by Anca Szilágyi

Green Tea in a Pink Room

is a surefire way to fight the gray we’re always talking about, that we can’t help but talk about despite the fact that we are sick of talking about it. When I am honest, the cold and wet feel right, and all you need is a cable-knit sweater, a square window, and a warm yellow light. You will never find cozy here, you will always have to make cozy. Hence all the wood smoke in the city purported to be green. Get me off this damp bus and into my own car but still I don’t know how to drive.

Let me marry who I want and get off my land. One-on-one pilates and I’m proud to be a Socialist.

Let’s tax the rich but please keep those people out of the neighborhood.

I never thought the neighborhood would turn out this way says the $17 apricot tart and two americanos. Sometimes, because the coffee costs an even $3, you don’t tip but self-flagellate. Sometimes you tip a $1 on a $2.74 tea and feel like a chump.

You will always regret the slab of chocolate cake as the side dish to your goop.

You will always regret the size of your ice cream.

You will always get mad at the sign that says “Ice Cream Makes You Happy,” because, you’ll think, no, it doesn’t. It makes you fat. But it’s salted caramel with bacon crack and local organic so why not: let’s have a lick.

You are all for good roads and no sales tax. You are all for safe streets and no income tax. Why don’t you go back where you came from if you don’t like it here. But I like it here, you say, I like the marine air and the strange bulbous flora, I like the old growth center of the city muffled and glowing with moss, I like the scent of berbere in Little Ethiopia and sandalwood in Little Saigon but they are confined to their enclaves and I have to get on a freeway to feel Jewish. I’m feeling anthropological. Where are all the Jews? “Oh,” someone tells me at a party, “they like to hide—it’s okay to say that because I used to work for them.”

Where’s your accent? You must have worked really hard to get rid of it, you know, so no one writes you off? And the blond girl from suburban California’s eyes saucer when you say yes Brooklyn no not Park Slope. How was that she asks with muggings on her tongue.

The cupcake place with the pink chairs is my favorite because it’s so obscene hardly anyone goes there. We live in a city that would rather not have people. I always regret the cake and never regret the ice cream.

In the words of Mudhoney: touch me, I’m sick.

Image: Gray and Pink by Ana Sofia Guerreirinho via Flickr.