December 27, 2015
The billboard towered above us, her skin too bright for these dark streets, her smile far too white of the chill of the winter. The YouTube campaign saturated the subway system, reaching up into Soho, Noho and the West Village. I guess you’ve made it when they announce your fan count to the world.
“Oh my god! Stephanie is killing it! Have you seen these billboards? That’s crazy. Have you seen her much? Has she changed?” My sister asks, neck tilted up.
I answer with, “Of course not,” but I haven’t seen her lately, which is not on her, in fact it’s more my fault. There were plenty of opportunists, but I had almost been avoiding her. Not actually avoiding her, but certainly thinking twice about going places where she would be. If I’m honest I probably wouldn’t of taken Julie down this street if I knew we would come past this billboard.
Once you cross the middle of your twenties, your friends start to meet amazing people, do amazing things and generally crush it at life. No one warns you about it, it’s entirely terrifying.
Steph has a cool fashion/design blog, and a huge Instagram account, which she has now turned into a huge Youtube channel, giving her license and access to interview anyone she wants and go to every fashion show.
Once you cross the middle of your twenties, likely amplified by living here, people within your close or extended circles will start to meet amazing people, do amazing things and generally crush it at life. No one warns you about it, it’s entirely terrifying.
Anyway. I’d promised to take Julie to La Esquina for as long as I’d lived here, it currently held the mantle for the most well-known, hidden restaurant. Nestled in the basement below a tiny Mexican deli. I tell the doorman that we have a booking, he opens the concealed steal door, and we descend the stairs, through the kitchen and into the dark basement, subtly lit with precision. Always the perfect atmosphere, always the right buzz. We take a seat at the bar while we wait, quickly surveying everyone within the vicinity. I’d called earlier today and managed to reserve a table after mentioning a friend’s name.
“So,” she said, slighting bouncing on her stool. “I’ve decided to take a role at JP Morgan. They wanted to move fast and they were in my top three list so I figured just go for it. Some of the people I contacted through college that work there said it has been really good.”
“Oh my god! What? That’s awesome. Congratulations.” I was genuinely happy for her, but I wondered if that was how I looked.
“I’m going to be starting in two months, gives me a little but of time to get setup. So happy I get to move here, we get to hangout properly!”
We shrieked, hugged, I ordered another round of Margaritas – a little too strong for my liking but now I needed the kick. I asked her about the role.
“Awesome. I bet the money is good.”
“Well, it’s all pretty much on par for the associate programs across the top three banks.”
“I won’t ask. I’m sure it’s good.”
A quick silence – space for the unmentioned dialog between sisters.
Having my sister here will shatter my bubble, my system for escaping the judgment of the real world. I was safe as long as I had New York Emma, but a signpost of my past was about to officially setup camp.
I felt awful that I wasn’t happy she was moving here. Did that make it better? Doubtful. Having my sister here will shatter my bubble, my system for escaping the judgment of the real world. I was safe as long as I had New York Emma, but a signpost of my past was about to officially setup camp.
“So how is Michael?” And she asks me this. Like I can’t read her tone. Just because he won’t come to stupid family holidays – my sister acts like I’m being strung along and that I need some wholesome guidance for me.
“He’s good. Really busy with work at the moment – we all need to hangout soon.”
“I’d love that. I feel like I hardly know him.” Here it comes.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s just that I’ve been here a bunch over the last two years and I’ve hardly seen him.”
“Yeah. It’s just such a busy place, you know.” I said, trying to move the conversation on.
She said how all her friends followed me, how they thought my life was so amazing – implying that my real life didn’t live up.
We took a seat, perved on Adrian Grenier, (the guy from Entourage) and order taco’s, sweet corn and tuna tostada. We both take out our phones, scrolling through Instagram. She asked how everything else was, I asked what she meant – even though I knew it was about work. She said how all her friends followed me, how they thought my life was so amazing – implying that my real life didn’t live up. Whatever. I took her to cool stuff. I got her a ticket to the Givenchy show through Charlotte, all our friends would have killed for that ticket.
I was happy with her as a visitor to my city. Maybe I’m the worst sister in the world – but I’m just not ready. Not that I’m jealous, I wasn’t cut out to work in a bank.
New York was enough of a struggle, life was complicated enough. I love this girl but it’s just too soon to have my real life exposed to my family.
This was something I needed to take time to prepare for, I already had the stress of this party eating at my shoulders – thank god I had drinks with Charlotte lined up for later. I needed to vent.