Don't tell me I can't hack it in the big city. Don't tell me I've been chewed up and spit out by New York. Don't tell me I can't go home. Yes, the day that I've feared my entire life, has finally come. Today I board the 2:15 train bound for Rensselaer glory. I would leave earlier, but that's the earliest my mom can pick me up. She'll lovingly, without judgement, pick up her 32 year old blogger son, and escort him back home. Back to the place where my dad taught me how to throw a baseball, my brother taught me how to fight, and I taught myself how to ejaculate in my sleep (I wish I could still do that. I imagine the post ejaculatory shame isn't there, unless your wet dream literally turns into a nightmare.) I digress.
The situation is this. I'm a freelance painter/blogger in Brooklyn, NY. I found a friend to sublet my apartment for two months. I'm coming home to paint for my old buddy Farkas, and hopefully save some money. I arrive June 15 and leave August 15. I have 2 months to re-connect to the town I grew up in, Manchester, Vermont. Five years ago coming home was beneath me. "I live in New York, I made it, I'm fucking cooler than you". Thankfully, since then, I've been humbled enough to realize that coming home ain't so bad after all. In fact, I can't wait to get there.
I love my family and old friends, and dare I say it, I love Vermont. Why am I telling you this? I'm going to use my time in the country to inspire me and write about my old home in Vermont and my new home in Brooklyn. Think of me like Jackson Pollack in East Hampton. Journals from Home will talk about real places and real people, but with a little bit of a sick-fuck twist. If you happen to be mentioned I apologize ahead of time, but please try to look at it as an honor, even it doesn't sound like it.
Spandexter: The very first thing I thought of, when I thought of Manchester, was our black guy, Spandexter (named for the amazing spandex ensembles). Sure, we have other black guys (like 8), but the Spandexter sticks out. He's been here as long as I can remember. He used to buy us beer in high school and he never forgot a name. Spandexter is an absolute gentleman and an essential ingredient to the success of this small southern Vermont town. Did I mention, that motherfucker can dance. I'll never forget when he started break-dancing at one of our high school parties. That shit was mesmerizing. His electric slide probably got me laid that night.
The greatest story I've heard about Spandexter, was told by my brother. He was watching X-Men: Wolverine at the local, state-of-the-art cineplex, when something unthinkably amazing happened. Remember the part in this terrible, terrible movie when Wolverine jumps on a helicopter. Okay, you're picturing it, good. As this happens, as Wolverine is attacking a flying helicopter 200 feet above the ground, my brother hears four words he, and I, will never forget, "I CAN DO THAT". Yup, that's Spandexter. I love him.
The Corner Guys: If you live anywhere by Grand and Union Avenue you've seen em'. Two guys, two corners, been there everyday as far as I know, for the last 2 years. Something tells me their not handing out fliers for Greenpeace. Bonus Tip: If you see someone, anyone, using a payphone, their selling drugs. If mayor Bloomberg makes drug enforcement a priority, you can kiss the payphone and beeper industry goodbye.
A few months back I was at Barnes & Noble, thumbing through books, killing time before therapy. I found a cool photography book about local Williamsburg. Guess who was in the book? That's right, one of the corner guys. Apparently, this guy is a staple of Williamsburg. How long has he been out there? What does he do off the clock? Does he get home, kick up his heels, and watch King of Queens til he passes out in his armchair? I know one thing, these guys don't take a day off. They must have a sweet titty 401K. What kind of benefits package were they offered and do they get any vacation? It doesn't look like it. As far as I can tell, the only job requirements necessary for this line of work, are standing in one place and answering a phone. Don't sound bad at all. Where do I sign up?
I was really disappointed not to find these guys on Google Maps. I'm convinced they were photoshopped out.