Day Eighteen: Acceptance (I told you so)

One day without Internet in my room.

This is it. I remember looking at the calendar on my phone on that Sunday I moved in here at this date and nearly crying at how far away it was. I remember writing the post on day nine, talking about the five stages of Internetlessness, and writing: “I can tell you exactly when I’ll hit the acceptance stage. It’ll come the evening of May 31st, as soon as I head upstairs after one last night in the lobby using the Internet.” Well folks, it is May 31st and I’m very nearly about to head up to the floor 13 one last time. And I was right. It is now, with sixteen hours to go, that I’ve finally accepted my time here.

I spent one last night sitting outside in Lincoln Center, watching the ballet/opera audience members walk around. I sat on the same ledge I sat on my first time being out in Manhattan after dark. It definitely felt like an end to something. I don’t know if it actually is. And I probably won’t know until tomorrow evening, if things will be that much different. But I can tell you that on this side of things, nearing the end, that last time out in L.C. felt like a fitting end.

It wasn’t until now that I really understood why my uncle put me here first. That first night when I was here, at dinner with him, he told me he would have rather put me in the second building for my entire stay, but he figured it’d be a good idea to put me here at the Y until I got used to Manhattan. At the time, I wasn’t exactly sure what he meant. And then when I found out I wouldn’t have Internet in my room, I was fucking pissed that he didn’t put me in the other room the whole time. But tonight, sitting there in L.C., I realized he was right. The C.C. subway station is a pretty central station, pretty much every train I’ve needed to take has gone to and from there. The area has everything I could ever need/want within walking distance. Fuck, I can walk 30 seconds to L.C. and sit for an hour just because. I have no idea what the new building will be like, or the area it is in. But I know it won’t be like this.

So, of course, this second-to-last post is a bit of mourning. This blog started as a chronicle of nineteen days of mourning my Internetlessness. Now that I’m presented with the end of that, I lament the loss of being here. Because I only want what I can’t have, and that’s some psychological shit that goes beyond anything I can/want to write about here.

Even though today is almost-last post of this nineteen day journey, I’m still going to post once a night while I’m in Manhattan. And I want to start three new things for each post.

Favorite thing I saw today in the city: the kid/man doing a wheelie 1.5 blocks down Broadway on the shittiest red bike I’ve ever seen, weaving in and out of cars: bravo.

Favorite thing I heard today in the city: Old man to his female companion – “The best sleep I’ve ever gotten was in Montauk, I swear to you.”

And the random picture of the day: Michelle Obama circa Princeton graduation and I are celebrating my last night at the Y.

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I check out at 11:30 tomorrow morning. I don’t check into the other building until 3:00 p.m., so there is going to be some time spent in limbo/purgatory, but I’m sure I’ll see you on the other side.

-Ben Cosman

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