Sunday, 20 April 2008

The Gentrification of Park Slope

We knew the end was coming. The agreement was tacit. I would walk around your apartment you would step to one side. When your father came to visit, I would hide in the closet, holding my breath to evade capture. Once, I was trapped in the basement, after the handle of the steel door broke off. Without a light, I stretched my arms and hands out in the dark room, trying to find another way out. Eventually, the janitor heard me. Thereafter, things were tense on the way to Coney Island, and in an effort to disturb the mood you forced me on the rickety circuit of the Cyclone rollercoaster, with its violent and juddering force. We returned, however, impervious to the restorative power of the Cyclone.

You were job hunting for curating positions while I was befriending Hegel. We drank a lot of iced coffee, some of which I would microwave late at night. You felt guilty that we weren’t doing enough together, but I was happy to be exploring in solitude. Once, I sat on a chair in Tiffany’s writing notes into the margins of The Phenomenology of Spirit as you searched for a gift for your parents on another floor of the store. Years later, I returned to that chair, but the security guard prohibited me from taking a photo. Later that summer, I altered my return flight, unaware that I would have been caught up with you in the attacks of September 11th had I kept my original ticket. At JFK airport a few days before the terrorist attacks, I read about the incoming gentrification of 5th Avenue—oyster bars in particular—knowing that I would likely never see it for many years. When I did return in March 2005, Park Slope was indeed a very different place. You had vacated Carroll Street, despite your name tag still being affixed to the buzzer on the door.