Hello, Cleveland friends. It's your somewhat forgotten friend, Jim Tews. I'm writing you from New York City. That's right, the Big Apple! Wall Street! Times Square! The Statue of Liberty! Noise!
What a great place to live. A lot of you seemed worried when I shipped off for the promised land, but let me tell you, it was unnecessary. All my basic needs are being met, and then some! (Sorry if I'm using a lot of exclamation points, I'm just so excited to be living here! Excited!)
There's so much energy here, so much of a buzz, so many people. Endless people! It's like a sea of people. A sea of people with waves that pull you under until you can't breathe. Then they push you back up to the surface, so you can get just enough air to make it to the next wave. Such a hum!
The crowd is one of those things that would get to a lot of people, but it's just as easy to be alone here. Everyone ignores you, even if you're crying or bleeding, but especially if you're doing both. You can pretty much do anything you want here, and everyone will leave you alone. They'll leave you so alone!
There's tons of culture here too: museums, galleries, top-notch restaurants. I can walk past them and look in whenever I want. People say that this place is expensive, and it's true, but you just have to be resourceful. I keep my expenses low by living in a terrible neighborhood. A neighborhood I clearly don't belong in. I know I don't belong here because that's what someone wrote on my mailbox. But the longer I'm around, and the more Spanish I learn, the better things get!
There's always something to do here. Always. You're always moving. Always. You never sleep, because the city will not let you. Sometimes I get so tired, I pass out on the train. Just like in the movies!
I've lost weight, and I didn't even have to join a gym. It's mostly from the walking. I'm eating great. There are plenty of places to get cheap food. Just be careful what you eat before bed: Whatever's in most street falafel gives you violent, vivid night terrors. (That's only a warning for you; I've developed a tolerance.)
I think about coming back sometimes. I daydream about buying a house, for what I currently pay to rent. I dream about what it's like to hear almost nothing at night. I dream about yelling, "Help me!" and then someone coming to help. But I'm here in New York, doing what I have to do, living the dream. Kind of a hot sauce fever dream, but a dream nonetheless. I'll see you all again soon. Stay cool, and stay there.