Sunday, February 10, 2008

One night in NYC - Part 2

The night was breezy and dark. The towering skyscrapers blocked out much of the moonlight. I’ve always wondered about that reputation that New York is the city that never sleeps. Perhaps it’s just the areas I’ve been in, but the city certainly shuts down, and for many parts of the city, quite early at that. Maybe I shouldn’t believe everything Will Smith says on his songs.

There were no businesses opened as Emma and I walked towards the train stop. Our path took us through a retail neighborhood with some fancy high end stores. ‘I have 3 of those at home!’ Emma pointed to the photo of an obviously expensive looking piece of jewelry. With just the street lights radiating above, that warm and contagious smile was clearly visible as she pointed to other items in the store.

Emma had stories for each thing she pointed out. Jokingly suggesting how she received each as a present or how she knew someone who had to purchase something for someone in a soap opera-ish situation. I was not about to be outdone by made up stories. This is one of my favorite pass times. Making up situations and stories in things I see around me. My favorite has always been doing this at the mall or at airports. Making up stories as to why someone is purchasing something or where someone is going and why. I’ve always enjoyed the stories, especially the made up variety. I think stories are what make memories worth while. The story is what makes an experience memorable. Even if it’s not true.

As we walked down the street, we started exchanging stories on the items in each store. Soon we were creating stories together on who buys these ridiculously expensive things. The conversation was fast and smooth. We were talking one after each other like we were telling a story to the cold empty city.

The night grew colder and windier as we walked past each city block. I was looking at a store window when I felt a nudge on my left arm. I turn to see Emma had wrapped her arms around mine to keep warm. When I saw her around my arms, no weather could have cool down my beating heart.

It was beginning to get pretty late in the night. We finally arrived at the train station and walked to the platform waiting for our train. There was only one other person waiting at this train stop. He was standing across the tracks with his head bopping to the sound of his music. The interesting thing is that he wasn’t listening to the music on headphones as everyone does. The person across the tracks was carrying an old school boom box. Wow, talk about a throw back thought to myself. I think the music may have even been coming from a cassette.

There were no train to be seen anywhere. At least there was a sound track for this moment now. The music was some nice trance dance songs. Mostly beats. I wanted to yell more beats!, but didn’t think that was appropriate at the moment. I was thinking. A mostly deserted train station with blaring beats. Can’t beat that.

Our arms were still locked together. Even though it wasn’t windy in the subway, the temperature continued to drop as we stood waiting. Our bodies were naturally swaying to the music. Even though we couldn’t really hear the music all that well, the beats were coming through loud and clear. Suddenly, the song that was playing ended and silence took over the platform.

During this time standing on the platform, a million things were racing through my head. It was all about what do I do? This is the first time I’ve met Emma, but she’s so wonderful. Should I be doing something? Should I just let it be and see? I don’t want to do anything stupid, but I also didn’t want to not take a chance. I am definitely not the best judge on this type of situations as my history will tell you. No situation is too good or easy for me to screw up. There were plenty of scenarios and thoughts racing through my head as to what would happen if I did or did not do anything.

Right when I was in the middle of another ‘what to do’ thought, I heard music coming back from across the tracks. This time it wasn’t the beats that we were hearing before. I could hear horns, brass to be exact. After a few measures, it was obvious that it was a very familiar jazz song. The song began with a loud fanfare, but then settled into a nice smooth groove.

I wasn’t sure what was going through my head. I think the adrenaline had taken over as I fought every nervous impulse in my body. I took a deep breath, and I loosen the lock on our arm. I turned our bodies around so we were facing each other in a swift motion. I put my arms around her waist and began moving to the music. She was expectedly a little surprised by the move, but without missing a beat, she moved along side to the music.

I was terrified to look down to see her reaction. There’re a number of reactions going through my head. This could easily go from a good night out situation up to this point to super creepy. I figured I should look to see if I needed to stop and get totally embarrassed. I looked down to see her face. I felt my heart was about to jump out of my body.

My eyes were met with a big grin on her face. What a relief. Not enough to slow my pounding heart, but I was so glad. After I saw her reaction, I reached for her hand moved her around our little dance square. A couple of spins were involved and more dancing ensued. A silly grin was permanently planted on my face as we moved around and laughed at ourselves. We danced for what seemed like an eternality. This was a moment I never wanted to end, but the music began fading out as the sound of the train grew louder.

To be Continued….

Saturday, February 09, 2008

One night in NYC

It’s another business trip to New York City. This crowed metropolis is filled with people. Yet I come in and out of the city, each time always seeing the same people and never once meeting anyone new. If you think about it, that’s pretty statistically difficult to do. Just standing in the middle of the city, you’re bound to meet someone. Talk to someone. Nope, never in my case.

I think there’s a cheesy song somewhere out there that says you’re never as lonely as when you’re in a room full of people. The ‘room’ couldn’t be more full standing in time square of New York City.

I was more excited about this trip than usual. Unlike the in and out trips of airport, meetings, then straight back to the airport trips I usually have, I was going to meet up with some friends in the city. They told me a friend was going to join us. She had recently moved to the city and wanted to visit new places whenever she could.

I flew in on my usual flight into LaGuardia. I take the trip enough the stewardess has begun to recognize me. More importantly, they’ve started to remember my Jack and Coke. Now that’s service. The flight was uneventful and I grabbed a cab heading into the city.

After I checked in and unpacked my luggage, I was ready to go. I was excited to see my friends and also starving. We decided on a place to meet and I was on my way. One of my crowning achievements last year was figuring out how to use the subway system in NYC. I’m very proud of this. I get lost a lot, and this is huge for me. I’m now totally versed in getting around using the subway which I’m always strangely excited about when I’m in town.

So I get to the restaurant and got a table for 4. It seems that they haven’t gotten there yet. The restaurant was a nice little Thai restaurant. It had very nice d├ęcor and a unique fountain/pool in the middle of the restaurant. There was a sky light over the pool which reflected the moon light that night throughout the restaurant.

I was looking at the menu and when I looked up, they were walking through the door. I jumped up and waved wildly at them from the table. Mostly because I could hardly contain my excitement, but also excited I was about to eat. Did I mention I’ve been starving? They waved back wildly and walked toward the table.

Audrey was the first to greet me with a big squeezing hug. She was a hugger. I’m very particular to my touching. I don’t generally like touching people or being touched by people for that matter, but people I like, that’s a whole different story. I always enjoy hugs from Audrey. I greeted Tom as he came up behind Audrey. I met Tom and Audrey randomly on a trip to the city a few years ago. We hit it off pretty quick during that totally random meeting and have since become pretty good friends. I make it a point to see them whenever I’m in town.

Tom introduced me to Emma who was standing behind them. I was extending my hand to her when she made the move and hugged me. I generally get a little squeamish feeling when someone does that, not because of the person, just a reflex. I don’t know what it was, perhaps her smell, or maybe the feeling, but it felt comfortable and familiar like the first hug with Audrey.

We sat down and started talking. Even though we only see each other once every couple of months, our conversations are always fun and never ending. There’s never a lack of things to talk about. We jump topics from our daily lives, to politics to zombies to plans for making the worst movie ever (road trip time!). Even though Emma was relatively new to us, she fit right in. She was charming and witty. She enjoyed the same things as we did and had no problem participating in the conversation. Being able to speak on zombies and politics, now these are qualities difficult to come by.

I snuck in a few looks at Emma during dinner. I don’t know if it was the drinks or the moon light reflecting off the pool, but she was simply radiant. She had gorgeous eyes and her smile was contagious. When she smiled at you, words could not describe that feeling. You just know you need to see it again.

The dinner was wonderful and we had a few drinks that were also delicious. We finished up dinner and decided to go to a near by bar. There were a few more beverages consumed and some darts were thrown. Unfortunately for the floor, the darts were not always aimed at the board. It was a great night and we were all feeling pretty good after the drinks. Sadly, it was still a Tuesday and everyone had things to do the next day. Stupid jobs.

Audrey and Tom were heading south to catch the train while Emma and I were headed east to catch another train. My hotel and her place were in the general direction. We said our goodbyes. Some words were slurred, hugs were given, then Emma and I were on our way home.

To be Continued…