I waited in vain for someone like me to stand up and say that the only thing those of us who don't believe in god have to believe is in other people and that New York City is the best place there ever was for a godless person to practice her moral code. I think it has to do with the crowded sidewalks and subways. Walking to and from the hardware store requires the push and pull of selfishness and selflessness, taking turns between getting out of someone's way and them getting out of yours, waiting for a dog to move, helping a stroller up steps, protecting the eyes from runaway umbrellas. Walking in New York is a battle of the wills, a balance of aggression and kindness. I'm not saying it's always easy. The occasional "Watch where you're going, bitch" can, I admit, put a crimp in one's day. But I believe all that choreography has made me a better person. The other day, in the subway at 5:30, I was crammed into my sweaty, crabby fellow citizens, and I kept whispering under my breath "we the people, we the people" over and over again, reminding myself we're all in this together and they had as much right - exactly as much right - as I to be in the muggy underground on their way to wherever they were on their way to.
Six month of sitting home, six month of doing absolutely nothing but watching TV, going out, sleeping, getting drunk and sleeping again. Oh no, wait, I was busy with something, I was doing some renovations in my new apartment. Which legally became mine only a month ago. Yep, that's what all my life has been about, spontaneous decisions and living in the moment. Because right now technically I'm a 25-year-old illegal immigrant from Russia, four years in New York, no papers, no work authorization, no work itself. Only a crazy life filled with restaurants, shops, beauty salons, clubs and restaurants again. How is it all possible? Very simple. I used to be a stripper.
I watched 60 Minutes...and they showed this woman, she's in every kind of..thing like that. 'This woman', they say, 'she lost her first four children--died from malnutrition--and, now, she's afraid that her new six-month-old newborn twins will suffer the same fate'. ... Who's going to step in and say...'kick her in the cunt 'til it doesn't work', 'that woman is a sociopath! that is a sick human being!'. ... How much of a sociopath do you need to be? That is the slow ritual torture-murder of children, one after another! At what point does cause-and-effect not kick in? How many bulb-headed skeletons have to go stiff in your arms?! ... 'what? this one's not working... oh, well let's try again', one after another. At what point do you not go 'I think this is bad'? ... How many kids are you going to fuckin' kill, lady? ... If you impregnate someone under those conditions, they should abort the parents! that's sick!
Though Alec had never seen the occupants of the first floor loft, they seemed to be engaged in a tempestuous romance. Once there had been a bunch of someone's belongings strewn all over the landing with a note attached to a jacket lapel addressed to "A lying liar who lies." Right now there was a bouquet of flowers taped to the door with a card tucked among the blooms that read I'M SORRY. That was the thing about New York: you always knew more about your neighbors' business than you wanted to.
I’m really enjoying my solitude after feeling trapped by my family, friends and boyfriend. Just then I feel like making a resolution. A new year began six months ago but I feel like the time for change is now. No more whining about my pathetic life. I am going to change my life this very minute. Feeling as empowered as I felt when I read The Secret, I turn to reenter the hall. I know what I’ll do! Instead of listing all the things I’m going to do from this moment on, I’m going to list all the things I’m never going to do! I’ve always been unconventional (too unconventional if you ask my parents but I’ll save that account for later). I mentally begin to make my list of nevers. -I am never going to marry for money like Natasha just did. -I am never going to doubt my abilities again. -I am never going to… as I try to decide exactly what to resolve I spot an older lady wearing a bright red velvet churidar kurta. Yuck! I immediately know what my next resolution will be; I will never wear velvet. Even if it does become the most fashionable fabric ever (a highly unlikely phenomenon)I am quite enjoying my resolution making and am deciding what to resolve next when I notice Az and Raghav holding hands and smiling at each other. In that moment I know what my biggest resolve should be. -I will never have feelings for my best friend’s boyfriend. Or for any friend’s boyfriend, for that matter. That’s four resolutions down. Six more to go? Why not? It is 2012, after all. If the world really does end this year, at least I’ll go down knowing I completed ten resolutions. I don’t need to look too far to find my next resolution. Standing a few centimetres away, looking extremely uncomfortable as Rags and Az get more oblivious of his existence, is Deepak. -I will never stay in a relationship with someone I don’t love, I vow. Looking for inspiration for my next five resolutions, I try to observe everyone in the room. What catches my eye next is my cousin Mishka giggling uncontrollably while failing miserably at walking in a straight line. Why do people get completely trashed in public? It’s just so embarrassing and totally not worth it when you’re nursing a hangover the next day. I recoil as memories of a not so long ago night come rushing back to me. I still don’t know exactly what happened that night but the fragments that I do remember go something like this; dropping my Blackberry in the loo, picking it up and wiping it with my new Mango dress, falling flat on my face in the middle of the club twice, breaking my Nine West heels, kissing an ugly stranger (Az insists he was a drug dealer but I think she just says that to freak me out) at the bar and throwing up on the Bandra-Worli sea link from Az’s car. -I will never put myself in an embarrassing situation like that again. Ever. I usually vow to never drink so much when I’m lying in bed with a hangover the next day (just like 99% of the world) but this time I’m going to stick to my resolution. What should my next resolution be?