The Perfect Storm
All of you by now may have heard of something called, Hurricane Sandy, I will leave all the reports, photos and coverage to the professionals. I figured since everyone is busy getting their lives back in order, including myself, that I will offer up something to take your minds off all your troubles. Before I go into the past week, I will say how crazy it is how much we rely on the weather to affect so much of our lives. If you think about it, after all those long winter months and the first hint of warm weather and we are all out trying to soak up all that Vitamin D. Your trips could be ruined by bad weather or turn into the trip of a lifetime if the weather cooperates. We base our lives around weather and this past week certainly proved that here on the east coast.
Now onto to UpdateNYC…before that hurricane came to the city, I had a jam packed week and it was filled with all sorts of goodness and some of it bittersweet. Last Tuesday was marking my farewell dinner with my ex-roommate and dear friend. He was off with his boyfriend to sunny Los Angeles to embark upon a new job and life. I knew about his job opportunity from day one and while the selfish part of me wanted him to stay, I knew it was right for him to change and see how the other side lives. So, after weeks of planning, we finally agreed to meet and have dinner at one of his favorite restaurants in my neighborhood, El Centro. It was raining that evening and I arrived slightly ahead of him (a first for us) and we just sat down and began talking about everything. Memories, the future, sex, relationships and what kind of car he is getting. I told myself that there would be no tears for this isn’t a “goodbye” but rather a “toodaloo.” Once we realized that we were the only patrons in the joint and everyone wanting to go home (I did manage to steal an umbrella from someone sitting right next to me. Score). He said he would walk me back to our old apartment, where we lived together for years and I still reside. He hugged me goodbye and that was when I felt my tears starting to develop. He went into our local deli for one last pit stop and as I walked up the stairs to my apartment, I let out all that I needed to and I embraced the tears. Side note: I know you are reading this ex-roommate of mine and all I can say is that I love you; I enjoyed our time living together and wish you nothing but greatness.
That Sunday prior, as I mentioned in the previous entry, I spoke on the phone with a potential first date that I was going to have on Wednesday from OK Cupid. The conversation went well and I have to say, I was more excited about this date than most. Mainly cause I was doing something out of the box and really trying to see this date as a “date” rather than an interview. He was so sweet, the day of our date, he even sent a text message that said, “5.5 hours till I meet you. But who is counting.” It was making me get so excited to meet him but the jaded part of me was trying to get in and I did my best to just think for the positive. It was finally time for us to meet at this cute new place right around the corner from me, Kilo. He sent a text message telling me he was standing outside but I was running five minutes behind. I get to the restaurant and there he is. He looked like his photos plus a few extra pounds. I am someone that actually prefers a little meat on the bone but I felt like the buttons were going to give out on his shirt at any moment and his buttons were my focal point for the rest of the evening. As we sat down in a corner table where we were actually able to talk, I immediately grabbed for the wine list. This is where strike one comes into play. As I began grazing the menu, he told me, “This is probably a good time to mention, that I don’t like the taste of alcohol.” I can’t even explain to you what the expression on my face must have looked like. Now, I am not shallow in thinking I would throw away a great guy because he doesn’t drink. No way would I ever do that. However, I also know myself, my friends and even my family. We happen to like the taste of alcohol and being around drunks when you are sober is such a bad experience. Trust me; I have done the leg work. Not fun for you and not fun for the person not drinking. So, I still ordered a glass of wine. Finally I asked him about his life with all the usual questions. He has great values in regards to relationships that was a plus for him. The next strike comes when I asked him about his living situation, he shared that he lives with his ex-boyfriend of eleven years. They moved out here together from the Midwest and while they are broken up, they still share so much together. Strike two. I don’t want to get involved with someone that hasn’t really separated from his ex. We all come with baggage but this bag is heavier than I will allow. This guy was really nice; in fact, the word that came to mind was “jolly.” I kept thinking he would make a great Santa Claus should he ever decide to dress up (his belly even moved when he laughed). As the evening progressed and I nursed my only glass of wine for all it was worth, I couldn’t help but notice he doesn’t talk about having any friends, pets or any support system. I asked him what his friend situation was like and he goes, “I don’t have any really. Just my ex.” Strike three. I have made a rule to myself after dating so many reclusive, shy and private men that if someone doesn’t have any friends, it is for a reason and I am too old to play socialite and introduce someone to an active life. Again, this guy was “jolly” but not for me. In fact, in the end of the date, I told him, when he said he wanted to see me again, “You don’t need a date right now but you need friends. You need a support system that will get you off the ex and onto your own life. You don’t need romance. You need friends.” He agreed and we hugged it out.
The next night I met up with my girlfriend for some quality catching up. We met at Parkside Lounge on the Lower East Side, the crowd there is always a mix of hipsters, life-timers and us. Half way through our (I don’t know how many cocktails) her current man showed up. I must say, it is such a great feeling when you see your friend light up in a way that only someone they like can manifest. I didn’t stay too long after he arrived for it was getting late. As I hugged them goodbye, I whispered in my girlfriend’s ear that I managed to steal two umbrellas while we were sitting at the bar talking. Score!
By the time Friday rolled around, all I wanted was a low key evening for I knew the weekend ahead was going to be a hectic one and not because of some hurricane coming either. I went over to my friend’s apartment to watch them finish up their Halloween costumes and some giggles. I drank the wine while they pinned, cut, sewed and I caught them up on my past week. So much for a low key evening for somehow, I ended up getting drunk and staying there till almost 2 a.m. I was still excited for Saturday though. I wanted to celebrate Halloween with my friends even though we didn’t really have a plan of action yet.
I had been starving myself to get into my costume for the past two weeks so I was ready to put the damn thing on and show it off. I was going as, Anne Hathaway’s version of Catwoman. I walked from my apartment to Chelsea to my friends’ apartment where as I got ready at their place, in the background was an episode of, The Lawrence Welk Show. It just is one of those things where you have to say to yourself, “I do love these people in my life.” Finally, we were all ready to go and walked over to another friend’s apartment to pick the rest of the crew up. We decided to just stay in Chelsea and make the most of the situation, even though most of Manhattan wasn’t dressed up. I think while we were playing Halloween, others were preparing for the hurricane. We hit bars like, Gym, Barracuda and we did manage to squeeze in a house party. The costume was a hit, including confusing a few straight guys. I think I got home sometime around 4 am. Was it the best Halloween? No. That doesn’t mean my costume will go to shit. It might make another appearance in the near future. Meow!
As you might understand, this is where things get all sorts of fuzzy in regards to timeline. I know I was pretty hung-over on Sunday from the Halloween festivities but I feel like I may have met up with a friend. By the time Monday rolled around, the hurricane was a coming and the grocery stores were packed and I hate grocery stores the most and somehow I didn’t know how to shop for a natural disaster so all I bought was a frozen pizza and a peach Snapple. I quickly got my ass out of there and contacted my friend who was staying in Chelsea at a friend’s apartment who was traveling. I met up, we walked around and let’s just say for the next several days, we were hooked onto each other’s hips. In a crisis, you always want to be surrounded by the people you love and lucky for me. I was. We all camped out in Chelsea, we even managed to hit up the only bar that was open, a crazy leather bar called, Rawhide. After we finished up at the bar, we went back to the apartment and not more than a few minutes go by and the electricity had gone out. Everyone began to part ways except for the friend of mine who’s hip was attached to mine and I stayed with him. As I mentioned, the next few days we would be inseparable and it was a blast. Like all going experiencing the situation. We ate badly, drank far too much, slept a lot and for me, our bond grew even tighter.
Thankfully, for me, my apartment didn’t suffer any electricity mishaps and my place became a small refugee for all my queens. It was also where I began to get depressed. Some will shake their heads at me and I even hate admitting this and given the loss of homes and all the tragedy. My mind went to a place, where I confessed to the same friend that that I was lonely. Health? Check. Friends safe? Check. Apartment safe? Check. Yet, here I was thinking and seeing how all these people walk the streets in the dark holding hands or arms wrapped around each other, that it would be nice to not have that emptiness that can only be filled by a man in my life and to share it with. Granted, I am sure if I was in a relationship and we had spent the past four days together cooped up in an apartment, I would want to kill him from cabin fever. Nonetheless, it was my thought and I didn’t fight it. There isn’t even a second that goes by that I don’t know how fortunate I am, even before the storm touched down.
As I sit here, writing with the TV on in the background and seeing coverage after coverage of the aftermath, I couldn’t help but think that this storm was in fact, The Perfect Storm. You know your relationships are solid but when crisis strikes, suddenly you are forced a little bit to analyze just how lucky you are, how much you appreciate the person that offers you their couch, food, shower and electricity. That is perfection and it was caused by a storm. I can only speak for the city, but this city is strong willed (no shocker there). Weather is so unpredictable that it can cause such chaos and yet can also give such peace. As the city continues to get back to business it is important to have laughter to get us through these tough times. So, here is a joke that I got earlier this morning and it goes a little something like this:
“Did you hear about the new drink called, “The Sandy”?”
“It is just a watered down Manhattan.”
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