"oh what a tangled interweb we weave..."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Why do I always identify with the straight white girl?

So… I’ve been re-watching Felicity recently (thank you, Colette!).

You remember the show, right? It aired in the late nineties and ran into the early two thousands starring Keri Russell, Scott Speedman, Tangi Miller and Scott Foley? Oh and Amy Jo Johnson, the pink Power Ranger?

(It was on TV around the same time as Once & Again actually—another of my all time favorite shows.)

The series revolved around the fictional college experiences of Felicity Porter (played by Russell) as she attended the University of New York, which was based on New York University.

I actually remember watching the pilot back in 1998. I was a junior at Manhattan High in the Little Apple (Manhattan, Kansas) and I wanted desperately to move to New York.

I fancied myself the black male version of Felicity. I was sort of dorky and sort of anti-social. I possessed above average intelligence and a work ethic bordering on the Puritanical.

Mostly I was eager to experience life—to grow and change and love. I remember wanting to feel deeply. Which was, of course, what New York (at least in my estimation) was all about!

As intent as I was on pursuing a life in NYC, it took me six years to get here. Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio proved more enticing than NYU and after graduation I felt the call of the west coast and not (as I had assumed) the east.

Last night, I was standing on the subway platform at 125th and Broadway with J waiting for the #1. And it was a cold night. Cold, but clear. And I was looking out over upper Manhattan. And it was sort of shiny and shimmery and well… really beautiful.

And I turned to J and I said, “We live in New York City.” And he replied, “I know, right? It’s weird.” And I agreed. Because it is weird when a thing that has been a dream for so long ceases to be a dream. It’s weird when a dream metamorphoses into something else… into reality. It’s weird when a dream comes true.

Watching Felicity now I can’t help but revisit seventeen-year-old high school junior me. The Harrison that was so sure that big things were going to happen to him in the big city. The Harrison that (whether consciously or not) took Felicity’s signature pilot episode words to heart—“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can pretty much change your life forever.”

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