This post originally appeared on November 25th, 2013.
I have never let the fact that I do not live in New York City keep me from pursuing my dreams, and I am certainly not going to let it stop me from writing a Why I Am Leaving New York essay today. New York, I must take my leave of you, you withered bitch-hearted city, you poison-titted fuckmother, you beautiful sex demon.
I am leaving New York City because of all of these goddamned wizards.
I never saw myself leaving New York. After Henry Hudson defeated the giant Cloverfield monsters wandering Manhattan Island by trapping them in steel and turning them into skyscrapers, it seemed like the perfect place to live, with just the right amount of wizards. Now, there are too many wizards, and it’s time to go.
It didn’t used to be like this. I used to go out a lot, to nightclubs like Danceteria, the Mud Club, Limelight, Save the Robots, Pyramid, Area, Beirut. Now Danceteria is a Night Swamp — anyone who enters loses all of their senses within an hour. Save the Robots is a group of twelve brothers who have been transfigured into swans; their sister trails after them, never speaking, frantically knitting, trying to turn them back into princes. Even Beirut is an enchanted ship that never stops moving and spontaneously catches fire every day at the hour of the Crucifixion. The Mud Club is pretty much the same, though.
When I was a kid growing up in the wizardless wastes of New Montana, I dreamed of someday paying the Dead-Eyed Ferryman my weight in bloodcoin and traveling over the Sleepless Hills into New York City. There was a glamour to it, a sense of possibility and neither too few nor too many spellcasters. And for a while, New York City was like that for me. I had lovers and apartments and few to no curses printed in ancient runes on my forehead.
Last year my building went co-op after it was bought out by a representative of the Unseelie Court. They turned the super into a burning brand and replaced him with Robin Goodfellow, a large, hairy man with a tail who performs housework in exchange for a saucer of milk and a place in front of the fire. He is the son of a witch and the Devil and he still hasn’t fixed my radiator even though I put in a written request in September.
The moon has disappeared and it has rained pennies for three straight weeks. The pennies disappear as soon as they hit the pavement. Whose New York City is this?
I used to be able to walk through Times Square at high noon and make it to the other side in my original form; now I can’t even leave my apartment without being enchanted into a wolf by a cackling old man in a beard and silvery-grey robes who disappears into a puff of smoke.
Sure, the apartment’s rent-controlled, but the rent is controlled by another damn wizard. One month I have to pay him in rubies held in the mouth of a robin; the next I have to fight through a Minotaur maze in order to bring him the scent of freshly baked bread. My relationship with New York City has been a love affair, but that love affair has been broken by a forgetting spell, almost certainly cast by Ró the Black-Nailed, who is an enemy of love in all its forms and is particularly adept at casting memory spells.
God, I hate Ró the Black-Nailed. I hate Ró the Black-Nailed almost as much as I hate Gargarak of the Thousand Sorrows, who has spirited away most of Houston Street and replaced it with a humming, ultra-violet rainbow that vaporizes anything that touches it. This isn’t the New York City I signed up for. Maybe I’ll go back to my ancestral home in New Montana. Maybe I’ll move to Austin. I hear there aren’t very many wizards there, just the Chupacabra Succubus Sisters.
I remember the days when pigeons died without melting into the sidewalk, then re-forming several blocks away with an extra black band around their necks. They just died. Whose New York City is this?
I spent all my money on hand-pulled marshmallows, but then a wizard took them, so now I don’t even have that. New York City took my marshmallows.