Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
I went to Soho looking for a gift.
I wanted to get something to surprise Marie with as I was planning on taking the bus Upstate for the weekend to the friend's house she's at cooking for the yoga retreat.
Soho seemed like a good place to go to look for a gift.
For some reason, each time I walk into the depths of Soho off of Houston St., I walk down one particular cobble stoned street that has a jewelry store called Versani that I'm inclined to go into every time I pass it even though I can't afford anything inside.
This time was no different.
The girl that was working in the lowly lit underground store remembered me from the last time that I'd been there looking at things that I couldn't afford. I told her that I was looking for a necklace and she began showing me around. She looked Armenian or Turkish, or perhaps Greek. Maybe she was a Gypsy. Wherever she was from she'd learned some very crafty selling practices from her home country. Each necklace that she pulled out from the display case she'd drape across her neck and let hang across her chest and the divide between her breasts, asking me what I thought. It was very subtle what she was doing, and very unfair, as it was meant to make me turn over all of my meager funds, without giving a shit what I was buying. After looking at three or four necklaces it was nearly impossible not to want to buy something. In fact I thought about taking out loans or robbing a liquor just to be able to buy something from her and that store. I don't think that the sales practices that she was using were on the up and up and am planning to check in with the better business bureau to find out, as a man in a weakened condition like I was could easily blow his entire rent - which reminds me of why I haven't been in a strip club in years. Then she took her button down sweater off so that I could see better. Christ, at that point, she could have hung a pile of dog crap off of her neck and any man would have paid at least a couple of thousand dollars for it. She blurred the lines of what was being sold. It was a ruthless and unfair business practice that is meant to drive men like me to the poorhouse. And I had to leave before I ended up in debt, the proud owner of a dog turd encrusted choker chain.
I will never go back to that store unless I have endless piles of money to burn.
Eventually I bought some perfume from a gay guy and felt like I got what I wanted as his charms had no effect on me. He even threw in some body lotion as I guess my charms worked on him.
And I'm only buying things from gay men from now on.
When I got home I got call from an event lighting company about a job that I'd put a resume in for when I'd first gotten to town, and I felt like New York was welcoming me back into its fold and finally opening it's steel arms to me. The company wanted me to go in and fill out the paperwork the next day and start on a job in South Hampton over the weekend.
I called Marie Upstate and told her the good news and the bad news - that I'd gotten another job, but that I wouldn't be going up to visit her for the weekend. After I hung up the phone I thought that maybe it was better if we had a little time apart to let the drama of the previous weeks clear out.
The next day I went to see Marie's therapist and felt like I got some clarity on some issues. I know that we have our work cut out with each other, that living together, by our natures, will be rocky. But we're each willing to work on it. And I feel like we have something worth working for. We each need the change that the relationship will bring.
What else can you ask for, besides a little Grace from God?