Nick Murray is a writer living in Brooklyn. He tweets here.
6:00 a.m. (ish) I wake up as a dream about bone marrow ends. I’m confused about bone marrow? I’m intrigued about bone marrow? I’m asking people how to tell where the marrow ends and the rest of the bone begins? I immediately fall back asleep.
8:29 a.m. Another dream, one where I’m skateboarding on the Lower East Side while Kanye West’s “Only One” plays in the background. Now I’m awake earlier than I assumed – in fact, this is the exact time I would have got out of bed if had set my alarm and snoozed once. My internal clock hasn’t adjusted to the fact that yesterday was my last day at what I guess I’m now supposed to call my old job.
8:30 a.m. A friend calls to tell me that another friend is in the hospital. 20 minutes later the conversation ends with her instructing me not to die.
9:10 a.m. I lie in bed listening to my “1981 Number One Singles” Spotify playlists while I attempt to figure out wtf I’m gonna do today. Right now my options include getting breakfast with my friend Abhay, reading, going a birthday party and transcribing an interview I did yesterday afternoon. I resolve that I’m not going to watch any movies today, at least not any that my roommates are playing on our TV. I could possibly make a “1982 Number Ones” playlist, but I feel as though “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do)” still has some secrets left to reveal. New goal for tonight: find out what it actually means to get caught between the moon and New York City.
9:52 a.m. I get out of bed!
9:55 a.m. I lie down on the couch.
10:36 a.m. The book I’m reading has a great, compelling, pretentious title: Hyperobjects — Philosophy and Ecology After the End of the World. A friend bought it for my apartment to help explain what her masters research is about, and the page I’m on is quoting Einstein talking about something called quantum entanglement. He describes this phenomenon with the most amazing phrase: “spukhafte Fernwirkung,” or “spooky action at a distance.” I underline it, [put it in brackets] and begin thinking of ways that I can missapply it in my music writing.
10:58 a.m. A man dances to “Touch Me (All Night Long)” on the street outside Mary’s Coffee Shop on Dekalb and Marcus Garvey. I decide that I’m not going to look at my phone while I wait for Abhay. I’m ashamed by how difficult this is, and there’s something I want to Google. At 11:10 he sends me a text clarifying that he meant “Hebrew 11am” and has yet to leave his apartment. I break my fast as soon as the phone vibrates. I’ve forgotten what I had wanted to Google.
11:51 a.m. Abhay: Would it be weird if I put maple syrup in my grits?
Abhay: Would it really?
Abhay: Are you gonna stop me?
12:30 p.m. My apartment door is unlocked, just as I left it. For the last two weeks I’ve been using my work ID to jimmy it open. Maybe today is the day I’ll get a new key.
12:55 p.m. My roommate Chris enters the living room.
Chris: What’s your plan for the day?
Me: I don’t know, read Hyperobjects and then maybe go to Sarah’s.
Me: What about you?
Chris: I don’t know, smoke pot and then go to Sarah’s.
1:00 p.m. The Belmont Stakes is today! If I become invested in the outcome of the race, that might give the next few hours a little direction.
2:10 p.m. The Post is going in on this one: Victor Espinoza — jockey for American Pharoah, the horse predicted to win the first not just the race but the Triple Crown since 1978 — is on the front page for a possible cheating scandal (HED: “My Little Ponies”), and the actual race preview is suitably dramatic. Says Steve Serby: “This is no day for him to leave Belmont wearing a Triple Frown.”
3:43 p.m. I’m awake. This is worth mentioning because for the past hour and 20 minutes I had been back asleep. I think my dream involved the band Luna (a band that I have never actually listened to).
3:53 p.m. Ayo! It’s nice out now! He who made fun of me for reading about hyperobjects is now watching a Frontline documentary about prisoners in solitary confinement. I borrow his key to go make myself some replacements. On Tuesday, I was eating a burrito on the stoop and my neighbor Josh – 6 years old – looked at me, sighed and said “Locked out again?” From this day forward, I will no longer have to lie to him — except when I explain how our pet snake that got lost after escaping from its tank has merely “been given to a friend.”
4:03 p.m. Someone lands a heel flip in the park outside my apartment. My friend Bobby is in the dog run. I get three keys and seltzer for $5.25, though I only pay an even five. “Oliver’s Army” by Elvis Costello is stuck in my head. When I come through the park on the way back from the hardware store, I see that my friends Dan and Caitlin are in there with Bobby and his dog Murph.
4:28 p.m. Chris is outside sunbathing while some kids play on the sidewalk. Josh, who had been among them, tells me about a scooter that supposedly goes 200 miles per hour. “Imagine the drifts you could do on that!”
4:34 p.m. Our neighbor Jeff comes by and shows us his new iPad. He’s on his way to get a case for it and seems to be a few beers in.
5:00 p.m. I go to the grocery store to get some food to grill. Some sort of accident has stopped traffic two blocks south, so traffic has been rerouted past my apartment. Fire trucks block the street.
5:50 p.m. Jeff’s back, and he wants to try out his new device. Frankie, another neighbor, has been sitting silent in his car, staring out the windshield, for at least the past 20 minutes.
Jeff: Aye Frankie, can you take a picture of me and my boys?
Frankie: Come on man, can’t you see I’m busy?
6:28 p.m. Horse racing is, of course, extremely stupid: American Pharaoh is predicted to become the most famous horse of my lifetime, but almost no one who’s watching even knew who he was a month and a half ago. He’s also a horse, even if Bob Costas is currently lending some smug gravitas to NBC’s narratives explaining why he’s something more.
Before my nap I had decided that Frosted is going to upset American Pharoah, and now I’m totally convinced — I refuse to let my almost complete lack of knowledge keep me from getting indignant about it. I’ve even been able to convince Chris.
6:54 p.m. American Pharoah wins. Espinoza smiles. Chris: “Who’s he gonna bang tonight!?”
6:56 p.m. Chris gets a text from his mom: “Who’s there, his wife or his girlfriend?”
6:59 p.m. Chris gets a text from his dad: “Maybe a ménage a trois?”
8:46 p.m. One of the Heavy Hitters is playing classics on WBLS, my roommates are inside mixing drinks, my stomach is filled with chicken sausage and fish. The sun still hasn’t set, and I’m working on convincing myself that the grill burning at my feet is sort of like a campfire. This day has actually turned out quite nice. Over the last hour and 47 minutes, I played basketball in the street, flipped through the rest of the Post and listened to the radio while my roommate Joe cooked for me. The first songs we heard were “Back It Up” (the new Prince Royce), “Rock Your Body,” “Blame” and “Fantasy” on KTU; now a man is yelling about a used car spot in Queens. They have vehicles that are “PROBABLY IN THE COLOR YOU WANT.” Jeff, now completely gone, mumbles into our apartment trying to take more pictures, and somehow, they come out really good. Earlier, a woman walked by pushing a cart full of puppies.
9:08 p.m. This particular Heavy Hitter puts on P.E.’s “Public Enemy No. 1.” Did British rave DJs ever play this one? Seems like they should have.
9:25 p.m. Back in park, Chris and I are walking to a bar called Hot Bird for my friend’s party. When she texted me the location I texted back, “You really are getting your MFA!” I think she took a long time to respond. A pizza guy bikes past me and Chris, and then a beagle pops its head from the bag that should be holding the pies. Is today even real?
11:14 p.m. Bobby begins ranting about how gin and tonics cost six dollars but gin gimlets cost 10, and I am extremely sympathetic. The pun “gin and chthonic” pops into my head but I don’t even come close to inserting it into the convo.
11:24 p.m. Chris: “I think we’re gonna rage tonight.”
1:03 a.m. Shots.
2:20 a.m. The cab driver plays Shabba Ranks while me and Caitlin direct him to a party farther down Atlantic. We find the club, and we find out that cover is 40 dollars for men and 30 dollars for women.
2:22 a.m. Another bar on the next block: 20 dollars for everyone.
2:33 a.m. We take two steps into a third bar, Tip Top, before being told that it just closed.
3:25 a.m. In the words of the great Christopher Cross, the next thing I know I’m closing down the town. Deep in his heart he’s just, he’s just a boy. Wow. I didn’t get any closer to the moon, but today, New York City has been more than enough. The next bar we tried, One Last Shag, let us in — at breakfast Abhay had told me how the previous night they didn’t do the same for him — and the DJ got the six people on the dance floor jumping up and down to Machel Montano’s “Float.” Caitlin went home; I hydrate during a 50 Cent song then do the same, stopping at the bodega for some peanuts and playing Daft Punk’s “Veridis Quo” off Spotify. The song’s synth loop — coupled with the tequila shots, perhaps — makes me feel like the protagonist in some Gamecube shit, at least until the headlights of Nostrand’s incoming traffic brings me back to my body. Right, don’t die today. Back through the park. I have a key now! Joe is asleep on the couch. I got to bed.