Day Eight: Ode to the NYPL, and some self-deprecation

Eleven days without Internet in my room.

I don’t think the New York Public Library understands that by closing at 6 p.m. on Mondays, it’s depriving me of some serious Internet usage.

But I still love it. Because it has the nicest WIFI room I’ve ever seen. It’s enormous. And gorgeous. And the Internet connection is pretty spot-on. The chairs are comfortable and I can sit there on my laptop enjoying the Internet.

I go to the NYPL every day after work. It’s usually the first Internet access I’ll have that day, so it’s quite the release. All the stress/fatigue/facial tics built up over the course of the day are abated like I’m a junkie who has finally gotten his fix. Which, I suppose, is fairly accurate. I’ve been trying to avoid addressing this situation as evidence of an “Internet addiction” (though yesterday’s post came awfully close) because, frankly, I don’t see it as something problematic. Though if you had been privy to my thoughts that first 36 hours or so I went without Internet in my room, you could certainly argue my connection – both the actual connection online and my relationship with the Internet – is problematic.

I just wish the NYPL were open past 6 p.m. on Mondays. They usually kick me out around 5:40 or 5:45 (today they literally picked up my table and carried it away right after I got up, I have no idea why, but it god damn better be there tomorrow), meaning I only get about forty minutes of Internet usage. Thankfully they’re open later on Tuesdays (at least I think) and on Wednesdays I get out of work at 1 p.m. so I don’t have to worry. But considering Mondays constitute one-third of my work week, a short-shift of Internet usage certainly has an impact.

I keep forgetting I’m in New York City. If I were a rational human being, I’d realize I have nothing to complain about and that being Internetless is actually kind of a blessing, as it should force me out of my building out into the city and do something. I mean, people spend hundreds of dollars just to visit the city where I’m living for the next two and a half months, and yet I can’t seem to motivate myself to do anything. I’ve been to Central Park, Columbus Circle, and Lincoln Center but only because they’re roughly a five-minute walk from my building. I work less than ten blocks from 30 Rock but I haven’t been there since I visited in April. I only just today remembered I want to go see Jimmy Fallon while I’m here, multiple times, and what better time to do that then now, when I don’t have Internet?

I feel cut off from the world without the Internet, as pathetic as that sounds (but I think it’s valid), and the feeling makes me forget/not realize there are things to do around here that I just haven’t thought of. It’s sort of a sick irony, I think, that while Internetlessness should, by all accounts, push me out the door to explore the city, it has the opposite affect – I go from work to the NYPL to my building each day, and that’s it. Granted, I’ve still only had one whole day off in Manhattan so far, so I don’t know what desperate measures I’ll eventually take, but I still feel like I’m not taking advantage of my situation (though I don’t think recognizing this failure on my part will make me do anything, either).

I honestly should not be complaining about this. I should have no reason to write this blog. I’m in Manhattan, for the love of god, I should take the Internetlessness as a sign to get the fuck out of my room and do something. If you really think about it, I’m kind of a piece of shit. 

And now a large group of teenagers just came into the lobby causing a ruckus, so I think that’s my cue to head upstairs and watch Boy Meets World S4 (in which Mr. Turner is severely underutilized, seriously where is he?) and count myself to sleep figuring out the math for how many hours I have left in this building.

Last thoughts:

Every so often I’ll forget that Taylor Swift’s cover of “Last Christmas” is the greatest song ever recorded. But then I’ll listen to it and remember that it is.

And that’s the second TaySway reference in this blog so far. 

-Ben Cosman

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