Holy shit! Naturally, when I moved to Brooklyn, one of the first questions that I asked my landlord was, “What neighborhood is this?” He told me that it’s Midwood. Last week, my father was looking at a Brooklyn street map, and I showed him where I live. While looking at the map, I said, “That’s strange. I live in Midwood, but for some reason, on this map, it looks as if I live more towards Gravesend.” Last night, I went on a date with a girl from Gravesend named Nicole. She asked me, “Where do you live in Midwood?” I told her, “Dahill Road between Avenue P and Quentin.” She paused for a moment, and then said, “You idiot! You don’t live in Midwood! You live in Gravesend!”
There are no words to describe how psychologically damaging this is. It’s as if I had found out that I was adopted. In the past four and a half years, I have literally met thousands of people, and whenever I meet someone, one of the first questions that they ask me is, “Where do you live?” I’ve always told them that I live in Brooklyn, and then they ask me where in Brooklyn, and I tell them Midwood. But all this time, I’ve been lying to them. For 1,625 days, I have been telling a dirty, vicious lie. And according to an obscure law that’s still on the books in New York State, this will result in me receiving 1,625 lashes from the Census Bureau. I deserve it.
When Nicole told me this, we were at a bar in Bay Ridge called Cebu. We were sitting at a table outside, and just then, my friend Kieron Slattery was walking into the bar. We started talking, and I told him about what I had just discovered. He told me that, for a while, he thought that he was living in Bay Ridge, when he was actually living in Dyker Heights. Kieron and I used to work together at Lily’s or Henry Grattan’s or Lily Grattan’s or whatever the fuck that bar is called. And since both of us have worked in bars for several years, we have destroyed millions of brain cells on alcohol, enough to not know where we live. Even though that was an accurate explanation, Nicole didn’t seem to be too impressed by it.
Kieron said that his landlord was the one who informed him that he lives in Dyker Heights, and not Bay Ridge. That’s because Kieron has a good landlord, a landlord who believes in truth and beauty. My landlord, on the other hand, is the promoter of dirty, vicious lies, and I think that I should live in my apartment rent-free for two or three months, until I adjust to this.
cc: Charles Atlas
August 10, 2005