My Next Move

One winter, I moved to Brooklyn to figure myself out. I was escaping a situation I didn’t understand, by which I mean a job and a lover and an apartment that when they were all together left no place for me. As I had made my life into something that I couldn’t fit inside of but was for me, this meant I didn’t know what I was, not even close, and this seemed like a problem literally the size of my whole life. I wanted to go somewhere I couldn’t hurt anyone while I fixed this, so I took a small apartment with a single window on the very last street in Park Slope, where the neighborhood literally was less gentrified by the middle of the block. I got a job waiting tables, work that wouldn’t bother me at home or call me or email me with last-minute changes. And I picked as my bar a small gay bar almost no one knew, not too far from the apartment or the restaurant, with dark wood and old-fashioned mirrors and a crappy pool table out back usually surrounded by plain-spoken lesbians playing for keeps. I never played pool, so this was fine. I left my phone off for the first month, as I didn’t know what I would say to anyone who would call me, and eventually was afraid to turn it on. But this also seemed fine as the only person I really needed to speak to was me.

I told myself I was only here until I figured out my next move, and the bar was where I figured it out, or thought I did, after my shifts at the restaurant, though I think I drank more than came to any particular decision. I didn’t know it yet, but I hadn’t changed anything about myself, just my location. I’d thought that if I could just get away from everything that was in the way of what I really wanted, who I was would appear like an old friend long missing, and we’d leave together for whatever was next.

From a new short story of mine, “My Next Move”, the weekend fiction feature over at The Good Men Project Magazine. It’s about intersecting love triangles, and how when you say you need to go find yourself, you usually just don’t like the answer you already have.

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