New York Isn’t New York

“Oh yeah, it’s because the system assumes everyone is 12. You’re clearly not 12. Do you want to be 12 again?” the hotel clerk asks me after I can’t get the automated system to work.

I’m in New York City for New York Comic Con — or more specifically, the Harvey Awards — and for whatever ridiculous reason, the hotel bar closes at 11 p.m. so I’m trying to buy a bottled cocktail from the hotel market.

“I don’t want to be 12,” I tell the clerk.

“16? 18?”



“Maybe 21,” I say. But that’s really as close as I’d get to wanting to be any other age, but I’m even ambivalent about that.

Earlier in the night, I went to see the Beetlejuice musical (which was actually my first Broadway show on Broadway, which is very on brand) with a very good friend. As we were leaving, he mentioned we’ve known each other for 20 years now, and then the joke was that he’s known me since I was 5. I said “well, it’s true I’m only 25 now.”

(Beetlejuice is a lot of fun, by the way. It’s funny and fun and surprisingly heartfelt in places that feel earned. The leads are remarkable and I’m really happy I saw it.)

I’ve been feeling lonely lately. That’s no one’s fault. I have a lot of amazing friends and family, locally and all over. But loneliness is sneaky. It finds you when you least expect it.

But walking along Broadway in a misty night amongst tourists and residents and everyone else made me feel the opposite of lonely. It made me feel like we’re all just people doing what we can. And it felt nice.

I met up with a friend at a bar and it was hot and crowded and that was fine. So many things are what they are. I met some people. It was good. But I was slightly overstimulated so I went back to my hotel. I like that choice.

I feel like I’m trying to wrap this narrative around some theme of life and death because of Beetlejuice. But that’s not so much what I mean. I think the show was more about moving on and being who you are now and accepting it.

“Oh, to be 21 again,” the clerk called after me. But I don’t want to be 21 again. I just want to be me.

And yeah, I’m going to include this St. Vincent song because it’s probably my favorite song about New York. I get what this feels like.