Friday, November 02, 2012

I moved to a new apartment on E. 88th.

“There’s a balcony.” I tell my New York friend.

“A balcony? Wow that’s pretty snazzy.” She replies.

“Well, when I say balcony it’s really more like a fire escape.”

“So you don’t really have a balcony. Your building has a fire escape.”

“Yes, I think that’s a fair assessment of what’s outside my window”

I can’t swear she rolled her eyes, but I think I felt the eye roll of judgment upon me. It really is an issue of how you look at it. To me it’s a balcony to the rest of the world it’s a rusted fire escape which will require a tetanus shot.

James Thurber, a wonderful writer, was going blind. His vision was failing quickly. A reporter asked how he felt about it, one of the truly stupid questions. I loved his answer

“It’s not so bad- where everyone else sees a brown paper bag blowing down the street; I see an old woman in a raincoat doing summersaults.”

How I see it: I have always had a mental picture of me leaning over the rails of a New York fire escape. I’m wearing a wife beater shirt, cigarette dangling from my mouth, 3 days growth of beard. I watching the kids play stickball in the street. I may be Italian in this picture. Yea, I know I should aspire to more.

Actuality: A 48 year-old man trying to get through a small window to an unstable fire escape, feet too big to maneuver, legs not limber enough and a small yelp of pain when the hip feels like it’s going to pop. It’s a sad little sight indeed.

“It’s not how I envisioned it.” I tell my sister over the phone while I clutch the rusty fire escape, clinging for dear life.

“Maybe you should move to Seattle.” She says.

Hmmm, I could see myself on a fishing boat, wearing a Greek fisherman’s hat, weathered face, cigarette dangling from my mouth and a Scottish accent. Maybe I should.


Osiris said...


When you picked this up again, in your first new post you said:

"Turns out several other "Misplaced in the Midwest" sites have cropped up."

I'm the writer who is responsible for one of those other blogs.

You also said:

"I was going to get outraged by the lack of originality but it occurred to me that I might have lifted my blog name from someone else."

Maybe... I started mine in 2005 on a website that ceased to exist in 2009, so I migrated to this host.

I chose to not change or alter my blog name, because after reading your content, I was convinced that our respective readers wouldn't likely mistake one of us for the other.

Welcome back to the blogosphere.

You and I do have a few things in common, a relationship that ended, we both bailed from the Midwest, and are currently in New York State, you in the city (where I lived for a few years myself), and me at the other end of the state in the city of my birth, good ol' Buffalo.

Your date posts crack me up... Cheers!

Misplaced said...

Osiris- next time you're in the city drop me a line- we can grab a coffee. I'll check out your site.

Osiris said...

Sounds like a plan. We're planning on a trip down to the city in the Spring.

If you find yourself with a reason to head out this way, you do the same.