A friend called me up yesterday and said: “I’m hanging out in a fancy apartment. Do you want to come also hang out in this fancy apartment?” I said yes. Any apartment is preferable to hang out in over my apartment—a fancy one, even better.
I live a tiny room in a terrible apartment (well documented). “Fancy” doesn’t mean much when you live like I am currently living. It could mean a bathroom without a cloud of black mold on the ceiling. It could mean there’s room for a desk and a bed. It could mean there are not Dominican motorcycle gangs revving around at all hours, on all days. I didn’t know what fancy meant, is what I’m trying to say. I didn’t occur to me that it could actually mean fancy.
I went to the apartment. It was a fancy neighborhood, yes, but that didn’t really mean anything. There is crappy real estate everywhere. But this was not that. I walked in and started laughing. Cackling. Guffawing. I might have started hyperventilating. I had to breathe into a paper bag, but we had no paper bag, so I just sat down on down-stuffed wing chair and fanned myself with a letter pressed-party invitation that had been tossed on the table. There was central air. The room smelled like flowers. I started to calm down.
I had forgotten about rich people. I knew they existed of course, but I’d forgotten that sometimes our lives can intersect. I was sitting in one of their houses. And it was fancy. There was very large, very oversized furniture. There was a very large, very oversized art. There were multiple fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, multiple floors. There were huge windows with trees outside of them. I tried to picture the house in another city, thinking somehow it’d feel better to be able to say, “Well, it’s fancy for New York, but it’s not that fancy.” But no, the house would have been fancy anywhere. It was fancy, full stop. I’m not going to recount every detail for you; I mean, you’d love it, but it’d be torturous for me, like making a starving man recount the details of a feast he’d happened upon and watched for a minute, drooling from behind a bush.