Nothing is as it seems–nor is it otherwise.
Someone once told me the latter half of that phrase was a Zen koan. I can’t corroborate that. But after spending over a week here, in a world of brushed steel and light concrete, I finally found out that over half of the apartments in my friend’s building are illegally subletted. To people on couches, sometimes.
Everyone is nicely dressed, and very business-like, and I often feel like a California beach bum. When I go, every couple of days, to find Janet and move her to another street (to avoid a huge ticket for violation of the Alternate Side Parking rule), I look in and feel like my little living space is a remnant of another world. A reminder of a part of me. It is a vast mental space to travel.
I’m following up every possibility of a room and permanent space for the van. Even to the point of going to great lengths to return a cell phone I found on the train to its owner, and then refusing the cash reward held out to me and saying ‘You have my number, let me know if you know of a room to rent.’
I have visited two places today, in the Bronx and in Brooklyn, and liked both of them. There was a warmth and awareness in the people that appealed to me. We shall see. I can afford it, though the rent for a room is as much as a whole apartment in many towns. And the look of the neighborhood would terrify most of the people I know back home. Eh, it’s New York.