The city was hot from sun and pollution. Boiling streets, sweaty AC's dripping onto pedestrians on their way to work or some random tourist attraction. Summer in New York has a certain taste to it. A bittersweet scent of burnt skin from the Rockaways and trash from the Chinatown sidewalks. You want to escape it, yet it’s the best thing in the world. Its own world in the big one where everyone complains about the subway platforms being hell on Earth and their ice-coffees dripping onto their iPhones as the L-train chases itself under the East River. But we would never leave. We’re angry and in love all at the same time.
We were these kids running around downtown; drinking at St Dymphnas, fucking musicians, wearing yesterday’s outfit days in a row. How we roamed and laughed, so oblivious about the responsibilities that lurked in the back of our minds. In the same way our thighs rubbed against each other underneath our sundresses, the city was slowly wearing us out. But we didn’t know it at the time. We would meet up after work, have a beer or two and share a pizza in Tompkins. Drool over the skaters killing it in there, doing their tricks in front of us. Sometimes they fell on their faces and started to bleed. We took a big bite from our cheese and tomato slices, let it drip.
There was this group of people, always around. We would sit next to them at the bar, say hi sometimes. Borrow lighters. You know, those kinds of interactions. One of them was a guy I wanted to kiss. I first met him one night in Brooklyn. I was at his bar. Or it’s not his bar, but for me it is his bar. He served Coors and got high in the back. We didn’t know each other, but I knew he was this dude skating around Williamsburg playing rock music hanging out with all the models in East Village. This weird friend-lover relationship started. Never in love. Always loving. In some way I think we were alone, together. There was this straightforwardness he had that I liked, made me want to be close to him. Total honesty. Very refreshing. His aura was so magical, I swear he could make a whole room fall for him. He would speak and you would listen. I felt him everywhere.
We were unstoppable as we blasted music in a cab across Williamsburg Bridge. The world is ours and so on. The midnight wind barely cooled down our skin, so double the beer. How could people live anywhere else than New York? “They must be, somehow, kidding.” It was so clear to me then. Never grow up, always have fun. Do not care.
But come October. The melancholia creeps up on us as the rooftops close down and the beer turns into hot toddy. There's no more cheap watermelon at the bodega and whenever we turn a corner there's a wind of ice hitting us right in our faces. The thousand blankets that try to keep us warm at night fail and we wake up with our noses cold. There's frost on the inside of our windows. The heater never works. And no one skates in Tompkins when the snow falls.
Written by Frida Regeheim