Wow. Exactly nobody read my first post. This is going swimmingly!
Sarcasm aside, it’s fine. This thing isn’t ready for human eyes yet and to be perfectly honest, neither am I. Maybe I should take this time to tell you all a bit more about myself. New York City is my home, but I’ve spent substantial time in different parts of the country. Florida, Utah and Virginia to name a few. Not for fun, sun and snowboarding or anything, just kinda went there to follow a gig or on a whim. To be perfectly honest, I’m a bit of a nomad, living life “off the grid”, so to speak. No credit cards, a small checking account I’ve had since I was born, no tax returns, etc. Sure I work, but most of my work has either been odd jobs or small gigs here and there, always under the table. Right now, I’m squatting in SoHo, in a place I’m “subletting” from a buddy of mine. He’s in Japan teaching English and he’ll be there for another year or so. The place is rent controlled, so he pays the ‘lord, I pay my friend and when he comes back I’ll figure something out. Been here three months and I dig the area. Two words for ya. La Esquina. Bad ass tacos. And to hell with Calexico. If I’m going to wait a half hour for junk food along with some prick wearing American Apparel short pants, I might as well hump my ass to fucking Shake Shack. Either that or move to Williamsburg.
Side Note : Nothing against Brooklyn, but to me, the people who move there have made it seem like an artist colony where nobody knows how to draw. That aside, the people who are from Brooklyn are the salt of the fucking Earth. And yes, there are some amazing transplants who live there. If you read this, you know who you are. One person in particular…
Anywho, didn’t start this to bash a borough or even report a sighting. Today I was walking through the Garment District, on my way to an HVAC installation on 30th when I saw something that caught my eye. No, this wasn’t an image or anything, just two tourists standing outside the fashion building snapping pictures. You know the place, the big high rise on Seventh that has the statue of a sewing needle piercing a button hole out front? Yeah, that place. Saw Jay-Z walk out of there once.
The couple was obviously on vacation, taking pictures of whatever it is people take pictures of in Midtown. A building here, a sign here, a double decker containing fellow tourists down the street, etc. The girl was facing uptown, probably snapping a shot of the triangle from afar and the guy was shooting the button statue on his iPhone when suddenly he stopped his shot and tilted down to point the camera at her. At a glance, in the fleeting second between the tilt and her lack of attention, I knew exactly what he saw.
Her hair was wafting up around her ears, exposing her smooth neck, her eyes squinting at the camera screen, her posture completely unassuming. The boyfriend held his camera there and I knew right away what he was feeling. It was like seeing her for the first time. One could tell this wasn’t a new love. None of the usual hand holding and twitterpatting one sees when the flame is burning brightly. No, this flame had quelled some time ago and in that moment in New York City, the boy knew he was in love. Affirmed in the sweeping cross of her hair and the silent serenity of her posture, he knew. The same way she probably looked waking up in the morning, still curled next to him, all quiet and unprepared yet snuggled, warm and completely defenseless, all pretense of should and could abandoned; that was the way she looked now. Daring not to snap the picture to break the moment, he held the shot for what seemed like infinity, just him and her and the maddening rush of the late to work crowd.
Naturally, like everyone does when a camera is trained on them, she turned her head to her boyfriend and for another brief moment stopped. And looked. And cracked the smallest of smiles. She felt the vibe in a way only old lovers can sense, the way they can feel each other’s energy. For that moment, they weren’t living together in a cramped one bedroom on the border of Fargo and Moorhead, new to the world and everything in it. They were partners, in life, in love and in the now. A picture of two people who enjoyed each other enough to simply share a holiday, framed in a city they had never experienced yet finding new angles they hadn’t seen. One through the viewfinder, the other looking back. One snapping, one smiling, better than Norman Rockwell. Way better than an Apple commercial.
I walked away before the picture was snapped but I half wish I had stuck around, made myself even more tardy for someplace I didn’t want to be. Maybe stop and say something like, “Wow, you two are a nice couple” or, “Where are you from” but it’s best I didn’t. If they had turned and saw some dude with a New York Jets hardhat and stained overalls coming at them, the moment would be lost anyway. They would’ve returned to being scared out of towners and hurried off to the unknown. Not my place to ruin that mood.
Not sure why I felt the need to share that, but I suppose it stirred up old memories. Memories of a time long gone when I felt that way about someone, had that love that made your heart feel like it was wearing fuzzy slippers near an open fire. Not hot flames of passion, just a toasty warm ticker, beating a slow and easy sixty beats a minute. Maybe I’ll get into that one day. But not now.