dept managerr. So many other huge responsibilities. One time I left ½ hour early cos my dad had business in town he could drive me home, she called my home phone in ‘sauga and my mom answered and flipped on her. She’s like we NEVER see our daughter. She is pale as a ghost. Never sees the sun. My husband gets her 30 minutes early and you lose it on her. I was stunned cos I was expecting to get in trouble I was so used to being abused and overworked. One time this woman looked at me and was like, I forget you are 17. Same age as her loser son who sleeps upstairs. My co-op placement was in her house! She made me sign a non-disclosure agreement at 17 no one else in my class had to. At this point I don’t give a fuck anymore. I worked my ass off for her. She had the audacity to tell a girl to be quiet one day when we were stuffing envelopes! Too much fun! I wasn’t allowed to listen to music and work because what if she had to yell for me? The day she left that print-out on my desk from my NYC GF and never said anything about it to me directly. It scared me. Meanwhile. I had to sift through her son’s insane porn history on her work computer.
I was never respected there. Maybe slightly. I actually want to see what she’s up to now. This placement was the catalyst to me going to NYC etc. I worked on Mondays at home hardware after school the one day a week we weren’t at our internships and she would always try to get me to skip school to go to work I actually started to adore Mondays and on weekends I worked at the hardware store to affor to travel to this horrible job during the week because my folks wouldn’t give me money cos they didn’t want me doing any of this to begin with. I took the city bus to go station. Train to union. Union subway to college/yonge then streetcar to parliament cabbagetown to a crazy bitch’s house who treated me like a slave JUST so I could have the Toronto experience and she was ungrateful as fuck. Then. I took that trek back to Mississauga daily and I paid for it everyday on my own. Typing about this now it is insane I would never do this now. Then I would stay up late with my one friend Ward. I never saw the sun. This bitch has the audacity to print out one fucking PRIVATE email exchange and leave it on my desk. Fuck you.
After all this I went to NYC. I chose travel over univeristy because I WAS DONE.
Ok to be continued lol!
(Ps. Sorry for being ranty. I DO care about other’s nine-eleven experiences I’m just very me-focused. I’ll try to be better).