Sunday, October 16, 2005

How Lucky I Am To Have You

Living in New York City is like having a boyfriend.

An incredibly hot, intelligent, cultured boyfriend adored by your friends and family, who is also moody, high maintenance, frequently obnoxious and expensive to keep happy. You might be faithful to him, but you know he shares himself with other people. Many other people. He's got some friends you can't stand. Despite all of that, you love him more than words can say.

Though it's only the 16th, already it has been the wettest October on record. I think God is punishing us for hosting the Republican National Convention. Yesterday was shaping up to be another dark, dim Saturday where I lie on the couch trying to decide which DVD I'm least sick of, when suddenly, around 11:00, the clouds parted, the sky turned blue and the sun streamed forth with the blinding white brilliance of clear fall days.

This will be my tenth fall in New York, and I have learned to take full advantage of mild, sunny autumn afternoons before the thick grey clouds permanently settle in like the impenetrable ceiling of a cold, wet dungeon. I went shopping.

I didn't buy anything, other than a piping hot H&H sesame bagel.

I am the only person in Manhattan without a stroller.

Then I went home and took a nap.

After dinner, I got dressed and headed out on my own. Desiring a break from my regular routine, I ventured down to the East Village and put in appearances at Phoenix (where I ran into Stephen), Nowhere and Starlight.

Maybe it was the warm, tingling embrace of the four vodka tonics, but I decided to walk back to the A train on 8th Avenue from Avenue A. It was a cool, clear night with a gleaming full moon, and as I walked west along 14th Street I was mildly unsettled by my iPod's ironic selections: Duke Ellington's "Take the A Train" and the opening scene of Richard Strauss' Salome where the page sings, "Look at the moon! How odd she seems. She is like a woman, rising from the grave. Like a woman who is dead, she moves about slowly."

However dead she might be, I'm sure she's faster than the A train after midnight. Once I was back in Chelsea I popped into Gym for a pre-emptive pit stop. There I ran into Mike and Derek, so I stayed for another drink, and then bumped into my old pal Duke.

Like any boyfriend, New York can make you angry and drive you just plain crazy sometimes. But then it redeems itself and you think, "My God, how lucky I am to have you."


Jeff said...

Gah! You should call us when you're in our neighborhood. (OK, technically the East Village is not our neighborhood but close enough.) I'm almost always willing to go out for a drink.

Jess said...

Andy, that you're without an actual boyfriend shows how messed up things are in this world.

Are all of you single boys insane? Don't you know how smart, sweet and wonderful this man is?

Rose Fox said...

Heh, I've been saying for ages that New York is one of my partners. During the four years I spent in San Francisco, it was a very painful long-distance relationship, especially as I was the one doing all the visiting. When my fiancé and I started planning our wedding, he said, "We'll have the ceremony in Central Park so that your city can be there too." He understands. It's lovely to find someone else who understands too.

On the flip side, I read your opening and closing paragraphs to my Bostonian girlfriend, who said, "Yeah, it's an abusive relationship and everyone thinks you're stupid to stay and spend all that money and time on someone so obnoxious." Can't please everyone, I guess.

(Hi! I found you through the bloglist on WaHI; I live in Inwood. I like what you write, so I hope you don't mind if I keep reading it. Feel free to take a look at my journal if you like.)

Andy said...

Rose: thanks for your compliments! Of course you can read my blog. If it were private, I wouldn't print it.

Jess: well, I'm more complicated than that. Let's be honest, my faith is a dealbreaker for about 90% of gay guys. I'm moody, I need lots of alone time, and I'm also living just barely this side of the poverty line. I'm not really an attractive boyfriend candidate by most standards. Oh well. To paraphrase Kevin Spacey, "I wouldn't date me, either."

DJRainDog said...

It's just a city, like any other city, nothing special at all. Perhaps a little taller, dirtier, faster, more populous & more expensive than others, but inferior far (in the ways I think matter) to its elder European siblings. I'd take Paris or London over this place anytime. You deserve a better boyfriend.

Andy said...

Yeah, don't tell New York, but someday I might run off to live with Santa Fe.

Trickish Knave said...

Paris? You like men that smell like poop and wine?

Andy said...

I would love to live in Paris, I thought it was an amazing, vibrant, beautiful, fascinating place. I don't think I'd have to worry about a French boyfriend, though. The only guy who paid any attention to me there at all was the one who tried to open my backpack while I was on the Metro.

But you do kind of have a point, though. I sat next to a guy at the Theatre due Chatelet and I swear I hid my nose inside my shirt collar the entire time. I was about ready to tell him off like, "How can you go out in public smelling like that?" when he turned to me and said, "Cette spectacle est magnifique, n'est-ce pas?" and he was so sweet I didn't have the heart to say, "Yes, but you smell."