A few years ago I lived in New Jersey for a couple of months. It was July and August, humid, sweaty, in an ugly, forgettable town mostly comprised of factories, nail shops, Russians, Mexicans, and fireflies, with no hard liquor, the deepest sewer system in the country, and hardly any English. I did the creative work and design for an organic Chinese food being made at a factory across the street. Sometimes we’d go into Boston or New York and give samples to the customers at Whole Foods. Boston was fun because I had time to pretend to be a Harvard student after work, and Chelsea probably had the most stylish, skinny, good looking people clutching kombuchas and distrustfully eyeing our tofu.
On my days off I’d usually get a hotdog and walk through Central Park past all the nannies and joggers, and often end up at the MET wandering the halls like a historian taking notes. And then I’d take the bus back to New Jersey and walk past the small invisible houses and strange sour smells and the families drinking in the streets and Dunkin Donuts and the old pink church. And when I wasn’t being paid properly (another story) and had to leave suddenly, my old friend took me out for the night, and we got this snow globe at the top of the Empire State Building. I left him at a Manhattan park where we passed out overlooking the city, and made it back to Strawberry fields near the building Lennon was shot. In a public bathroom was scribbled the note: “I love you New York, I will be back. -Claudia”
My fucking name in this fucking stall on my fucking last day. And no I didn’t write it but it was there, graffiti that was intended for me. And so I said “yes, bathroom, I will be back”.