“If we hurry, we can still buy some wine before Trader Joe’s closes!” He said as we hurried uptown from the theatre. It had just rained and the streets were glistening, the air steamy as the cars smeared past us on Lafayette Street.

“Fascinating show.” I exclaimed. “I’m really impressed that I was able to take you to that and you didn’t hate it.” The performance we had just seen was one of the most complex and strange pieces of theatre I’ve watched, albeit brilliant, I thought of the handful of people I know who would have barfed at the oozing “Ahhrt” that was coming off the stage in droves and I imagined talking to one of my friends, who is so fiercely against anything that makes him feel confused that he would have exploded in anger afterwards. “THAT WAS SO STUPID!” He would have cried. “She was just some weird naked lady doing weird naked dance moves to the sound of a violin string being scratched across a black board. What the FUCK?!” I would have sighed, agreed with him, then secretly mulled over what I had felt when I watched the show (a bit of longing and melancholy, really). I looked at my musician-boyfriend wearing his skinny jeans and leather boots as he blithely chattered about the music in the piece.

“The music was quite good.” He said. “The harmonies and the resolutions were well done.” I nodded, not too sure what he meant, but enjoying the fact that he could listen to the technical side of a piece and recognize the brilliance in it.

The jackhammer we passed as we hurried east on 14th street sent a knee jerk banner ad across my sub conscious: So Loud! I hate this city! Flashed like a camera bulb before we entered the quiet hum of the wine shop.

“Shall we get the Australian Shiraz, or the French Brouilly?” I asked, picking up two bottles and checking the prices.

“I like the Cab Sauv they’ve got over here.” Jackson called, walking over to his favorite shelf of reds.

Feeling proud of ourselves for having bought 4 bottles (now we can entertain, thank god…), we loped over to the train station. I noticed my new shoes cramping my feet and the brown bag of wine crimping my fingers with its weight. The busyness of the city was a rhythm of familiarity, the harmonies adding layers to the soundtrack of my walking. I recalled the conversation, while huddled around a camp fire in the Wisconsin woods, about New York: “How does someone live in New York? I could never live there, it’s too crazy for me. What do you do on a daily basis, Natalie?” The firewood crackled and the silence of the wilderness was cold.

“I walk a lot.” I’d said. “I travel as much as I can so I can get out of it once in a while, too. New York can be really overwhelming.”

Back on the subway platform, I looked over at my boyfriend who was lost in thought. We stepped on to the incoming N train and sat down. “What is it?” I said.

“I wanted to look something up.” He mused.

“Oh! By the way.” I responded nonchalantly, “We should get more Brie. Know somewhere in the neighborhood? Can’t have wine without a good cheese.”

Jackson adjusted his cream colored trench coat and sat down, still looking puzzled. “There was something…” He trailed off.

“Flights to Quito.” I reminded him, patting his knee. “We need to look up how expensive it is to fly to Ecuador.” He nodded, a smile blooming on his face.

“Oh yes, that’s right.” He nodded. “I need to ask Jose if he’d be willing to put us up while that Australian couple rents our apartment.”






October 20, 2013 at 7:04 pm by Natalie Allen