Walking fixes everything.
Jacob’s in NYC for four days, so I take off from work, walk a few hundred miles. I do the Vegan Shop-Up with Kate on Saturday, kiss her peaches & cream cheeks goodbye & head to the hotel to wait for my man to ride in on his tour bus, travel-sweaty, exhausted from the festival circuit already this early in the summer. God I missed him. God he is the most perfect man anyone has ever known or will know. God I am fucking lucky even though every hello is a goodbye now and every goodbye is a hello. Wildness always all around, and walking sorts out my head a lil, at least.
Dinner at Kajitsu in midtown (I fell out of love with my beloved Kajitsu for a bit after they changed chefs, but the other night was right back to shivers and endless thankfulness for the gem living 2 hours from my door), 40 block walk there, 40 block walk back, sure. The band is playing on Jimmy Fallon, OK, 30 Rock, that’s a good couple miles. Watch the show in the audience, maybe the most mainstreamy thing I have ever done. Get all nostalgic on the walk back, remembering when I was a secretary in that building for a year. Show in Williamsburg: I’ll walk over the bridge, meet you for pizza in 2 hours, OK? Then put your bags on the van to go back to the hotel and we’ll ride citibikes back over the Williamsburg, the city unscrolling out around us.
* * *
Someone gave me a lecture, hurt my tender hurtable feelings, I didn’t fight back. I nodded and smiled, and said thank you for the advice. Because: not worth it. I coulda made points.
Not. Worth. It. Walk it off.
I get an email from someone saying our Sour Sorrel Caramels (marketed basically as “real fucking sour dude / real fucking weirdsies”) are too sour too weird. The temptation is to write back and be all you don’t get our palate so buy yr candy somewhere else & also srsly would you email Godiva with this “helpful constructive criticism”? Hersheys?).
Delete the email.
Walk it off.
* * *
What I can’t walk off is that I have to fire someone I adore when I get home. It’s coloring this whole trip and every time I want to think about it I want to throw up. So I walk and I think about it, and my feet keep beating out the same rhythm, over & over: you gotta have excellence at the shop, nothing less. People who are awesome in all ways but don’t have the desire for excellence…oh god, it hurts. It hurts.
Walk walk walk. It still hurts, but at least you’re tired now.
My plan when walking is that I eat tiny little meals along the way, so I can eat up as much of the city as I can. A taco here and a perfect little salad with a strong margarita there. A stupid kale salad at a rough-wood-table Algerian place on Bedford with so little vegan options they suggested I just leave, but I stuck it out, made them make me the kale salad with vinaigrette instead of Caesar dressing, avo instead of eggs and parm. Usually I’d take the suggestion to leave where I’m not wanted, but they had open windows and a comfy table I could linger at, looking at the street—and most importantly, computer users.
Because I’m lugging my stupid computer everywhere, wishing I had a cool MacBook Air or could do my work on an iPad, but my thick MacBook will do, wish I had a backpack instead of just a tote but oh well. Lug lug lug. Lug-usta. A commitment to walking keeps me from buying stupid shit along the way, too.
This is how the salad arrived. In Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 2014, this is what a vegan gets. I’m the worst kind of vegan though: this was exactly what I was craving. Just a fucking bowl of greens, yes. Dressed pretty perfectly with evo & lemon & s & p. Great. Insulting and overpriced and I was happy happy happy—playing hooky from work sitting in the open air drinking an orange blossom mimosa, working away on the computer, getting my teeth all kaley, not thinking about the looming firing at that exact moment.
Walking is tied up with freedom to me. I walked a lot as a kid. Walked away, always. One day I realized I didn’t have to stay, that I could walk. Mostly I walked somewhere to read. Under some skinny little street tree or some crap. My city wasn’t walkable, which was good because I learned how to walk when your geography deeply discourages foot traffic. Helpful. NYC is of course the opposite. Pedestrians own the city, which is delightful except of course when you’re driving, when it’s an ironic hell. I lost track of the subway system years ago. If the weather is horrible I constantly splurge on cabs, but otherwise I’m just a walker in this most walkably-welcome city. Walking is the Platonic ideal of transportation: simplicity incarnate. Ready to go? Just. Go. Nothing to wait for, nothing to pay for, lock up, worry about.
So I’m not going to be around much for a bit.
Carrying my computer everywhere has a purpose. Got a project. Tentative and sensitive and maybe hopefully someday I’ll tell you all about it. But I’m tryin to devote all my rapidly diminishing computer-tolerance-time (the older I get the less I can stand this fucking machine) to it.
We’ll always have Instagram, OK?
(Now that I’ve said all this I’m sure I’ll get mad about something and be back here next week.)