Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Empire State of Mind

I didn't think I would write again until 2010 and here I am. This is why I don't like to make long term plans: you can plan whatever you want; but ultimately, the universe can have other plans and that's the end of that.

I expected to end the decade with a bang. As I write this, I should be getting ready to join my friends for the last happy hour of the year. Instead, I am in bed recovering from what has been the most nightmarish flu I've ever had. Quite frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if I had the swine flu. Today I left home for the first time in 3 days only to have to return 10 minutes later. Terrible story...but at least during those 10 minutes I got a chance to step into Starbucks, buy a tea and one of their compilation CDs. Some of them are so amazing!

This time I bought One For My Baby and am listening to it now. Wow!

For most of my life (or at least since I've been able to speak) I've wished I could break into song when the mood strikes. My memory works by associating moments with songs so my life has a soundtrack. An unlikely soundtrack at that.

As I listen to this CD, I'm reminded of one of the best first dates I've ever had...

Years ago, when I lived in NYC, Dan and I went to the 10 year anniversary party of the release of Weezer's blue album. There we met a guy. He was beautiful and just my type: a nomadic writer with the bluest eyes I had ever seen (this was before I found redheads). At that point my gaydar was still off and my self-esteem not where it should have been so naurally I thought he wanted to hook up with Dan. I was wrong.

While we talked, I mentioned that my favorite spot in the city was the median on Broadway and 81st. He asked for my email address. I gave it to him but I didn't think he'd write...

He did the next day and asked me out. "A nighttime picnic", he said.

He picked me up and together we took the crosstown bus to the Upper West Side. He had a paper bag full of stuff he claimed was dinner and he took me to my median.

It was dark out but we were illuminated by the lights of traffic. When we sat on the bench, he fed me a turkey sandwich and hot chocolate. We ate, talked and laughed. He asked me to dance. I reminded him that there was no music. And so he pulled me up and started singing in my ear one of those old classic songs that require a red dress and a suit... and we danced and laughed in the median of Broadway and 81st...

Starbucks just brought me back there.

One of my favorite memories of the decade that ends tomorrow.

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