Incomplete Inventory of Anxiety in New York

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Incomplete Inventory of Anxiety in New York, a shrine holding tokens from anxious times. Items as follows:

✿ Radio City Music Hall cup once filled with an overpriced rum and coke that accompanied me to see Beirut alone. Seeing shows alone is the only way I can enjoy them because I don’t have to worry about how the other person is enjoying the show.

✿ Battery operated candle, burlesque show handbill, and bottle sparkler from The Black Rose (bar) where I would go every Wednesday to see a burlesque show with my first friends in NY. It felt unusual to have a reoccurring thing to attend with new people. I had been seeing a therapist every Wednesday before the burlesque show so that was pretty much foreplay to the social activity.

✿ Scrap of leather drawn on with marker from my friend who I had flaked on one too many times. We exchanged texts about me agreeing to attend things but then not showing up. From then on I figured it would be best to not agree to anything with anybody and show up when I felt right so then it would be a surprise but it turned into me not being invited to things anymore.

✿ McDonald’s receipt with order no. 666 to feed my superstition.

✿ Holy Cross made out of palms from when I attended a Palm Sunday Maronite mass alone and people could tell I was new.

✿ Glass tube filled with dried flowers from my mother and boss for my 25th birthday. My mother sent me flowers that wilted the next day so she complained and got a new arrangement sent to me. My 200 sq. foot apartment was filled with flower arrangements.

✿ ”Happy New Year” silver paper hat that was originally for my barista’s sister but I had accepted an invite that I didn’t flake on.

✿ Jenga block that says “call mom” on it from Happyfun Hideaway (bar) where I brought my friends from home when they visited. The pressure to entertain people I love never allows me to enjoy the moment with them. (sidenote- I always call my mother when I exit a building so I don’t appear confused or lost to people on the street but also calling my mother all the time creates an unhealthy attachment.)

✿ Post-It that reads “being sent to you because you ride the subway” that was stuck to a book about the MTA in the most unexpected care package from my uncle Bob. My biggest fear in NY is being stuck on the train between stations. One morning on my way to work a woman had a seizure on the train and someone was going to pull the emergency brake but someone brought up a good point about us being stuck in the tunnel. I ended up tending to the woman and staying with her until the paramedics showed up in the next station. I can function when I realise someone is having an issue worse than mine. The woman called me later that day to thank me and I still have her number saved in my phone as “Bridgette Seizure”.

✿ Cafe Lalo business card from when a friend visited and we decided to go to the cafe in You’ve Got Mail and the heat index was 106 degrees. I ordered a bagel with lox and creamcheese and had a panic attack. I needed to buy myself some time in the AC so we had fancy sodas after we ate and then took a $80 car ride home.

✿ Electrodes from 24 hr heart holter monitor and 14 day cardiac event monitor that was worn to check on my heart because of palpitations from panic.