Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Invisible Woman

I have lived in my apartment building since March of 2002, it is now November 2018. No one my age in New York City stays in one place as long as I have. I am here because of the rent, and the warm morning light, and strong water pressure, and close proximity to my work. I am also here in spite of the two mice fighting and squeaking in the middle of my kitchen floor, and the giant cockroach that sauntered onto my yoga mat that one time I tried to meditate. My building as 5 floors, I am on the 4th. It has 4 apartments on each floor and no elevator. The further you go up, the tougher the people are for walking up the stairs day after every damn day with groceries, with laundry, with a new something silly but feel-good from Home Goods. It is not perfect. But sometimes it is.

I have had the same landlord for 16 years. George. He is someone I have known for a long time, but at the same time, not known. He has unclogged my tub with his bare hands. He has told me there is nothing he can do. He has probably saved me from things I don't even realize he did. This past week George sold our apartment building. He had owned it for 38 years. Now what?

George invited the people in the building out to dinner this week. I went to dinner and sat across from people who I have walked by in the tiny pre-war spiral hallways day after day after day. When they sat down for dinner, they asked me where I live. Then they told me they didn't recognize me. Three separate people told me this. It is so weird. It is so New York.

I love it here.