“These New York men are ‘ol the same. They’re arrogant and selfish,” Tracy explained in her thick New Jersey accent as she poured a hefty serving of creamer in my coffee this morning. She was completely unfazed by the fact that I was a stranger sitting on her living room couch in my crushed velvet jumper and tights from the night before.
“Thank you so much,” I said as she kindly handed me the coffee.
For my final night in New York City, I booked a bedroom through Airbnb. It was a loft in Soho whose owner named Tracy was every bit as eccentric as her funky décor. It was the type of place that could stress you out if you looked around it too long. Her continuous rambling was a bit unnerving the day before but now with an oncoming hangover and huge level of anxiety, I found her advice and tales of the night before comforting.
“And so there was this big jacked guy in a cutoff shirt, and man, he could dance! He would do a little of this and throw his leg in like that,” she said as she flailed her limbs. Flashbacks of the previous night suddenly clouded my thoughts. My girlfriend and I had bar hopped around Little Italy and the Lower East Side before we parted ways, and I made my way to LeBain by myself where my dance moves were probably not far off.
It was a rerun of my last trip. I found myself out alone talking to random guys while the only guy who I really wanted had gone completely silent. My last text from him was at midnight saying that he was wrapping up dinner and asking where I was… then sent no response to my texts that followed. As I looked out at the city from the rooftop bar, I couldn’t escape the feeling of sadness that no amount of cocktails could conceal. (Except what is this picture?)
At 4:30 a.m., I somehow managed to climb the 10 flights of steep stairs up to Tracy’s apartment and crawl in bed. Despite all of the drinks, all I still wanted was to be snuggling with a certain someone across town – who didn’t even want to text me back.
Now as I fly over the city, I can’t help but think about him down below in his East Village apartment where I had spent the night. Of course I want to label him as an arrogant asshole and say, “They’re all the same.” But that wouldn’t do any good.
A large part of me feels disappointed. When you’re single, there are generally a few people that you still keep in your thoughts. On lonely nights you might imagine cuddling with them, and when reading love stories or hearing certain songs, you unconsciously associate it with them.
For me, he’s been one of those few guys since my first blog post about him, and his role has been the one with whom I have unprecedented chemistry. The one I want to kiss and whom I want to hold my hand. When I’m with him, being affectionate is second-nature.
The fact that he lives in New York has allowed this fantasy to stay intact, unaffected by day-to-day activities, his relationships and reality. But when my texts and calls go unanswered, I’m reminded that it is simply a fairytale. After one evening, the carriage returns to being a pumpkin, and the glass slipper no longer fits.
And a part of me almost feels bad for him. The year and a half that has passed since I’d last seen him was reflected in his appearance. He was thinner and the lines in his forehead deeper, as if the city had weathered him on his daily walks and stressful commutes. And there was a sadness about him that I had felt before. It drove me to cup his face in my hands and ask, “What is wrong?” But I didn’t know. I might not ever know.
When I left for New York I was planning to write about how I didn’t want to be Carrie Bradshaw anymore. I had a list of reasons – one of which being her and Big’s horrible relationship. Despite being a big Big fan, it’s hard to believe they are a match. It was obvious that he never understood her. They couldn’t communicate. He was selfish. All they seemed to have was sex and a comforting feeling each time they were reunited.
But here I was with my very own Big, and I’m guilty of allowing myself to be Carrie – of annoyingly clinging to someone who is pushing me away. I’m not sure how to stop. I wish that my New York trips could go untainted by a guy. I wish that I genuinely wanted to talk to all my Tinder matches there and that I could fully appreciate the art exhibits I’m viewing and the delicious food I’m eating.
Unfortunately, I have a feeling that as long as Lady Liberty holds her torch, Rockefeller Center rocks its Christmas tree and the Empire State Building glows amid the skyscrapers, he will be in that apartment and “free at the moment.” Perhaps East Village will never be the same, and given the chance, he will most likely always go MIA.
That’s the thing though: I’m the one who reached out thereby giving him the chance. I’m the one who has allowed him to be Big – and to be big. Though I can’t say that I can turn off my feelings for him, I can turn on my feelings and focus on my own big plans. I can make sure that I’m still happy whether I receive a text back from a guy or not with the help of friends, Phoenix and all the things I love.
Besides, it wasn’t a total waste of good makeup.