Like I knew that I would.
Tuesday was strenuous mainly because I left the apartment at 5:00 am. I’m always afraid I’m going to oversleep on these early morning flights so sleep comes in fitful, 20 minute spurts. I might have got an hour in.
I was exhausted all day but started to snap out of it as we made our approach into La Guardia. We were close to touching down when the poor guy in front of me accidentally hit the call button.
I’ve seen this before and I think at this point in the flight only the lead attendant can get up to answer it. Usually it comes with a school marm scowl or some other kind of pissed off passive aggressiveness.
He was signalling her that it was a mistake and was apologizing profusely. She came anyway and was understanding about it. With a flourish that reminded us we were only a couple of miles from Broadway she exclaimed, “thank gaawd everyone is okay.”
The urban energy hit me the minute I was off the jet bridge. That chip on their shoulder, make you wrong effort New Yorkers do to engage you. At first it seems rude but then you realize there’s not much behind it. It’s just a nervous form of high anxiety communication that comes with population density. I think it’s been proven in lab rats.
On the bus into Grand Central there was another reminder why I love New York. A boy sprawled out on the seats in front of me listening to his iPod. He looked Russian (the island is crawling with Russkies), so languid and luscious. In any other city he would be a standout, in Manhattan he’s kind of the norm.
Walking down 42nd Street to the hotel there were more appealing boys. Arabs, Europeans, Jews, Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Asians–they all had this wonderful give that ethnicity wasn’t the most important thing about them. When I think of all the cultural and political strife around the world the solution just seems so obvious to me: homosexuality. Or at least the way I practice it.
My hotel was a Westin I’d stayed in a couple of years ago after they’d just taken it over from Leona. It was kind of a dump back then but it now had the full brand treatment: heavenly bed, heavenly shower, and hellish room service prices. With my last ounce of energy I decided to go out to eat.
I walked over to the Oyster Bar for dinner and a cocktail. I enjoyed my Manhattan so much I had a second one. After overtipping I walked back feeling toasty and nice. Sugar and spice.
Sleeping was not a problem but forcing myself out of bed Wednesday morning took some work. I had coffee, checked my bag and walked 20 blocks to Barneys. The temperature was a “feels like” 17 and even with gloves my hands froze.
I took my time perusing the merchandise, and the warmth, on all eight floors. I was drawn to things like a gray wooly mammoth Givenchy sweater vest with fluorescent orange trim but realized it was probably not age appropriate.
The real prize at Barneys was the clerk on the first floor. 6’3″, sexy in his skin-tight black sweater and pants. His head was shaved and his skin had a natural gleam, no makeup. But I would swear on a pair of Marilyn Miglin Super Sweepers he was wearing false eyelashes. They were so long and so black it was like he wanted them to look fake. And they did, a stark contrast to his handsome face. Kind of an updated version of Louise Nevelson.
Over at Bergdorf’s I spent an hour in home furnishings then I crossed the street to the Men’s Store. I loved a Matisse-like cutout beach shirt that was too expensive. There was also a pair of Tom Ford red velvet high tops that were stunning. Even at half price, too much.
I did end up buying a couple of shirts at 75% off. On the walk down Fifth Avenue I also picked up a Warhol dance step t-shirt for $10. In essence my mission was accomplished, I had something tangible to bring back with me. The real treasure, however, was just the thrill of being in Manhattan.
Cobwebs vanquished, I’m ready to get on the good foot.
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The complete saga, From the Beginning