I’ve been feeling strange since this weekend, and it’s cold, and I was tired and I can’t still be tired, but I still feel strange. I woke up this morning with the intention of doing many proactively healthy and educational things, but instead made a morning stir-fry of mushrooms, onions, and ham, brewed a mug of black Pilon, and read the novella of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
I wish we lived in a time where we didn’t realize smoking was unealthy. I wish people got dressed up to fly instead of putting on sweatpants because the line is hours long and you have to take your shoes off. I wish you could still horseback ride from the stables on 66th Street through Central Park, and that diners were how diners used to be, and that people talked in that telegraph tone and added diminuitives and pet names to strangers.
“I suppose you think I’m very brazen. Or très fou. Or something.”
“Not at all.” She seemed disappointed. “Yes, you do. Everybody does. I don’t mind. It’s useful.”
And don’t we all have the mean reds? When you’re afraid of something but you don’t know what you’re afraid of? Not in a sense that someone’s hiding behind your door, waiting to kill you, but in a more abstract sense.
Yes, the book is about a man who loves this girl with whom he’ll never end up, and about a twenty-year-old who’s reinvented herself from a hillbilly to a socialite, but isn’t it really about why people come to New York, and what they hope to find, and the overall incandescent power that this gleaming metropolis has to make people think they can do anything?
I haven’t felt this way since I saw Igby Goes Down and I wanted to sit in the park and get high and put pills in a teddy bear and live with a drag queen. I feel like we stop letting ourselves get to influenced by books and movies because we’re meant to have established our personas. I feel like shopping, and smoking, and writing in notebooks and walking on 5th Avenue up past the library and Tiffany’s and the park, and seeing leaves and trenchcoats and museums and apartments and wrapped sandwiches and trashcans and cabs.
“Never love a wild thing, Mr. Bell,” Holly advised him. “That was Doc’s mistake. He was always lugging home wild things. A hawk with a hurt wing. One time it was a full-grown bobcat with a broken leg. But you can’t give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they’re strong engough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. The a taller tree. Then the sky. That’s how you’ll end up, Mr. Bell. If you let yourself love a wild thing. You’ll end up looking at the sky.”