The Naked Apple

Repoting from the modern middle class

Love 2.0

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I met you five years ago after you read my dating profile on the internet. We met for an evening and then I said I didn’t want to see you again and we didn’t. Your name has faded from my memory but I remember a lot about you.

“I ran past you in the park the other day when you were smelling a flower. Yesterday, you left the restaurant as I arrived. This morning you stood on the uptown platform while I waited for the downtown train. For one evening, be more than a perfect stranger.”

You liked this profile – I felt awkward writing it but I was glad it had found you.

I chose the Fitzpatrick Hotel on the Upper Eastside for us to meet and share a small meal. You’d move from Nebraska where you lived with your grand parents to pursue a career in New York’s publishing scene. Your life was filled with books and running; running mile after mile on your own. You preferred the company of older country people and I don’t think you’d made too many new friends.

The carefully applied makeup sat uncomfortably on your face that night and I appreciated it all the more. You were comically beautiful, like an American who moves to Japan and finds she is suddenly very tall. At home you were a pretty grand daughter and took this as just another complement among many. Here you were a young woman with lips that longed to be kissed.

I didn’t want to break your life and genuinely believed I had the capacity to burn those around me. You saw a part of me over the course of an hour but not the whole. A patient smiling gent with an accent you’d read about in Jane Eyre, dressed in French collar and cuffs. Far removed from the boy who knocks a girl to the ground and then sadly picks her up while a taxi driver cries from the window of his cab, “Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!”

Your innocence protected you from the start of a catastrophe. I felt like the thief who finds he still has some decency left in him upon seeing his boyhood home.

Still I was just as fragile in your hand as you in mine for those 60 minutes. To have someone tell me I could write and listen to my heart was like sitting with the prison chaplain who sees unique good in everyone. You talked excitedly of books and literary magazines I’d never known.

At college, I’d found a reading list for a contemporary fiction course and worked my way through it checking out library books like they were letters from a lost sibling, dead before I was born. From this limited list we bridged my solitary island to your continent of words.

Still the dinner came to an end and I had a second date at 8:30 pm with “MilkshakeGirl3456”. I sat in the restaurant chair smoking an imaginary cigarette while you went to the rest room, deciding fate. .

I hope you found everything you were looking for in New York; I wish you could read this too.


Written by The Naked Apple

February 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Posted in life

Tagged with , , , ,

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