Yesterday was the first hot, humid, ah-this-is-ny-summer day. The air hovering between buildings and when you gulp in air you can taste the water droplets in it. Sans sun screen equals skin cancer doom. Where even if you put on SPF 45 you might get burned anyway (check for yours truly) and NYC becomes Dehydration City. The poor actors in the play, doing outdoor theatre on a 90 degree night costumed in wool suits, blowing on their hands during lines about the “bitter cold” while streams (some rivers) of sweat cascade down their faces.
Yesterday was also my first real world date. First date that didn’t involve any kind of “let’s hang out/ ‘hang out'”, “just come over to my place”, “I guess we could watch a movie/ ‘watch a movie'”, “I dunno, what do you want to do?”. A “I want to take you to” date. A “I’m going to pay for freakin everything even if it’s expensive and that makes you feel slightly awkward” (But not too awkward. I’m too poor to feel too awkward) date. First date with Central Park Guy.
He took me, yes direct quote “I want to take you” (and I’m not sure how I feel about that phrase), to the MOMA. Which must have been a lucky or intuitive guess on his part because I love museums, art, and modern art especially. Although “lucky” is a relative word, poor guy had no way of knowing I am a museum fiend. Get me in a museum and I won’t be satisfied unless I see everything. At least walk by everything. Now this is a tall, tall order in the MOMA which has six expansive floors that I haven’t seen in four years, since the summer after freshman year with Maggie. On that last visit we spent six (really, that’s not poetically inflated) hours in the museum, to the point where if we didn’t buy overpriced food at the museum cafe we were going to collapse.
Well this trip I was able to squash the fiend part of me (was that hiding part of my core self? oooh for shame!) with the consolation that umm..I fucking live here now (!!!) and theoretically can visit this museum everyday. We still managed to cover a lot of ground. Three floors; prints, photography, special exhibits, some painting; talk of art(duh), how minds work, travels, ethnicity (he’s Greecian, Middle Eastern, Russian Jew…uh I’m a WASP, for lack of an easier description) home towns, vegetarian escapades, feminism, Nick Drake, pain, challenging convention and changing the world (no I’m not kidding and he brought it up). No awkward silences, he’s interesting, intelligent, even has a sense of humor, annnd is fun to talk to.
I was enjoying myself and ended up spending the entire day with him. After 3 hours of MOMA he started to get bored and really I should have just ended everything right there, I mean I can’t see things going anywhere with a museum wuss and we were both hungry so we ventured out into the heat to search for lunch which lead to sushi at a restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen (check! learned where Hell’s Kitchen is!). By the time we’re done eating I’m still not sick of him, and he’s clearly not sick of me because we end up walking in Central Park.
We end up lying on the grass of the Great Lawn, watching the clouds go by and talking about the value of alone time. Now if you know me, you know I need alone time on par with the need for water, air, food. Almost on par. And I love finding people who understand that. Talk to me about this or tell me I was good in a play and I am sold. Prone-to-making-bad-decisions sold. Better-than-tulips sold. So here we are: gorgeous day, hot weather but now augmented by a lovely breeze, beautiful lawn, conversations that make me melt, guy lying next to me who I think I might kinda sorta like, when uh oh, his hands touched mine, fuck he’s going for my hand! fuck we’re going to have to have The Talk.
Holding hands. What may easily be considered the most simple and innocent intimate gesture is the most emotionally fraught for me, carries the most bagage and embarassment. And feels so retro in a poodle skirt kind of way.
Hey I have to tell you something. This is kinda weird, and usually only happens when I’m hot..um… I’m prone to having really sweaty hands. I say, holding up my hand as evidence. Yep. We’re not at the sweats-actually-dripping-off point thankfully but as usual, you can physically see the moisture on my palm. This is met not with the usual gasp, “ew”, or some other exclamation but a simple What are you gonna do. As in whatever. As in “I don’t care”. And then a story about the parels of deodorant. Some marathon runner who covered his whole body in deodorant and ended up dying because of it. Sweat or death? My clammy existence is looking better already. No one has ever successfully made me feel better about my affliction. No one. Might kinda sorta like? Change that to definitely kinda sorta like. And the next thing I know I’m one of those people macking it on the grass in Central Park (cliche enough for you?), not thinking about the girls softball game yards away nor that PDA may make people like myself cringe. Not thinking about that. Just the prospect of a definite kinda sorta like.