Thursday, September 04, 2014

A Point....and Maybe Reality?

It is very hard to think about leaving a place you love.  I don't think I've ever lived in a place I've loved as much as Brooklyn.  Here is where the grammar plays it's weird role.  I wrote in the present perfect.  It holds a tense and an aspect.  The tense is present via "have" and the aspect is where it gets tricky.  Aspect is the "feeling" per se.  Aspect is meant to be transitional.  As it is defined in modern grammar,  it is also known as a mood.  Therefore, in my understanding a "mood" can change.  A tense can't.  You did or you didn't do something.  Yet, the the definition of "have" is as ambiguous as they can come.

I've never lived in a place I have loved as much as Brooklyn.

And, that sentence and it's tense and mood are problematic for me.  I haven't lived anywhere but Brooklyn for so long.  I leave here and I want to live anywhere else.  At least for a moment.  But, then it was Portland, Oregon, that really made me feel okay about leaving.  Yet, as always, I'm here.  Teaching only evenings and late afternoons, missing baseball games, dinners, cooking, ideal times for cycling.

It is such an odd feeling to know how much better your life could be in another place if you could only commit to it; that means giving up everything a place says is important.  The east coast, with all of its greatness and ambition, becomes less and less attractive in my case.  What the fuck am I?  An adjunct professor (hurumph?).  No.  I'm a token in this game of a city of antipathy.  I don't even have a title other than "lecturer" or "visiting" according to where I work.  The sad irony is that I have 14 years as an educator under my belt and teach in higher ed.  My experience and capabilities are only noticed at the micro level.  The macro (full-time, benefits, pay appropriate for hours worked, research opportunities, etc.) are considered worthless at this point in this region of the U.S.

Alas, there is Portland.  They have a living wage out there.  Meaning, I'd make 1/6 or so of my current salary if I slung coffee or bartend on an hourly basis.  Yet, that is the point, in an odd way.  If I were good at something out there, I'd be valued.  No matter what you do: flipping burgers, slinging coffee, cold-calling, you get paid at least $11 an hour.  Perhaps my sights are way low, perhaps my ambition is fleeting, but that sounds okay to me.  $21,120 a year before tips sounds great to me in a weird way.  It is a place that embraces everything I love. EVERYTHING.  The jobs that exist otherwise are swallowed up by those who live there.  Fair enough.

Therefore, it is Brooklyn, boring and overpriced, and lame these days.....that is where I live and will most likely die.

Back to the verb tenses/moods:  Will always means maybe.....

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