I liked the one we saw in Brooklyn. Great space, big kitchen, two bedrooms and laundry in the building. We’d have to negotiate on the price a little, but I liked it. An elevator, too (a must once you’ve reached stroller age). A little tiny ray of hope was flickering into my world. Maybe I wouldn’t absolutely hate where we were living.

“I really didn’t like the neighborhood.”

Oh. Oh no.

“Really? What was wrong with the neighborhood?” My voice is taught like a stretched-out spring. When we were there yesterday he never mentioned anything about the neighborhood.

“I dunno. Just seems empty. Depressing. And you know I hate commuting. Even if we do live half an hour from my work, I’d much prefer walking to the subway.”

Oh dear. To be fair, you did know.

That little tiny ray of hope is now flickering, endangered. I swipe my Metrocard at the turnstile and run into the silver bar. Not enough money on the card. I look at Oliver through the gate and I can already tell that bleak desolation is beginning to fill my face. I gesture to the Metrocard and turn to refill it.

God, I hate Manhattan. I’ll have to go grocery shopping in crowded supermarkets and wait 40 minutes in line every time. Trader Joe’s always runs out of the good produce before I can get what I need. What kind of grocery store runs out of produce?

Please select your language.

Panic. No, I mean English. There’s nowhere green to walk the dog. Except Central Park and I hate Central Park. If we live near the park it’ll probably be an old building and we’ll have mice. Again. For the third time in three years.

New card or refill?

New City. New York. Why New York? Yes, refill. Insert the old Metrocard.

Credit card, debit, or cash?

Credit Card. My kids will grow up materialistic, surrounded by stores with every step they take. Either that, or we’ll go broke trying to come up with this rent. Or worse: both. 

Please enter zip code and press enter when done.

My zip code will be 1000 something soon enough. It has to start with a one, doesn’t it? Damn. Everyone from New York thinks it’s the center of the world. Well, I guess after I move there they’ll be right. Even a broken clock, as they say. 

Add value or add time.

God I’m going to need to add so much value to survive this. Greg calls the northeast the Real Love Dead Zone because nobody practices Real Love there and of all the northeast, I just have to end up in Manhattan. I won’t have any friends. I’ll be a freak. Let’s add $10. That should cover the rest of our trip.

Thank you. Please take your card.

Any chance you have my sanity as well? No? Well. I guess I’ll just take the card.

In the time it has taken me to refill a single Metrocard, my world has turned into a deep, dark, depressing black hole of hopelessness. My mind is a mad house. I pass through the turnstile successfully this time, depending on your definition of success. I’m certain the bleakness of my future is plastered all over my face. Oliver seems to think so too.

“Sweetie? Are you okay? You seem upset. Do you want to talk about it?”

I blink, but apparently enough time has passed to warrant a response. Nope; blink is the best I can do.

“Sweetie?” He holds my shoulders and puts his nose right up to mine. “We’re not going to live anywhere you don’t like, okay? It’s impossible for us to live somewhere you hate. Know why? Because every time we go somewhere, if you say, ‘I hate it,’ we don’t sign the lease. We’re going to have a great time so let’s just talk about it.”

Hey, there’s an idea. Talk about it. Walking would be nice. The grocery stores aren’t so bad. At least you have a lot of options. There’s the Hudson River Greenway, which you like a lot. And if you raise your kids right, they won’t be materialistic no matter where they are.

Or you could go back to your black hole.

Kind of at odds with raising the kids right though, don’t you think?


2 thoughts on “Brooklyn

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