My Life Is Nothing Like How To Make It In America.
I live in New York City. It’s a recent development, having just moved here in June to work in advertising. It took me all of one month to make stone cold certain that this was a terrible choice, if only because desk jobs give you hemorrhoids in so many different ways.
I lived in Brooklyn when I was younger, but moved away in the fifth grade for the greener passages of southern suburbia. That had its pros and (major motherfucking) cons. So now after graduating from an institution of higher learning also located on the east coast, I’m back to figure out what the hell to do with the rest of my life. I had no desire to move back here. It’s insanely dirty, expensive and I’ve come to really love greenery and solitude, neither of which you can get in this city without considerably more money than I currently make. I’ve taken to locking myself in small conference rooms at work to get some temporary semblance of privacy. I’ve even come back to the office late on Friday nights after going out just to enjoy how quiet it is.
During my junior year at the aforementioned institute of higher learning, I became addicted to a new show on HBO, thanks to the hot guys, incredible cinematography, fresh music and ride-or-die spirit. How To Make It In America. SO GOOD. It reminded me of some of the people I knew, because people like the ones depicted on the show don’t really exist outside of NYC. That’s something that I do love about the city. But upon returning, I’ve been devastated to discover that my life IS NOTHING LIKE THAT.
It easy to assume my life will be nothing like Sex and the City, because I’m not white, in my thirties, or living in an impossible apartment with insane shoes on a newspaper columnist’s budget. But HTMIIA has given me false hope. Young kids running around the city, hustling to accomplish a dream? That’s me now that I’ve realized corporate America is an evil succubus and having a 401(k) doesn’t make up for having the life slowly drawn out of your once young, hopeful body.
To say the least, struggling to make something out of virtually nothing is not glamorous without high def photography, good music and Victor Rasuk and Bryan Greenberg.
When you don’t have a silver tongue like Ben Epstein or a charming sweetness like Cam Calderon, life is not about breezing through the back door by getting on the good side of the bouncer, who happens to be a CHICK with tattoos and a nose ring. Better yet, that applies when you’re not an attractive man in a city choc full of women and gay men. You know that ‘anything can happen’ feeling you get when you watch shows like HTMIIA? It doesn’t really happen after you’ve been kicked out of a private party for being too ambitious and you’ve run into an old friend who’s like “OMG totally remember you, love you, let me help you out don’t I have impeccable style I’m a big deal in fashion now BTW.”
In defense of New York, those “holy shit, why am I running into you here?” moments totally happen all over the city, but it’s usually someone you’re trying to avoid, not the hottest guy of life offering to grow your business.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not quitting. I haven’t figured out what I want to do with my life, how to do it or when it will happen, but I wasn’t kidding about those metaphorical hemorrhoids. Pretty much the only thing I have in common with this show besides its location is my drive to be more than I am, which is all I need to keep me watching. But I will say that, sometimes, the adventures of Ben and Cam have me less inspired to get dolled up and troll nightlife for connections and more wanting to kick back in some big, baggy flannel with a pint of Americone Dream, watch illegal cable and succumb to the bowel cancer that is apparently inevitable for office workers.