I’ve returned to my New York City studio apartment after nearly three months ridin’ the jewelry John Deere. Yep, it was jewelry harvest season back home at Big Sky Gold.
My finger (emptied of my five carat diamond, sold at the Holidays) is poised to post a few blogs, pitch a few ideas and probably hang a participle or two (sorry).
After a $77 supply run at Trader Joe’s (which broke the old $64 record for two Hawaiian-style grocery bags) I made a pit stop to collect three months of mail jammed in my lobby mailbox. It’s oily dark out there after a thin rain, and I removed my coat, boots, scarf, pants and just now, my grey, lace-edged camisole.
I’m tapping away at my little glass desk in panties, a strapless bra and a thin layer of travel dust, in the shadow of the Empire State building. Despite the environmental insensitivity, I love the old pre-war winter swelter. In this heat, with this view, who’d want to pull the curtains (at least for the first few nights)?
Trust me. In this City, strangers live on top of each other and don’t give a flying f*** about ogling a half-naked woman who’s six months shy of a senior discount.
I’m more interested in looking out than wondering who might be looking in.
In this inspiring apartment, in the shadow of the Empire State Building, I’ve spread out all the forgotten mail addressed to folks who lived here before I did.
I can almost see, years from now, a guy with an earlobe hole the size of a quarter filled with an adornment made of bone and black rubber. He’s tossing his faux-hawk to whatever’s playing in his earbuds, chucking letters addressed to me, not giving a thought to mis-sent greetings, bills, solicitations, never-opened catalogs from West Elm and CB2. This guy doesn’t even consider recycling.
Of course, he’ll stop when he sees what he thinks might be money. Some things never change, regardless of taste, age, or tradition.
Unlike that imaginary future resident, I can’t dispense letters that belong to previous residents, but I can’t resist dispensing judgements. I always pause for pathos, Every envelope, important, irrelevant, expired or meaningless is touched and sorted. A few are even held up to a light to see what might be inside.
I got the keys to this apartment last February from Edda Laurea, a woman who moved to a larger apartment up north of Central Park with her aging mother. It would be okay if I still found the occasional department store flyer, restaurant coupon or campaign ad with Ms. Laurea’s name in my mailbox. But I have two blue envelopes that probably contain checks from the Department of the Treasury and one white envelope that appears to be money (or maybe a summons) from New York State. Seeing as how this lady hasn’t been here for almost a year and I haven’t picked up mail since I left NYC for Montana in early October, you’d think she wonder what happened.
If Ms. Laurea doesn’t “need” the money, can we really dub these checks ‘social security’? At some point, at the point where you don’t realize you’ve forgotten to deposit several of them, isn’t it just extra income? Am I really in support of “means-testing” social security? I guess, at a certain point, which is probably right here, yep. I am.
Don’t worry, I’ll e-mail her. I have her forwarding address somewhere, but this is getting old. The same thing happened with these checks the last two times I came to NYC.
It doesn’t look like our government’s giving grunions to Leo and Doris Borg, former residents of apartment 11 J, who have missed an official envelope from the IRS. As a Star Trek fan, I can’t resist picturing the Borg Collective owing money to the Internal Revenue Service. I must enclose a note to Leo and Doris, if I find them: “resistance is futile”.
When I googled the Borgs, the first hit that came up was a picture of a 94-year old Doris Borg, “the oldest prostitute in Malta.” http://bisserjeta.hsara.com/2012/01/100-year-old-prostitute-still-going-strong/. If that’s you, Doris, don’t come back to Manhattan. The competition is fierce.
Someone from a charity called “The Doe Fund” is looking for a Gentile in my apartment. Ain’t nobody here but this disaffected Jew, but at one time there must have been a Michelle D. Gentile who lived here. She sounds so Christian, so benign, a bit vulnerable. I picture her with one of those buns under a white net. Gee, I hope she’s OK.
The most pathetic correspondence belongs to Elizabeth Librizzi: a Christmas card with no return address, written by someone who appears to be a left handed girl under fifteen. Turn me in: this is where I broke down and broke the law.
I opened up Elizabeth Librizzi’s mail.
I hoped to find a return address, but inside there was one of those charity cards that could have been painted by someone overcompensating for a missing appendage with an overdose of angelic kitsch. “May angels light your way with peace and joy,” signed “Mark, Marianne, Erin and Jamie Rose.” Awww…shit. Can’t throw it away, can’t keep it. If I can’t find Elizabeth Librizzi, I can’t forward it. I’m tempted to re-seal it, invent an address and drop it in the mail, turning the whole matter into someone else’s problem.
Politicians at least understand apartment turnover (or bulk mail laws). There were a good half-dozen congressional, assembly, and other political flyers in my ten-inch pile of mail, and each bore the salutation “or current resident”. Several of them, including New York Senator Thomas K. Duane, sent three letters addressed to different people ALL residing at my apartment. Damn, how did they all fit in here? …Wait a minute, three disappearing voters? I demand a re-count (especially if the Republican won).
I got my apartment key from Edda Laurea. I know she exists. Elizabeth Librizzi, Michelle Gentile, Jane Williams, when did you live here? I hope you weren’t assimilated by the (Star Trek) Borg, or maybe… hmmm, you’re all women... Doris Borg! Shame on you. Did you teach these ladies another, more lucrative profession and move them to a Mediterranean Isle? Is this my destiny??? If you read this post, Ms. Borg, please reply. By mail. You have the address.