lonely lovely city

lonely lovely city

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Awkwardness

One of things I dislike about New York is the awkwardness through random encounters of agents from our past. On Saturday near the Lower East Side, I was steps away from buying a movie ticket when I spotted a guy I once knew; a handsome friend who I had not seen in three years.

I thought of him (a man I had known for one summer) with mutual attributes and actually fancied him for a second. I vied for his friendship. Although we shared a couple of solid exchanges, I yearned for more. But, he was fickle and never reciprocated. After the third time he didn't return my calls, I got the gist of his unspoken message. His rejection stung. And, of course, in true Aquarian style, I was over it in two weeks.

I believed that much of what we both experienced in life could've set up a great platform for a subsequent relationship. But, it didn't. I made an assumption that because he was ten years older, he'd be mature and open and ready to explore something. My naivete ran rampant with unrealistic expectations as it usually does.

I am regressing.

When I marched up to the counter, he stood facing the north side of the street, presumably, waiting for another person. Within seconds, I flinched. Instead of walking into the air conditioned theater to engage in an adult conversation with him, I optioned for a later show. I kept walking ahead and turned the next corner, not knowing where I was going, also accepting very well that I would have to walk an entire square block just to avoid him and buy the damn ticket. Crazy, right?

Luckily, when I remerged after fifteen minutes with a run to the local candy store, he vanished, probably buying popcorn with his special date inside the theatre. I despise wondering what it was he didn't savor about our connection during the summer of 2008.

What irks me is how one is in lost in their comfort zone, hence myself, who is suddenly given a choice they would rather not make when walking down a crowded street, alone, minding their own business. Why that person? Why at that particular time? NYC is such a huge menagerie that you almost believe that you'll never run into someone. And, then out of nowhere, BAM, you are faced with a glaring reality.

I could've have been more of a man who approaches him, shakes his hand and says hello. Should one confront this person and go along with it, or just run, like me, till inadvertently encountering a new block? Why is Manhattan so brutal when it comes to chance encounters with people that we thought were history?

As I've mentioned in previous posts, I am not a religious person by any means. I do, however; believe in signs with their oddity and beauty and how we're all interconnected to one another in this universe. It is is rather unique, if not fitting, that he sprung out of nowhere.

It's almost like other people who we'd rather not see who constantly appear at the cafe or local bar or even on the subway, come into your circle and force you to resolve unfinished business. You are almost driven to have a conversation in front of other strangers.

One of the several things I do love about New York is the anonymity. There is such a great comfort in knowing others don't know me or my business or anything remotely personal pertaining to my past. I could be anyone I want to be and redesign my life and background to accommodate my needs and the possible interests of others. But, that coping mechanism could also be contributed to my ongoing lack of romance or desire to connect with a person who sees and understands my vulnerabilities full-heartedly.

If I could only see past my insecurities and embrace the notion of rejection, I might be a more confident individual who is capable of maneuvering a boomerang, gracefully with wit, and hopefully, the right amount of ease.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Am I really a New Yorker?

Last night, I had a random encounter with a stranger. I don't know what it is, but these people spot me a mile away.

On my way home, I stopped off at one my favorite little to go restaurants in the EV for a snack. As I waited at the table, a woman with a little too much foundation on her wrinkled cheeks approached me and sat two feet away, looking into my face intently.

"Where are you from, honey?"

"I am sorry?"

"You are not from here. No? No. I can tell. Where are you from?"

"I am a New Yorker."

"No really. Where?"

"Nevada."

"I knew it. You hesitated. Why?"

"Because, I haven't lived there since the mid 90's. Wait. Who are you? How do you know?"

"I can just tell. You have this look. You're too quiet. You just don't have the vibe. That's all I am saying. Take it for what it is."

Then she signals to her friend.

"Honey, come here. This bitch thinks he's from New York. Can you believe that shit?"

"I don't know. How can you tell?"

"I am from here. I know everything."

If I wasn't so tired, I would've probably said something snide. The truth is that I didn't care. This woman doesn't know everything, especially about me. I found it odd that she would be so forthcoming. I wanted to leave, but my food wasn't ready. It was one of those moments where others are inescapable in the tiny little comfort zone that you create for yourself. After eleven years of living here, I think I am one. Does such a thing exist? Do New Yorkers have a look? And what kind of person calls another a bitch? That's what I want to know.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I got snubbed!

Yesterday at about 3:45 p.m. on lower Fifth Ave, I got snubbed.

I was talking to my sister-in-law on the phone before work when a person from my past emerged- a former classmate. A few years ago, we took some of the same classes and socialized a few times outside of school. Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding pertaining to a final that we were both required to collaborate on, together.

To make a long story short, she became a raging, scary monster overnight, showing her truest colors in the ugliest form due to a misunderstanding. I retaliated, freaked out and told her she was being inappropriate. The friendship ended.

Since she graduated immediately after, I thought I'd would never interface with this unpleasant presence. Not!

As she strolled by, we both looked into each other's eyes. Off the bat, I waived and nodded. She rendered a eagle eye stare and kept walking.

"Hi, Tess. Tess? Hey. How are you?"

She looked back and stopped. Then, she moved her head around as if a fly was in the air. Nothing. She kept walking and stopped again and acted like I was in front of her, but couldn't see me. But, I know she did. Out of anger, I shouted," Psycho."

The funny thing about New York is the rare ability to run into people from our past--individuals that we'd rather not see. One of the things I enjoy about this city is the confrontation of your fears and personal comfort. If I was back in LA, I could've just driven past her. But, here, in the land of Gotham, my home, things are vastly different.

Whether I believed I was snubbed, or not, it was clearly an uncomfortable exchange that left me scratching my head with a rumble in my belly. It did force me to calm down and realize that some people, incapable of change, act like petulant jerks, regardless of their age, even if times passes by. What is most annoying is how I reached out through an acknowledgement, even when she acted like a you know what way back when. I am not a self-righteous person, but I tried. I digress.

This experience has taught me to extend that olive branch, even if someone doesn't deserve it. I didn't expect to be friends, but assumed that civility and respectability would be assured during this surprise meeting.

I refuse to be one those people that have an axe to grind. I realize I am not perfect and have held grudges before in the past towards others who hurt me. But, I try and move past it because maturity takes over. I can't stand the thought of being disregarding and spiteful, even when someone else makes the effort. None of us are equipped to say the right thing at the most awkward moment,however; when do you make the effort of choosing to be a grown up?

The crucial aspect to this and many other random encounters of people from our past is to breathe, remain calm and carry on. Yes, that is a British trademark and I love every word of it.

My main objective is to be the bigger person, a man, and face something or someone that I am afraid of. After all, I am an Uncle. And, I have two little nephews who need a role model to look up to.