Take myself out to dinner at somewhere I recently ate to recreate the fun I had yet not have to deal with the difficulty of coordinating to meet someone, or stumble through conversation.
Put dozens of books on hold at the New York Public Library or the Brooklyn Public Library through their respective websites, but lack the motivation to actually go pick up the books, and either ignore the emails notifying me of their expiration or go put the same books back on hold, only to fail to fetch them yet again.
Attend too many social events full of pasta and cooked dead animals and booze and people who may or may not speak to me and dog-cohosted reading series and happy hours and classes and obligations in order to fill my calendar because I am still just not used to having this many options.
Bring a magazine I like to say I read, but never actually read, a book I'm embarrassed to be seen reading, a book I should be enjoying, my iPod full of primarily somber lo-fi quiet detailed singer-songwriters, and my notebook half-full of half-developed ideas all with me when I go anywhere on the subway to avoid any moments alone with myself.
Develop sophisticated tastes in drinks, and even develop a home bar so I can continue to pursue that hobby. Decide that 11am is a perfectly reasonable hour for a cocktail, especially when it is the traditional Brooklyn brunch beverage of a bloody Mary or mimosa.
Simultaneously pursue studies of psychotherapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, personal training, massage, reiki, and yoga, to convince myself that I am actually dealing with my emotions as they come up, and I am not burying them under the scrap-heap run-off from this urban playground.
Check my Twitter stream. Check my RSS reader. Check my email. Again.
Subscribe to e-mailing lists for my favorite venues, bands, causes, organizations, or organizations that I think I should be involved in, to get notified of what they're doing, only to be stressed out by a full email inbox and subsequently delete all the newsletters before reading them, ultimately giving in with the one-click unsubscribe link a year later.
Decide I need to be more selfless and volunteer for a cool organization where I'll a) feel like part of something, b) meet cool, interesting people who will be my new best friend, c) change the world through social justice and activism, and d) have something to do on my weekends and evenings. Quit because I don't have enough time to commit, even though they were very clear about how much time it takes to be involved on their website, in their application, and in their orientation.
Read blogs and e-magazines and surf the web aimlessly instead of reading the books that I already own.
Get obsessed with the books I already own and zip through one, three, four, six of them in one week, piling up a big stack next to my bed with titles like Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man and Best Erotic Comics 2009 and The Way We Never Were and A Gate At The Stairs. Develop a headache from reading so much.
Order organic grocery delivery once a week so I can spend less time at the grocery store. But the produce isn't necessarily local or seasonal, so I get bitched out by my socially conscious friends for not being in a CSA where I pick up produce from a local farm weekly. Learn how to make things out of the random array of fruits and vegetables that show up at my house every week, and remember that adding butter and sugar, or butter and garlic, to just about anything makes it incredible.
Do yoga alone in my room while my cat scratches on the mat and comes to sit under my head any time I spend more than a minute in downward facing dog. Don't tell anyone I'm doing yoga alone in my room, it's my little secret private me time.
Take a drive in my girlfriend's car, who left the keys with me because it's easier to park in my neighborhood than in hers, indeed there is usually a spot on my street, and drive aimlessly, blasting the classical station as loud as it will go or singing along to Simon & Garfunkel as the harmony line.
Walk in the Village and feel at home in this city, like it's mine, like I belong here. Step in dog shit, get yelled at by a complete stranger co-pedestrian for absolutely no reason, and laugh at the thirteen dollar coffee-and-sandwich special, and remember that I don't.
Get lost in my own room in my own computer in my own body in my own head for twenty-four hours, not communicating with anyone, not even my roommate, okay maybe my cats for a little while, and come out on the other side with brilliant ideas to branch out in even more directions, then realize the problem is not any sort of lack of brilliant idea or lack of direction or opportunity, the problem is narrowing down everything I want to do into one direct, immediate stream of action. Decide the last day was a wash. Eat a pint of ginger Häagen-Dazs ice cream.
Call my mother. Call my best friend from out west and remember what it was like to live in a city that loved me back.
Write gratitude letters. Dear Universe, thanks for providing. Dear perceived enemies, I made you, so you must be good for me. Wish you'd tell me what it is you'd like for me to learn. Dear New York City, thanks for the endless opportunities to better myself. Dear Self, don't take it all so seriously. You've still got a lot to learn, stay flexible.
Go back to my former favorite bar alone and decide which girl I would take home if I wasn't madly in love. Go home early and write a love letter to leave on her pillow, fold it into an origami crane and toss it out the window of my third-floor walk-up to catch the wind. Text her in the morning when I wake up, apologize for whatever it was that made me sleep alone last night, and bring a flower to brunch. She loves me, she loves me not. She loves me, she loves me not. She loves me.
Love her back.