Thursday, February 13, 2014

Humans of New York Spotlight [1/21 – 2/9]

Humans of New York
January 21 – February 9

[[Note: I've spent the entire day perusing this website, and am moving the book to #1 on my to-buy/to-read list. Enjoy.]]

"Back in Guyana, my father captained a ship with forty men. Here, he drives a bus for the MTA. It’s been a tough adjustment, but he did it for his family."
"How many siblings do you have?"
"A lot. My dad was captain of the ship."


"It was hard to watch because I always saw my Dad as Superman. He eventually forgot he had Alzheimer’s even. So he walked around knowing he was fucked up, but not knowing why. So it made him angry. He was an old school Irish guy, so he used to get angry when he was scared."


"I’m taking a 3 month memoir-writing course."
"So what’s the most intense moment of your memoir?"
"When I was 17, my best friend died in my arms of an MDMA overdose."


"Twenty years ago, I avoided going on a trip that I didn’t want to go on because I broke my leg. I had only agreed to the trip in the first place because I wanted to avoid making my father mad. Afterward, I had this sudden realization that it had taken me breaking my leg to finally do what I wanted to do. And I’ve lived life on my own terms ever since."


"If you could change one thing about adults, what would it be?"
"I’d give them more money."
"More money?"
"Yeah. Some of them don’t even have money to buy food."


"I pretty much only read fantasy because I’ve had more than enough of reality."


"I got it when I was young. I made the mistake of trying to stop someone from picking on me."


"I told her that if she wanted to start over, to meet where we first kissed. She was supposed to be here 15 minutes ago."


"I always tell my daughters to work with their head, so they don’t have to work with their back."
"Which did you do?"
"What does it look like to you?"


"Facebook is telling me that everyone has a house, a kid, and a dog. So I’m just trying to calm the fuck down."


"I just broke up… well…  I just got broken up with. I thought I was going to marry him. It’s frustrating. After being independent for so long, and going from place to place and man to man, I’ve finally come to a point where I’m ready to settle. And I can’t."


"At first we kept saying: ‘We’re going to beat it. We’re going to beat it.’ Then after a while, we began to realize that we might not beat it. Then toward the end, it became clear that we definitely weren’t going to beat it. That’s when she started telling me that she wanted me to move on and find happiness with somebody else. But I’m not quite there yet. Not long ago a noise woke me up in the middle of the night, and I rolled over to ask if she needed anything."


"My parents have always been very dismissive of depression in other people. So I’m afraid to tell them that I think I’m getting depressed."


"What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever gotten through together?"
"I know. And he knows. But we’d rather not say."


"What’s the most frightened you’ve ever been?"
"Probably when I was five, and I learned I had Polio."
"What’s one way that Polio improved your life?"
"It made me more tolerant of failure in others."


"I was engaged eight years ago, but my fiancé died in Iraq. After that, I promised myself that I’d never be that dependent on someone again. So after I met my husband, I fought marriage for the longest time. But we got married in September. And even though I was rebelling against it, and I always saw it as a meaningless formality, I’ve been surprised. There’s a comfort in knowing that you’re sworn to someone else."


"I was running for the Long Island Railroad when I was eighteen years old, and tripped and fell between the tracks just as the train was starting to move. Everything below the knee got shattered and had to be amputated. The funny thing is, I’d been spending all my time worrying about being drafted to Vietnam. I learned at an early age that the bad things that happen to you are rarely the ones that you’re worrying about."


"Well there’s this girl that I’m friends with, and you know, I like her, but I don’t know if she likes me…"
"Do you mind if I share that?"
"I don’t know... if you share it, she might figure it out."
"She’ll definitely figure it out."
"… do it."


"I’ve been working for 45 years, and so has my wife. But we have no money. You know why? Because my five kids have two bachelor’s, a master’s, and two doctorate degrees. They are my wealth."


"I just want to spend a few more years with my grandson."
"Is there anything you want to teach him?"
"I leave that to his parents. I just want to be there."