"Update" NYC

A Grain of Salt

There will always be a point in our lives when things become too heavy for us to digest (figuratively speaking). Our minds and our souls will be incapable of comprehending what is happening to us. We do our best to search for the meaning behind each event that happens in our lives and more often than not, we become lost. We look for any glimmer of hope for the light at the end of the tunnel. Then we come face to face with our truth and wish that it was easier for us to digest. If only when life gets too tough for us to handle that we have the capability of taking it with a grain of salt.

Last Sunday, I had my second date with the guy that had me over to his place the previous Sunday for rose wine on his terrace. This time, we met at, Tipsy Parson, for brunch. I was rather impressed because he not only asked me out but he picked the location and made an actual reservation. When I arrived, he was already waiting for me and on that particular day; it was one of the hottest days of the summer so far. He said he arrived a little early so he could cool his body off rather than showing up a sweaty mess.

We sat down and began updating each other on our work week and telling each other childhood stories. I was having an alright time and I was doing my best to make him laugh and while I was attracted to him and he is a smart man, I just didn’t find myself laughing at all. I smiled when the stories called for it and asked questions to get to know him better but I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. I knew that something was missing because we met 1 p.m. for brunch and I was on the subway back home by 2:30. He is traveling this week for pleasure and therefore I knew I wouldn’t be hearing from him. It was a nice distraction from my office crush but in the end; I was hoping for more. I’d certainly entertain the notion of seeing him again and seeing how things develop but it’s also nice to get some practice on dating since I feel like I’ve been out of the game for awhile.

As the work week began last week, I was going on my second week after ending things with my office crush. I was still processing how hurtful the entire episode was and continuing to tell myself that I was doing the right thing for myself and for him. Toward the end of the work day, I got a message from my good girlfriend in Boston. She told me that she had just finished a tea leaf reading by this rather famous tea leaf reader in the city that is hard to book an appointment with. She was completely moved by what the woman knew about her, her life and the people surrounding her. She was only able to get a twenty minute reading versus the regular full hour. However, my friend told me that what this woman discovered about her in only twenty minutes scared the hell out of her and that I should try and book an appointment right away. I got the contact information and wasted no time with trying to book an appointment for myself. I called the tea leaf reader and she was booked for the entire week. I gave her my phone number and told her that if she had any cancelations to please contact me.

After work that day, our agency was hosting a happy hour that was only going for a couple of hours. During the happy hour, I did my very best to avoid my office crush and I could actually feel his eyes on me and that is when a coworker that I was speaking to said to me, “Someone is trying to get your attention.” I looked over and noticed that it was my office crush and once I discovered that it was him, I looked the other way and ignored him. Another hour goes by and people are starting to leave the bar and I could tell that one of the people leaving was my office crush. I was, once again, was in the middle of a conversation with a different coworker when he tried to grab my arm to tell me that he was leaving. I, once again, ignored his words and acted as if I didn’t see him. As painful as it was for me to ignore him, I knew that if I paid any attention to him, that he would act like we never ended things two weeks prior.

By the time Wednesday had rolled around, I felt like I was in the clear from him. I didn’t receive any text messages, instant messages at work or emails. I was free and I was beginning to feel good about moving forward. During the work day, my cell phone rang and I didn’t recognize the number but something told me to answer it and I was glad that I did. It was the tea leaf reader telling me that she had an opening the next day but only from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. I wasn’t sure I could get out of work that early but told her to book it and I would figure out what to do regarding work later. I was excited and nervous at the same time for this reading.

Later on that evening, after the gym, I went over to my friend’s apartment for dinner and catching up. I hadn’t seen these friends of mine in a few weeks and I knew that the topics that we had to cover weren’t going to be easy for me to say or for them to hear. It was a sweet visit and by the end, I think we all were mentally exhausted. As I was gathering my belongings before I left, I grabbed my phone and noticed a text message from my office crush. It was a message that left me missing him more than I already was and a message that left me wanting him out of my life because I can’t take the mixed messages any longer. I wasn’t sure how to feel about it and I chose not to respond to it. I simply went to bed and did my best to take that message with the tiniest grain of salt.

The next day, I was at my desk when I looked at my calendar and realized that I had a date with a different guy right after my tea leaf reading. I decided to keep my date and not move it because this was a guy that I had already been on three dates with this year but with his extensive travel schedule we manage to only see each other every couple of months. I asked him to meet me at one of my favorite wine bars, Ardesia, around 6:30 and he was alright with that time.

Finally, it was time for my tea leaf reading. I arrived at her brownstone on the Upper West Side and I noticed that I was nervous. I told myself to not get too excited because I might not have the same experience that my friend had. I also told myself to take this reading with a grain of salt because even though this woman could be right about certain things that it doesn’t mean it’s my truth.

When she opened the door, she greeted me with a hug. I was still rather nervous and gave her a non-affectionate hug in return. She told me to have a seat at her table where there was a pen and notepad for me to take notes. She was in her kitchen preparing the tea for me to drink. She came back with the tea and told me to take my time and drink it slowly. I opted to not take my time and drink it fast. I figured we only had an hour to talk about my life and I wasn’t about to waste the time by sitting drinking tea as if I was on some English countryside.

She then sat down across from me and took my cup and flipped the empty cup over to see my leaves that she would be reading. When she looked at my cup, the first thing she said was, “Whoa! You have a lot going on. This actually gives me a headache and I wonder how you are handling things.” I smiled and provided her with no real answer since I was paying her to tell me these things. She only asked me two questions and that was what my full name was and my date of birth.

She sat there quietly just for a few seconds before she went into my reading. We were two minutes into the reading before I was so frightened by how accurate she was that I asked her if we could pause for a moment. After that moment, I told her to please continue and as she did she told me things that only I knew. She knew things about certain family members and even about my current job. After she was done with my family and my career, she then went into my office crush. She even knew his last name without me telling her anything. As she began to tell me things about him, I began to cry. Not because of him but because she was 100% right about every single detail. When she was done, she gave me certain tools, list of therapists and even books to read about how to handle the future. It was money well spent and when I left her brownstone, I was so mentally and physically drained that my legs were weak.

I looked at my phone and realized I only had ten minutes before I was to meet my date at the wine bar. I sent him a text message and told him that I was running late with work. He responded with, “It’s ok. I’m having a really bad day and we will need to talk about it.” That is not what I was expecting to read and so I knew that I needed to switch gears and put my intense reading aside and focus on my date.

When I arrived at the wine bar, he was already there and seated at the bar. I took one sip of my rose wine and asked him what his bad day was all about. He told me that his job told him that day that his position would be eliminated by the end of September. So, for the next two hours, I sat there and told him how things were going to be fine, how I would help him get in touch with head hunters and how our struggles make us stronger. It was an exhausting date and finally I had to tell him that we needed to change topics because we had collectively came up with a game plan for him. I could tell he was starting to finally calm down and that is when he began drinking heavily. I opted to keep a steady pace and not try and keep up with him. We were starting to have a good time but it was also getting late.

When I told him that it was getting late and that we should get the check, I noticed his entire mood shifted. He looked like he was having a hard time concentrating and not in the way when someone is intoxicated. I asked him if he was feeling alright when he said, “I have something to tell you.” Those are words no one ever wants to hear on a date. When I asked him what it was that he had to tell me, he responded with, “I was just diagnosed with severe A.D.D. and they have me on this medicine.” Well, he just now tells me this after we had been drinking and I was pretty sure that you shouldn’t drink while on the medicine that had prescribed for him. He could barely speak and when the check came, he was having a hard time concentrating on signing the bill. He couldn’t even hold his credit card and it dropped on the ground and he couldn’t bend down to get it. I gave him his credit card and helped him focus on signing the check.

I knew that I couldn’t send this man off into the streets, so I told him that I would walk him to the subway to make sure he got on the correct train. As we were walking the three avenues it would take to get him to his subway, I realized that he couldn’t walk and talk at the same time. I held his hand as we walked in silence until we reached the subway station. When we arrived at the station, he thanked me for everything and said that he was embarrassed by his behavior. I assured him that there was nothing to thank me for and certainly nothing to be embarrassed by. I even walked him all the way down to train to physically see that he got on the right train. He sent me a text message when he got to his apartment and once I knew that he was ok. I was able to fall asleep.

The next day was Friday and I was looking forward to leaving the city for a few days. I was going to my friend, Feather’s country house for the weekend. I was going to be getting away from work, my office crush and all my troubles that were haunting me for the past two weeks. I only worked till 1 p.m. and as I was leaving the office and pressed the elevator button to take me down to the street level, wouldn’t you know…my office crush was going to be taking the same elevator as me. We rode the six floors down in silence until he asked me where I was going. I told him, “Out of town.” He looked crushed but I knew that if I gave more information about my weekend that it would lead to wishful thinking on both of our parts. As my luck would have it, when I was trying to get out of my building, my luggage was too heavy for me to get out the door and he said, “Will you please let me help you?” He helped me and I said thank you and walked away and made sure that I didn’t look back at him.

After three hours on the road, we arrived at Feather’s house and had a peaceful weekend that was filled with food, laughs and rest. We even attended the concert at Woodstock where Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett performed. It was a weekend that was much needed and was grateful that I had friends by my side the entire journey.

They say that the origin of taking things with a “grain of salt” comes from the notion that food is more easily swallowed if taken with a small amount of salt. I guess the same can be said about our lives, about our truths, about our present and even about our future. When life becomes too heavy and too tough to handle, I guess the best thing that we can do is take each moment with that grain of salt.

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