Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
I went back to New York City.
After a few days in Salt Lake City I couldn't quite picture myself living anywhere else but New York City anymore. It seemed there was only a small part of me left that had ever lived, or that could start a life in Salt Lake again. The thought of going back to Austin churned my stomach and felt like a certain kind of stagnation. New York seemed vibrant, energetic, alive and new.
And I knew that I had to go back.
I'd spent too much energy getting myself up there and getting myself settled to let it die.
New York felt like my future.
I closed the door on going back to anything that I was before.
Whatever I would become would manifest itself in New York City.
Once I felt it, and knew that I had no other option that would be satisfying I bought my plane ticket (I promised myself that I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, take another cross country bus trip again), consolidated my bags of clothing leaving some things at my friends house to be shipped back to me at a later date, turned myself around and went back.
Marie and I'd been talking on the phone the few days that I'd been there in Utah, and besides the first day conversation that was a little shaky (the morning after I arrived in Utah I was vibrating on a completely alien frequency due to the complete working over my entire system took on the bus and the shock and sadness that I was feeling over the seeming loss of our relationship) our conversations were good and comforting. I wanted to be back with her. I loved her. I never really wanted to leave in the first place. I simply wanted to feel understood, and be treated with a little more kindness. She said that she could do that. I told her that I'd work on being a little less sensitive and a little less reactionary, but that I'd need help. We both realized that we needed some help to change, and that it wasn't going to come overnight, and that we'd take things slowly. I'd get in and see a therapist, and she'd work on her issues with hers.
And we'd see where it went.
The day I bought the ticket Marie's friend Yoko Skyped me from the airport just before leaving to Japan. Her uncle'd died. Between tears and smiles after I told her that I was going back to New York she told me that I could stay at her place while she was gone and that the keys were at Fleurs Bella and that the girl who ran the office could get me the keys.
She waved good bye from her computer screen and boarded her plane and I knew I'd made the right decision.
I told my old friends goodbye, and they told me not to worry, that if things fell apart I would always have a home in Salt Lake City.
And I left.
I'd been up all night due to getting bumped from a flight, long layovers in two different cities, the inability to get comfortable on the planes, and general anxiety when I got to New York City one week after I'd left town. The rain drizzled out of the gray sky and my nerves felt frayed. The girl from the office at Fleurs Bella wasn't answering her phone at nine in the morning even though she'd text me at the airport the night before saying that she had the keys and she'd meet me in the morning. I was exhausted. So when Marie text asking if I wanted coffee saying that she had a spare set of keys to Yoko's I called. She said to bring my bags to her place, that we could get some coffee and talk and that she'd make breakfast.
I didn't want to impose on her or have things be uncomfortable between us and thought it'd be best to look for a place to sublet for a month or two while things settled between us into whatever they'd become. But I saw that idea drift away as soon as Marie opened the door to the building in her silk pajamas smoking a cigarette with sleep still in her eyes and a smile of knowing on her face when she saw me.
My defenses faded away.
I felt electric in her presence.
It was good to see her and be back. Being in the apartment in Williamsburg again with her I realized how much deeper a resonance the city had with her - the two were intricately linked and made each other richer, fuller and more intense. And I felt the idea of having my own place floating further and further into the gray sky, over the river, above Manhattan and away as I looked out the window at the rain coming down.
I gave her a peace offering of a free airline ticket that I'd gotten for being bumped from a flight the night before. It was all I had that I could offer to tell her that I was sorry. I felt like a dog bringing his master the morning paper - love was my master.
And once I held her, smelled her sweet scent and looked into her wading pool blue eyes, the idea of moving out on my own vanished.
We lay on the bed as the rain poured down outside of the windows that looked out at the brick buildings and the faint gray outline of the sky above as Marie looked into my eyes. She stared searchingly, imploring, then paused for a moment as though stuck on a thought that I asked her to let go of. And as I waited for her words to form my mind ran wild with all of the horrible things that I'd heard the women before her say in moments not so different from that one, about the awful things that they'd done that they couldn't live with, that they had to get off of their chests. I braced myself for what was to come. My eyes welled up full of emotion, and a tear rolled down my cheek before I even knew that I was crying, as her words filled me "You're my favorite person"...