Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pink Skies in Harlem

Tomorrow morning Velvet and I are going out apartment hunting with the real estate agent.  Note that I have called my child "Velvet" again.  After a brief consultation he said, "I don't care what you call me on your blog, but I like Velvet." Ergo:  he remains Velvet.  Maybe Buster Velvet, but Velvet nevertheless.  For the uninitiated, he is named Velvet after this character:

It's good to have him here, especially right now because I think if he weren't here, I might give in to the fear welling up inside me at the moment.  It's kind of scary to be moving from my home of 17 years on June 14th.  It will be better when I know where we're moving.  And I can't even hold the thought of surgery in my head more than a few minutes right now - although I have to follow up on all that medical stuff by the end of the week.  I need to schedule the procedure for around July 1 so I have time to recuperate before school starts in the fall. I'm on the right path right now, but the timing needs improvement.

Today we took things up to my classroom at the church on the hill and down to the storage unit with Buzz Kill.  I meant to clean closets yesterday, but I had done such a good job getting rid of superfluous stuff that there's nothing left to jettison.  The problem now becomes finding a place to put it all.  For years, everything has been in its proper place, and now there's no place at all.  I'm almost positive that we'll find a place tomorrow:  A great place in almost every way, except that it will cost more money than I wanted to spend.  At least I realized there was no way I would find a place I liked for the money I wanted to spend.  That's how it is with most things, really.

Fortunately, I'm in a position to simply pay my rent for the year up front so that there won't be any trouble with my salary being lower than landlords prefer.  All things considered, I'm a very fortunate female.  My dad will be arriving on the 12th to support me through this transition.  He walked me down the aisle when I married Buzz Kill, and now he's helping me walk away.  June 10th would have been our 22nd wedding anniversary.

June 10th is the fifth anniversary of the fateful Gemini party which had to be cancelled because Buzz Kill had gone through the trash and found the story about the black man with a dick the size of a maglight.  Buzz Kill was crushed by that story which explains why he thought it would be a good idea to read it at the party. I really do wish that the housekeeper had come as scheduled and emptied the trash before he got home from India.  I never meant for him to find that story - or at least I didn't consciously mean for him to find that story.  Most everyone I know believes it was my most spectacular Freudian slip.   Oh Well, what's done is done.  And besides, if he hadn't found that story, he might still be living here and I'd have been locked up in Four Winds forever.

Despite the bitter fights, Velvet is much better off this way.  I am too - but I can't help wondering what would have happened if Buzz Kill had never found the story so that the party was never cancelled and all those gay porn stars would have been over here drinking Epiphany Punch (Vodka, Triple Sec, Lemonade, Sprite and a splash of Tequila) with the specific mission of determining whether Buzz Kill is gay or if he needed a woman with a strap on.  It would have been nice to have that question settled once and for all, and I'm still convinced that a room full of gay porn stars would have been able to sort it out.

I'm not so sure what's happening with Mr. Amsterdam.  He reappeared like gang busters, but I've got the feeling he is more interested in my ass than me.  That may not be a bad thing.  I'd like a man to be interested in my ass, but he has a way of asking simple questions, then pursuing answers until he hits one of my sore spots.  In a way, it's working for me because it's all done in a series of short emails over a few hours - so it's not like I'm having to get out of my pajamas and put on lipstick.  And it seems like he and I have similar energy ebbs and flows - which is also a good thing.

I'm ready to forget the whole thing tonight, though.  I'm resisting the urge to tell him so because I'm pervasively vulnerable at the moment and it's unwise to make policy decisions when you're pervasively vulnerable.

The only decision I need to be making right now involves an apartment.  A new home for me and Velvet, temporarily, until I figure out where I want to buy a place.  I'm thinking it's a good thing we sold the apartment now for an excellent price to somebody who works for Banksters so they can get a mortgage without a bunch of bullshit.  Plus people have started moving into the building next door finally.  It sucks balls to look out my window where there used to be a sunset and see some asshole unloading groceries in his luxury kitchen.  The building isn't any closer to this one than any of the high rises on the East Side or in Midtown - which is why we could sell for such a good price.  When you remember the sky and clouds turning golden pink, though, it sucks.  So again, we're getting out in the nick of time.

We'll be living somewhere in Harlem.  Either over by Adam Clayton Powell Blvd and Malcolm X or up Broadway in an area they're calling Sugar Hill.  I'll still be able to walk to work, which is my main priority, and the buildings up there are farther apart and typically only six stories or so.  Plenty of sky, and if I'm lucky, another sunset out the window.


Vancouver Voyeur said...

I love looking at the water cisterns every time I go to NYC and this picture at night is spectacular! I hope you find a new home that speaks to you and welcomes you in, plus a great view would be nice too. M recently got a promotion and a hefty raise, so last week she was all about moving and buying waterfront property because the prices will never be this low again. All of a sudden I was faced with the very real notion of leaving my home. I LOVE our house. I love being able to walk to work. I love my neighbors, we all know each other and look out for each other. The thought of leaving this place, before I'm done making every room just the way I like it, and moving some place in the middle of nowhere, terrified me. We went and looked at one property she had her eye on and I pointed out all the realities we would have to live with if we moved there. She decided I was right, and then asked if buying a convertible would be better. I assured her a fuel efficient convertible would be better.

PENolan said...

A convertible? Dig it!
I suspect she's right about the prices, though. I feel a double dip coming on and hope to maximize my advantage in a few months, when I'm ready to downsize again.

Have fun car shopping!

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I know she's right about the prices, but we have such a great quality of life living a block from where we both work and all our friends around us. We have friends who moved 30 minutes away and we hardly ever see them, they can't "come out to play" in the evenings after work because of the drive, the kids, other stuff. It's an inconvenience to live away from where your life actually takes place, plus the annoyance of the commute, less sleep getting up earlier to drive in, or drive home, living on a big piece of property with neighbors far away, where's help when you need it. I have a huge list of reasons not to move.

PENolan said...

Not to mention that you have barely finished the kitchen in the place you're living now. Much better to put the top down and go visit your friends before they fall off the face of the earth entirely. It's kind of sad when we lose connections with friends because of a little distance. But that's what happens when people move. And that's why I'm not moving more than a few subway stops from where we are now.

Susan Tiner said...

Did Buzz Kill ever figure out his sexuality?

I'd not heard of the situation with the story and the Gemini Party. You are a true original.

Your new neighborhood sounds cool and I hope that apartment hunting goes well. I hope you will have a good view.

PENolan said...

Susan, if all goes according to Plan A, I will sign the lease and get keys on June 10 to a sixth floor apartment with roof access where you can see from the George Washington Bridge all the way down to midtown. The apartment is nothing fancy, but it's got good light and I won't have to get rid of all my furniture to fit in the new apartment. When I'm ready to buy late next winter, I'll downsize again unless there really is a double dip and I can get more for my money. At the moment, though, I'm a bit traumatized by all this change.

You've never heard that story because it's not on the blog - too good to give away for free. Once I'm settled, maybe I'll finally send a few things out to publishers. I've been a big chicken about that.

As for Buzz Kill - only he and his girlfriend know for sure. They've been together nearly three years now.

Susan Tiner said...

Oh, the view sounds breathtaking! I'm so happy for you.

If the story was too good for the blog why did it end up in the trash?

PENolan said...

I wasn't even writing the blog yet. It was a couple of years before Menopausal Stoners and PENolan.

I read it at KGB down in the East Village and threw the hard copy in the trash before Buzz Kill came home from India. But the housekeeper didn't show up to take out the trash, and the rest is history. That's the story I wrote that led to the clause in my divorce that requires me to use a pseudonym. People often express some level of feminist outrage about Buzz Kill's intrusion into my name - but they haven't read what I said about Buzz Kill in that story.

But I'd like to share it somewhere soon. That and the story about The Preacher and The Pagan from when the preacher visited me last year about this time.

Jennifer said...

I love how you bring up these old stories, which may or may not have been written about here before I started reading you, and how you sprinkle in little bits of information that flesh it out just enough. I so admire your style my friend.

At this point, I know you found a place (or applied to it anyway).

May you see skies like that wherever you go. And may those feelings of vulnerability fly out the window as soon as you move in.

PENolan said...

Jennifer - We (meaning Velvet and I) officially got the apartment today. I'll sign the lease Tues or Wed next week, then go straight over there to take some pictures.

One of the first items on the agenda is to set up my space so I can finally write my racy memoir. It's like Real Life has just provided the ending - which feels almost like Mary Tyler Moore "You're gonna make it after all."

So, coming from a real live creative writing teacher like you, I'm honored and encouraged. Heavens - it's thing of beauty # 12-101. I'm going to have to start keeping a written record. No way to remember the numbers much longer.

Cali said...

I'm really glad you and Velvet have found your new home. I'm really glad that "Velvet" is still "Velvet," too. I just haven't been able to picture him as "Buster." The connotations are just 180-degree polar opposites, you know? Of course, the "Velvet" in my head is much more akin to The Velveteen Rabbit than Eddie Murphy. What a shock to my mental image! Although I wonder why my mind also seems to associate "Velvet" with Jimmi Hendrix? Perhaps it's the velvet jumpsuits musicians and singers were so fond of wearing back in the day? I dunno.

::wanders off scratching head::

PENolan said...

Cali, he would L-O-V-E to have one of those velvet jumpsuits. I'm pretty sure there's a pimpin' connection ;)

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