Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Saga of Chris- A New York Moment

Saturday Chris and I got together on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He said he wanted to get a drink first, and we went to a bar where he proceeded to have two Bloody Mary’s…at four in the afternoon. I didn’t think that was a good sign, but I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. At the bar, Chris got a call from his sister, Lindsey, saying she needed to meet us to get her keys from him. They thought it might take 40 minutes, and we decided to wait out front.

Chris and I sat on the thick stone ledge of the fountain, which was inexplicably empty of water. The stone was warm, and when I had to make some phone calls, he stretched out. He said it felt great, so when I finished my calls, I stretched out, too. Head-to-head, his legs going one way, mine the other, we lay there in the sun with cars zooming by in the street and tourists ambling by on the sidewalk. We even dozed a bit, with the wind mixing my hair with his. It's going on my list of top New York moments.

After an hour Lindsey, his mom and his mom’s boyfriend showed up for the keys. We handed them off, then went in the museum and looked at paintings. He likes Kara Walker, Degas’ ballerinas and gloomy paintings in a certain shade of blue. I like luminous women against rich backgrounds.

We left the museum and went for hot dogs at Papaya King. He was amazed I’d eat one because, apparently, all the women in his life fit somewhere in a continuum between vegetarianism and anorexia. “Yeah, women who eat,” I said, facetiously, “It’s the hot new thing. It’s sweeping the nation!”

Then he went to put a down payment on his new apartment and I went home. It was about 9 p.m. He said he might call me later, and at 10 he did. I met up with him and his friend Royal, and we talked and laughed for hours. Then Royal went home, and Chris decided we should go play pool. I warned him tat I didn’t know a thing about it, but he didn’t care. We won game after game, but lost the last one due to spectacular incompetence on my part. He had the nerve to get crabby about it. “I’m sorry,” I replied, “I deceived you when I said I was a world-class pool player. Oh, wait, no, I think my exact words were, ‘I could only beat someone at pool if my bad playing made them laugh so hard they dropped their cue!’” He laughed and cheered up, then walked me to the subway. It was about 3 at this point.

The whole walk to the station, he was looking at me strangely and told me he didn’t know what my story was. Then he told me, literally, to keep my distance (“Walk over there for a minute.” Okay, crazy boy). Then, right as we got to the station, he said, “So what are you doing now?” “Well, what are you doing now?” I countered. “Going home and going to bed,” he said. “Well, okay then.” I replied. At his subway stop, he shook my hand and told me to call him.

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