By Haley Goetz
Her apartment was instantly recognizable as being typical of a 20-something-year-old Brooklyn transplant. She resided on the second floor of a worn brownstone across the street from an elementary school. Her tabby cat had some sort of eccentric name. One of her roommates happened to be a puppeteer who possessed the original hand cast from The Dark Crystal. It was all very quasi-artistic.
I was visiting a teacher of mine by the name of Ariana in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The two of us had bonded quite well when I had taken her workshop in non-linear editing at Boston University over the previous summer. We went out and got some doughnuts, then perused around a furniture store in Bushwick. Now I found myself sitting on her couch, enjoying some tea and good company.
Right as the two of us began to converse, into her apartment walked this guy somewhere in his late 20s or early 30s. Elianque was his name, and he was just about the tallest man I had ever seen, accented with an extra few feet or so of dreads. He and Ariana were friends, and I learned that he was a blackbox director of an experimental show up on 42nd Street. It involved some form of tribal rituals, possibly without clothes. I can’t truly remember.
He needed to borrow Ariana’s car so that he could go up to The Bronx and pick up some of his old turntables from his “crazy” and “evil” ex-wife. I guess that was the literal reason as to why he was there in the first place, but we did have a great conversation on the semantics of acting and writing. Soon he altogether abandoned the idea of going out to reclaim his property, and we instead bonded over venting about the malicious tendencies of this ex-wife of his. She had been sending him a slew of passive-aggressive texts and emails about not following through with picking up his stuff over at her place, along with other tidbits of emotional carnage.
I, being but a 17-year-old girl who was still in high school, felt rather proud of myself for being able to give relationship advice to a man twice my age. Soon we moved over to the kitchen table, where we continued to bond over broccoli and gyoza. Elianque took a break between bites to hold up his fork and stare at it with rapt fascination.
“What if this fork was in another reality?” he postulated.
“What, then, even is reality?”
Dusky light was coming through the windows of the apartment. I really had to get going. The three of us walked into the Bed-Stuy evening glow, entering into a bodega before I was on my way back to the cozy environment of Carroll Gardens, the other Brooklyn neighborhood where I was staying. This was the last time I would see Ariana for quite awhile, but I knew it would not be the “last” last time in the truest sense.
We parted at the gates to the Bedford-Nostrand subway stop. I was feeling more elated than I had in quite some time. There’s just something so wonderful about maintaining a connection to a friend even after a length of time. The world was spinning, the world was frantic, but nothing was as pressing or as rushed as it previously seemed. Those who were riding the G train with me were but a backdrop to this specific moment in time. There’s something truly magical about being involved in life, in experiencing things, that it’s almost too much to fathom.