Random New York Moments: The People We Meet

We had texted and emailed several times over the past year but very little information had been exchanged.  The truth is that our “friendship” was more of an acquaintance, and one that helped us pass the time more than anything else.  But these 12 words explained it all.

“I am in a hotel room–alone–I cannot stay like this.”

The Italian loved anyone and everyone because he hated to be alone.

We met walking through a park in the West Village around this time last year.  I was on my way to have burgers and pie for my grandfather and he was gallivanting around town, in search of his next conquest.  Our eyes met, smiles were exchanged and I blurted out that he looked like a Musketeer.  After a quick introduction, we exchanged  numbers, had coffee and became friendly. For three weeks, I played tour guide in-between his liaisons. I showed him my New York and he shared tales of Italy, spoke in Italian and enjoyed my relentless teasing.  He was a “Casanova”, here to lie, cheat and flirt his way into the lofts and studio apartments  inhabited by the many beautiful women who occupied this city.  I was a writer, in love with someone else, who dreamed of living in Italy.  It worked.

At the time, we both needed something and were able to provide it over brunch, lunch and cocktails.  This something: A new perspective.  We talked, laughed, ate and argued.  We met at bars for drinks where he would excuse himself to go to the bathroom, and I later found out, accept numbers from women who were eager to play his game (he boastfully confessed this to me over drinks in a failed attempt to make me jealous).

I laughed as eventually tried to convince me that I was really the one for him.  I assured him that I was not.  I was in love, and even if I were as single as Jennifer Aniston post-Brad, I preferred a different kind of romance. Still, I enjoyed his chaos and boldness and he told me how much he appreciated my advice and company.  We sat in parks and I took him to church where we both lit candles and he confessed that he was once an altar boy.

When the day came for him to leave, I was surprised to find that he wanted to spend his last night with me, walking around the city and sitting in a park.  We had dinner and I did my best to console him.  He was devastated to have to leave the new love of his life: New York City.  He asked me if I would like to accompany him home.  I declined. He understood.  “Can’t fault me for trying,” he said.  I didn’t.

We said goodnight in person, in text, and then on the phone, only to say it once again when he asked me to meet him once more before he headed to the airport.  I gave him a book about New York and he gave me a black and white photo of himself posing in front of a mirror in a blazer and no shirt. “To the most precious thing I found in New York.” I knew I was one of many women to receive this photo, but I appreciated the gesture.

I left for work and he walked down the subway platform to catch the A train out to the airport. His plane took off on-schedule but not before he left me several messages in which he confused his desire to stay in New York with his desire to stay with me.  For the first month, we emailed, but time passed and the truth is that we didn’t have much to say.  We were “Facebook” friends.  We liked a song here and there and messaged a hello when we had the time and desire. There was an attempt at having a skype conversation but it didn’t go over well.

 This wasn’t a romance.  Nor was it really a friendship.  It was something else, an exchange.  A nice way to kill time when there was rain hitting the window or too little funds to go out to Gemma.

Then, it happened.

He informed me that he was planning to return the States to pay a visit to California and his favorite city, I wished him well.  Days passed and I only heard from him when he needed something. Could I ask a friend to let him stay with them? No.  Could I suggest a place to stay?  Sure.  Could I leave work to meet him at the airport during his first layover?  Not possible.  Was there a good place to eat in Los Angeles?  Yes.  

When he arrived to NY, we decided to meet for a quick drink. I saw him standing on Broadway, texting a woman. I snuck behind him and yelled,  “Hello!” intending to give him a scare. “Bella! Do not do that!” he exclaimed, tossing his phone into his pocket.  We spoke about nothing and walked towards the restaurant, all the while trying to fill the moments with something meaningful.  We sat down for drinks at Sanctuary T (go there and enjoy it, East (The host) is amazing). I sat with my back to the window so that he could enjoy the view.  His eyes darted around the room, taking in the sights of each woman and I sat there, wondering where the fun, exciting and fascinating person I had met the year before had gone.  We spoke about his liaisons in California, his girlfriend in Italy, and I listened to him explain that “all men” cheat and that makes him feel OK about what he does.  I told him my thoughts about it and he reminded me not to judge him. “Women are the same, everyone is cheating and lying to everyone.”  I told him that I was not like that.  “I know you are not, but baby, it’s only you who is like this.  The rest of us are not.”  I told him that I knew this was not true.  He offered me the last piece of pita to scoop into the humus we were sharing. By the time the second glass of sangria had been served, there was a woman on his lap.

I looked at the time and asked for the check.  He picked up the tab.  We shared a cab to Queens.  He was staying at the house of a male friend, he said, not realizing he had referred to this friend as “she” earlier in the conversation.  I spoke of my special someone and he looked bored.  As I got out of the cab, he leaned in for a kiss and I turned away. “You have a girlfriend and I have someone in my life, remember?” I said.

A blank stare came across his face. “Then it’s a draw, no?”

I said goodnight and shut the door.  He texted me that I was something special.

I knew this to be true, but not to him.

20 Lovely Things

Edith Piaf on the radio, rain hitting the window and laundry in the dryer. 

Jasmine Tea.

Lavender Oil.

A beso. A baci. A kiss.

Knowing your worth.

 

Fresh flowers.

Baked goods in the oven.

Making a meal for someone you care about.

Seeing someone you care about come around the corner.

A magazine, Pajamas and a comfy bed.

 

A massage.

Writing in your journal in a quiet “secret garden”.

Living in the now.

Memories of loved ones who have passed.

Grace.

 

Gratitude.

Compassion.

The loyalty given to us by our furry companions (I love my Tony).

Friendship.

Being alive.

Damn It, Irene

Well, in case you hadn’t heard, there’s a storm a-comin’.  Thanks to Irene (a.k.a the hurricane with an attitude problem) those of us on the east coast are spending our weekend holed up, waiting for the power to go out.

Not one to sit on my patooty (I go stir crazy when I have nothing to do) I decided to make the most out of my day by baking a lasagna, brownies, grabbing a few bottles of red and inviting someone over. 

But my eatin’ and drinkin’ isn’t what this post is all about.  I thought I would share a few  tips that have come my way recently in the event you are facing (or ever face) a hurricane who won’t take no for an answer.

- Fill your bathtub with water.  You might need this to flush your commode.  Yes, I said “commode”.  I like it better than toilet.

- Have plenty of candles (and matches) or better yet, a camping lantern.  Get a flashlight.  If you waited too long to get one from the store and your alarmed-and proactive– neighbors scooped them all up, download the free flashlight app on your iPhone (if you have one).

-Bottled water is a good idea.

-Tape your windows in an X.  Don’t use super-sticky tape or you’ll have a heck of a time removing it (along with your paint) once the storm says “adios”.

-Charge your phone like crazy.  Charge your ipod, too, so that you have music to listen to while you wait for your power to be turned back on.

-Set your freezer to 0.  Don’t know why, just do it.

-Baby wipes can be used for personal hygiene.  It ain’t sexy but it is better than the alternative!

-Have a first aid kit handy.  That’s always a good idea.

-Put aside a little bit of water for teeth brushing.  I filled up a measuring cup for this purpose.

-Canned Goods are hardly gourmet cuisine, but you’ll love em’ if they are all you are able to eat thanks to no lights, refrigeration or stove.

-Do not go outside.  Sounds obvious but people can be silly.

-If you are ever trapped, do not yell.  Cover your mouth and tap on a wall, pipe or floor.

-Flood water is contaminated.  If anything you plan to place into your mouth comes in contact with it, don’t place it into your mouth.  For heavens sakes, don’t drink the stuff.

-Board games.  A good idea.

-Place important documents in sealed plastic.*

-Little furry things get scared in thunderstorms.  Have extra treats.*

*From BettyConfidential.

You Deserve This

When we start down the path of accountability and begin taking responsibility for our own happiness and our success (or lack thereof) we are likely to feel a range of emotion.  We may feel strong or scared, inspired or intimidated.  More often than not, we might start to feel a bit of shame or embarrassment as we compare our wiser, more polished selves to who we used to be or who we would like to be.

We know that what has been done cannot be undone, but doing better is the most effective way to mend wounds created by past mistakes.  If inaction has brought you a sense of failure, taking action now might yield success. If you were once a drama king or queen, staying calm and not overstating your case might bring about a respect you may have not enjoyed before.  If you have been a little “crazy in love”, learning how to love in a healthier and more independent way may bring you closer to your partner (or make you more attractive to potential partners).

The more open we are to accepting that we don’t know everything and are imperfect beings all doing the best we can in the moment, the less stuck we will be.  We will understand that life is about progression and growth and that change is possible and the only way to live our best life.  Adjustments in our behavior and direction are what allow us to move to the next level, no?

Your life is yours for the taking and the only person standing in your way is you.   It may seem as though others are holding you back or fate wants to pin you down but the truth is this: when you are successful and happy and healthy, you share that success, happiness and health with the world.  We all benefit.

Move forward into the direction of your dreams.  Study. Plan. Meditate. Dream, and most importantly, work your patooty off to finally achieve those goals you have put away on the shelf.

I believe in you.