Start here if this is all new to you.
My new phone did not recognize the 773 number and I couldn’t imagine who could be calling me from Chicago. In fact, I couldn’t imagine who was calling me in the first place since my phone generally didn’t ring for weeks at a time.
“Hey. Heyyyyy. It’s Patrick. A little birdie…or maybe it was big birdie with a PhD…whatever…told me that you moved to New York and now you have a fancy big girl job. Anywho, call me back because I had a dream about you.”
Okay, yes, I had moved back across the country without mentioning it to Patrick. And somehow along the way, months had slipped by. There were times I had thought about calling him, to explain how easy it was to be a lonely person in New York City. One could eat dinner alone, go to the movies alone, and even sit at a bar alone. And it never aroused any suspicion. Being alone was such a normal activity here, that no one assumed that your state of solitude was the result of a fatal flaw, like being a junkie or a cheat or an all-around asshole. No one cared.
And I liked it here, maybe even loved it. In my limited experience, there were two routes to falling in love. The first was this written-in-the-stars, instantaneous attraction. Maybe it would take a few months to admit to yourself and others that you were truly, OMG completely in love, but the feelings were there from that first moment. You were doomed. I had felt that way about my husband and Portland. And Patrick, too, I guess. The second path was more insidious. This was love that developed out of repeated exposure. One might expect to develop some sort of immunity in that situation, but that was rare. In fact, if I slept with someone more than say, ten times, emotional escape was no longer possible. I cursed the chemicals that tricked my brain, all part of my sappy co-dependent vagina’s plan to couple me off. But I was falling into the same brand of love with NYC. Learning to love it little by little, but constantly planning other, steamier affairs in my head. LA, Tokyo, London. I could not be monogamous to this place. Continue reading