One good way not to go crazy in New York city is to find a park, even a tiny one with no benches, and sit down against the railings for a minute. My advice is not to think too hard about the undoubtedly dirty ground beneath you, instead, just take a look around. The trees are losing their leaves, the cold is creeping into the air, and you’d be surprised at what you notice. Squirrels tormenting dogs, sparrows flitting between trees, an old man in a baggy looking hoody saying ‘World’s Greatest Aunt’, smiling to himself and reading a book.
I took a park break earlier today, after a meeting, what’s called a ‘general meeting’ with a production company, where I talked about myself and my work they talked about themselves and their work, and there was a slight edge of pointlessness that’s always present in generals, but you have to be polite, because this is supposedly one way that show biz works, and who knows - maybe something will come of it.
After the meeting, I started thinking about the line between success and failure, and the balance between luck and hard work, and I got so lost in my head that I almost walked into an open cellar door. Luckily for me, a small man carrying a huge box of miniature pumpkins emerged from the cellar door just in time. Can you imagine how self-absorbed you need to be to almost kill yourself like that? That was me, until the pumpkins snapped me back to reality.
I checked my phone and took in the news headlines. The top story was Louis CK rightfully taking his place in the disgusting pantheon of abusive men in my industry. I wasn’t quite ready to read the piece, though I knew I’d have to sooner or later. I saw a small wrought iron gate near Bleecker Street, went through and found myself in that little park with it’s squirrels and sparrows and clear, cold air, all of it oblivious to ambition and fame and toxic masculinity.
I sat there for a minute, in that small pocket of peace that lets us all take a breath before we’re back, on our way to meetings, or the subway, or maybe prison? I don’t know, but wherever we’re headed, it’s best to take a minute before we get there.
Faves this week
- ‘Notes On A Foreign Country’ by Suzy Hansen. This book is a fabulous portrait of the US seen by one of it’s citizens with the newly opened, wide awake eyes she’s gotten from living abroad.