Am I in Kansas? ...A Suburban Bawl

No Way! I just noticed that across the street there is a moving reindeer. One of those Christmas light sculptures. I thought all the lights and decorations in the little neighborhood were cute, but this goes too far. What am I doing here? Moving reindeer? Out in the open on the apartment's lawn? I don't belong here. I'm thinking evil thoughts about what should happen to that reindeer. Imagining what fun could be had with the moving antlers, what offensive things could be hung from them....Bad me!

But it is sweet. And everything is so pretty with all the white snow. I love this weather. Going outside in the cold makes me feel alive. Everything looks so clean. The air is cleaner too. It smells like smoke instead of urine. It is beautiful here, on this street overlooking Manhattan. But oh so quiet. So still. I needed this suburban vacation from the ghetto. I needed to reduce the drama in my life. To get away from the tension. It's been heaven in that respect.

However. I'd like to go back when I can afford it. Because I hate that the grocery store is a mile away. That I have to go to Walgreens for my medication when the service is so appalling. As are their prices. I miss my lil ghetto pharmacies where they knew my name and gave me a break on the hundreds of dollars I spent each month. No dry cleaner on my block. The nearest one is a 15 minute walk away. There is no dollar store which means I have to pay full price for regular household items such as light bulbs, dishsoap and trash bags. Unbelievable! And I really miss the Chinese produce stores. They always had fresh veggies for good prices. And we have no diners or little cafes where one can go to grade papers while enjoying some homefries, grits and biscuits.

I can't go back to ghetto life. Those things are not worth exchanging for the gunshots at night, permanent drug dealers in front of the house, men peeing on the front of the house, or the nightclub booming until 4 am. What I hated most was the subway station. The A train does not run very often--that's typical for poor neighborhoods--so usually one must wait 10-30 minutes in the filthy station, with the yellow fluorescent lights, panhandlers, pungent funk, and dirty looks from other patrons. No thank you.

This apartment has been a Godsend. I found a haven from the world. But nothing happens. There is nothing to watch out the window, other than the freaky reindeer. It's funny how sometimes you have to lose something to learn how much you need it. I need the drama. I need the craziness of citylife to diminish the craziness in my head. I need distractions outside to keep from my getting lost inside. So I have learned something valuable this fall, well, two things: The suburbs are not good for me long term and I prefer rude city students to the boring polite suburban ones.

AND I GOT A TICK IN LONG ISLAND last week!!!!! Seriously. Friday in the shower I saw this black bump on my shoulder. Can you imagine the shock of finding a tick in the middle of winter in New York City?? Yuck. I could only have caught it on my walk to the train station in the village out there. They have spots of wilderness and wild animals. A nasty gaggle of geese feeds on the grass in a parking lot I have to cross. One day they scared me to death as I passed them because they all looked at me and then started honking and running towards me. These aren't small birds. When 20 of them chase you with their monstrous noise it is very frightening. I ran. But that's the kind of wildlife I'm dealing with out there. Birds and bloodsucking parasitic bugs.

One day I will return to the concrete paradise.