Winter Wonderland

My Awesome Life

The city’s on lockdown right now. Somewhere outside these thin, old walls of my dorm God is throwing a bitch fit in the form of the most ferocious snowstorm in New York’s history. Classes were canceled midway through the day. The subway was shut down. Cars were forbidden to roam the streets after 11 p.m. It’s some serious shit out there.

But I don’t see shit. The only windows in our suite are fenced on the inside by crisscrossing iron bars resembling the door of a bird cage or a fucking prison, presumably to prevent us from jumping out and smoking weed on the awesome balcony. Damn it, NYU. So the outside just looks like a black mess. And inside the heater’s amped up so high that we’re all wearing shorts and t-shirts. Actually that’s just me, but everyone else looks pretty warm too. It’s hard to imagine that the sidewalks and trees and parks are steadily accumulating over 30 inches of snow as I am typing this. I hope the homeless folks have found shelter somewhere for the next 20 or so hours.

My personal feelings about snow are a bit conflicted. Until late afternoon I walked to and from campus five or six times. It was cold. Really fucking cold. Especially when the goddamn wind went ape shit on my face. But once in a while the coldness and the snow would feel really refreshing, really good. One second I’d be grinding my teeth and jamming my nails into my palms and the next second I’d feel rejuvenated. All of a sudden the cold stopped being menacing. It’s kind of like the feeling you get when you’re about to be frozen to death and this intoxicating warmness envelops you, making you sleepy and happy and shit, and then when you fall asleep you never wake again. Yeah, if you’re reading this obviously you’re not familiar with that feeling. But it’s weird. I’d dread walking out of the building every time class ends, but then I’d remember those nice little moments in between the truly awful ones and it would immediately feel less daunting. And besides, snow can be quite beautiful.

NEW YORK!!!

My Awesome Life

Sooo I’m finally back. After eight months. And it’s 37 degrees, which is 37 degrees colder than So Cal. Wonderful. No really, it’s great to be back in the Big Apple again. I don’t know exactly how I feel right now…definitely excited, but also nervous as hell. Part of me is convinced that while I’ve been hibernating at home, my brain cells have been starving and dying at an alarming rate. So although I’m more than thrilled to be using my brain again after such a long hiatus, I don’t know if it’s up to the challenge. What if I flunk all my effing classes?? What if all the adults were actually right for the millionth time and I really should have taken another semester off?? No no no, that would have pushed me over the edge. Idk, I’m just rambling and freaking out right now, which I suppose is normal whenever some big new change is about to take place. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ll be updating soon. If I don’t freeze to death, that is.

Here’s the song I played about ten times over on the plane because I left my effing Kindle at home:

Franz Ferdinand is the shit.

The Corner of 40th

Bedtime Stories/Fiction

A blinding gust of wind slaps me in the face as I step out of the subway station on 42nd street. I hold on tight to my roller bag and walk toward my dusty little corner on 40th St and 7th Ave, one of the only unoccupied busking spots in Times Square. After collapsing onto my ancient picnic chair, I set up my metal tripod and start sharpening my charcoal pencils, gearing up for an eight-hour shift that’ll yield between ten and forty bucks.

Being a street cartoonist isn’t exactly what I had envisioned for myself when I enrolled in Pratt some fifteen years ago. Nobody who has invested five years and thousands of dollars in a renowned institution expects to be drawing caricatures on the sidewalk for a living. But when you’re hopelessly in love with something, you don’t think of a backup plan. You keep telling yourself that the struggle is temporary, that if you keep faking that smile and sketching those stupid faces one of these days you’ll catch your big break.

Then the next thing you know you’re thirty-three. You’re thirty-three and you’re still carrying that same roller bag and that same fake smile to that same little corner everyday. Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, indeed.