Excuse Me, is This Dream Taken?

June 1, 2007 at 5:35 am (Uncategorized)

Book club was Wednesday night, and we sat around Jac’s divine open fire, drank red wine, ate chocolate cake, and talked about Jay McInerney’s novel The Good Life. I hosted last month, so the book choice was mine, and I chose The Good Life for a number of reasons. One is that I enjoyed Brightness Falls many years ago, although it occurred to me reading his latest that I really don’t remember the details at all. Luckily I can actually see my copy from here: yes, there it is, directly ahead of me on one of my book shelves. I’m going to have to reread it now. A second is that I am and have always been a bit obsessed with New York. Lately, in particular, there is something like a physical reaction in me every time I think about it. It’s almost primal. It is like New York is calling me. I know how that sounds, but it’s true. I can name the cities of the world I have this reaction about, some of which I’m still yet to see with my own eyes: Havana (haven’t been yet but every time I see a photo of Havana I experience a flicker of recognition), Rome (give me more), Tokyo (had to be dragged away kicking and screaming), Sydney (oh, this heart of mine), Shanghai (I just know I’m going to love it), Cairo (I’m appalled not to have been there yet), Barcelona (rocks), and New York, where I must live for at least two years at least once in my life. Lots of other cities are on my list of must-sees and all-time-favourites, but these are the cities that seduce me most.

Unfortunately Llew and I are at odds with respect to the New York plan. Llew’s relocation dreams are mostly all Asian-bound. He doesn’t share my enthusiasm, my appetite, my insatiable lust for a couple of years in New York, which seems to be reaching some kind of apex this year. I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s an itch I’d really like to scratch sooner rather than later. It’s not that Llew isn’t interested in the idea at all, it’s just that NYC is much lower down his own list of dream cities. He has a list, and it looks kind of like mine, except everything is out of order. And I take his point that being broke in New York would be the last word in shit. I was broke in London, and I can attest to its being a HIGHLY overrated experience. ‘Authentic’ my arse – financial security smells just as real as poverty. So I see that, and I recognise the sheer impracticality of my desire to just get up and go, because I am a freelance writer and unpublished author – not exactly a steady income earner. It would be madness, sheer folly, and Llew is absolutely right to be more than a little lukewarm on the idea of just trying our luck. I don’t think there’s a visa that covers that, either…

But it does make me wonder. How do we choose? As two people who are bound to each other, how do we choose between his dreams and mine? How do we share the lifetime we have together when we each only have one apiece? It’s 4 years today since my niece Sam died at the age of 14. I know perfectly well that people really can’t afford to just put off asking these questions of themselves and their partners indefinitely. There is no indefinitely. So how do we do it? When they differ, how do we support each other’s dreams and still manage to follow our own at the same time?

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3 Comments

  1. movingeast said,

    Funny….I know that lust for New York

  2. movingeast said,

    Funny….I know that lust for New York, good luck in trying to quench yours!

  3. doctordi said,

    Thanks, movingeast – I’m not living there yet, but the lust remains undiminished. I’ve been to NYC twice, and each time I felt magnetised to the sidewalk.

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