“The thing about New York,” the man smiled, “Is that you will never be lonely.”
I met a photographer at the restaurant today. Things were slow, and when they are slow, I try and pick a conversation at the bar when I see someone who looks friendly enough. He talked to me about fashion week, and how make up can completely transform a girl. He asked where I was from, and when I said Utah, he asked if I was Mormon.
Then we talked about Mormons for a while, and then my boyfriend came up—or I guess I should say, my ex-boyfriend...The photographer had no sympathy to offer me. He simply waved his hand off when I told him I had broken up just before Valentine’s day.
“You’ll find someone else in New York. You always do. What are you? Twenty-two? You’ll find someone, honey.” And then he gave me his business card and said, “If you ever want to do a shoot, let me know. I have a friend that I work with, and we could take some real nice photos of you.”
And then he walked out with a bag of camera equipment, and I spent the rest of the day practicing balancing cocktail glasses on trays and wiping windows down with windex. The sun shone through the panels of the store and warmed my skin. It was 32 degrees outside, but my body had mistaken the sunlight as a summer day… Now summer's arrival didn’t matter all that much to me anymore. In fact, I didn’t mind the winter frost of the here and now. It suited my mood and let me be. It didn't ask me if I was okay, and that was a relief...Because I'm still not ready to talk about it. The cold was comforting by not caring to warm my heart. New York was respectful in that way. It never babied you. It just let you alone.
The last week had been a hard one. I’d never cried over a boy the way I cried about this one. I always thought that I would do anything for love, but of course, Life went ahead to test me and prove me ultimately and utterly wrong. Well, what’s new?
As heavy-hearted as I have been, New York has been too fast paced for me to stay gloomy for too long. Plus, what the photographer said has proved to be true. I’ve had roommates get me out onto rooftops when I only wanted to stay under the covers and out of the cold. (I love you guys.) I’ve had bartenders kiss me on the forehead and walk me to coffee shops that hide just around a corner (If we only walk around corners in New York, there’s no telling what we will find!). All of my co-workers left kisses on my cheeks on Valentine’s Day knowing I had spent the entire day seating couples ready for a romantic meatball-eating dining experience while I covered up a broken heart with a big smile. My manager had kindly obliged when I asked day for double shifts and any overtime that was available on V-Day. He assured me I wouldn’t have any time to think—let alone feel. Even a child in a high chair at the shop blew me a kiss this morning when I started to wonder about why I hadn’t kissed my Utah boy one more time before it was too late.
I rode the subway home from work today wondering if I had done the right thing. Where is the line drawn between giving up and letting go? I guess when we both think we are doing the right thing...it's letting go? There are just too many question marks in this paragraph... *Big, fat sigh*
I just never thought I would understand two people letting go when they both loved each other. But now... I have to. And, Life, no me gusta.
I keep thinking that he and I…We are an adventure - - - And then I have to tell myself, no Jade. We were an adventure. Just putting it in past tense makes me feel ill. Really, I'm starting to tremble just writing about it. *cough* Anyway... Back to reality and this blog post...
The subway was full of a simple and encouraging surprise. A hand gently touched my arm on the train ride home, jolting me out of my melancholy thoughts. “Excuse me, Miss?” A man wearing a delivery uniform was standing in front me. I took my headphones out and gave Damien Rice’s “Delicate” a break for a second. Oh no, what have I done now? I thought. What subway etiquette have I violated this time?
“Yes?” I asked weakly.
“This is my stop. I just wanted to tell you that you are very pretty. My name is Miguel. You should smile more too. Have a nice day.”
And then before I could say a word, the doors opened, and Miguel was gone. And so the New York beauty of strangers offering pixie dust without any expectation occurs once again! A compliment was given, and yet no number was asked in exchange. There was no future plan of meeting. Just a few words, a smile, a charm, and then the doors closed and the subway continued on. And that is why New York is New York.
It’s the city of no expectation.
And I’m in the midst of it. This time I have no anchor. No obligation and no expectation. No constant, just the variables.
Relationships are delicate. They make us fragile.
And now I am alone. I am one. I am tough and durable. (Fake it 'till you make it?)
New York, I am what I am.
Every street on New York has been telling me, "The time is now, the place is here!" I know, I know already!…But just let me be sad for a few more days...Please?
(New York doesn't care. Of course it will let me do what I want.)
I plugged my head phones back into my ears knowing I had a few more stops to make before I made it home deep into Bushwick. I listened to Damien Rice's soft voice ask what I wanted to ask, but couldn't: “Why’d you sing with me at all?”