Love letter to NYC, with pronouns
this is the best way to understand genderfluidity
All hail, lovers of my gorgeous NYC, both near and far:
I was planning to tell you how spectacular NYC is in August - you can get a table anywhere, you can see exhibits and Broadway without waiting, usually discounted. Most tourists are not around: they’ve come early in the summer or are saving up to come for 9/11 or during the crisp autumn months, or at Christmas for the sparkling festivities and windows. The locals are all away too - our schools won’t resume until mid-September so this is a perfect time to hightail it to the country, the beach, or better still, some other country with a beach. All of the therapist and most of the editors take two week vacations or longer in August. There’s a reason for the August lull.
August weather tends to be miserable and muggy and the only deep breaths you can get are passing by a soap store, when their front doors are illegally propped open and the grapefruit-mint scented air conditioning forms a hovering oasis of cold spa clouds on the sidewalk you’re scurrying past to get to the thick sauna on the subway stairs. (You will know your train is coming when the air shoves itself into your face like locker room bully wielding a hot, musty towel)
But oh - when the weather briefly breaks, and you live here….
Last night I went to four of my favorite bars. Two of them are on rooftops. Here’s another photo.
But I started the day very early at the glorious Beekman Hotel’s Bar Room where I met the inimitable Charles McNair. This novelist an all around great human being lives full time in Peru (speaking of weather: he says Bogota is the best place to live and has mild weather year round: like a wine cave but with a view and spectacular ancient architecture). He was in the country to support his son as he bought his first house. Like many parents, he’s proud of his son and delighted to help with major life changes. (One of these is that his son was born a daughter.)
But let’s get away from people and your opinions on biology, okay? I want to talk only about pronouns: particularly using they/them for a singular. You already do this, so don’t say you can’t. (Your kid says “Oh by the way, I invited Taylor for Thanksgiving.” You have never heard of this friend, so you smile and say, “Great! I’m looking forward to meeting them. Do they have any allergies?” It is only after you meet Taylor that you even WANT to start calling them “him” or “her”—for as long as you don’t know, it’s quite easy to use a singular they/them. Isn’t it odd?)
We make the effort to change our learned behaviors usually only for the sake of a loved one.
So let’s talk about NYC, which I love.
This City is fierce, and passionate and full of fire and vigor. This City can be cruel and capricious, aggressive, noisy, smelly, and agonizingly bureaucratic, but can also be gloriously creative and inspiring, outrageous and sexy, whimsical and full of unanticipated kindness and joy.
For a long time I personified the City as a “she” — but last night I wondered if NYC isn’t better describe as the singular non-gendered “they”.
They are fierce and passionate and full of fire and vigor. They can be cruel and capricious, aggressive, noisy, smelly, and agonizingly bureaucratic, but can also be gloriously creative and inspiring, outrageous and sexy, whimsical and full of unanticipated kindness and joy. They give me comfort and safety but also push me to my limits and make me step up and seek the next level. I love NYC. I love them.
August weeks are flying by - I am doing many day trips to visit friends commutable to NYC. No new writing news—am simply moving forward on my idea to do a Kickstarter or Gofundme to be able to ask for some fancy upgrades when my novel finds a printer - (does anyone have opinions between these two? tell me in the comments).
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an MMDeVoe short story to read and have some time, grab your favorite beverage and check out this strange little piece from a long while ago. It’s one of my favorites:
Cineplex, by me.
Prefer nonfiction? Don’t forget there is an expanded version of “Calling all Library Kids” up on Medium!
Your Final Random Thought:
I said I’d be there in a jiffy. And of course then I had to look up the origin of that super-weird phrase—the internet has informed me there is no factual answer, but it “might be some kind of thieves’ slang” from the mid 1700s. So let’s brainstorm: what common or uncommon thing could sound like “jiffy” from back then?