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I am...a New Yorker
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[Previous entry: "Remarking at the Difference"]

Sunday, September 8, 2002
Savoring This
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Photographing...
Yep.

Eating...
Mozzarela, tomatoes, stuffed mushrooms, asparagus, tortellini, and gnocci. The food was served family style, so we all got to have a bit of everything. Perfect thing for people like me who can't make up their minds.

Drinking...
More than a few glasses of vino.

Wearing...
My white, flowing Indian summer blouse, just the thing with the return of the heat.

Ahhhing...
The park, the weather, the company.

Stinging...
All those hungry bugs; one actually drew blood.

Kissing...
A sweet, smart boy named Rafe, to be specific.

Watching...
A Daria video, since I can't seem to get The N.

Googling...
You, hee hee.

Thinking...
This is nice.

Irritating...
Creepy guy sidling up to me as I left the subway; he couldn't take a hint.

"Hey baby!"

[Erica picks up her pace.]

"How you doin' today?"

"Go away."

"Aw, you havin' a bad day?"

"Not until now."

It's men like that who make me consider buying a burqua.

Turning...
Down the one who's just not right. It doesn't make sense to keep trying when we don't fit. I said I don't hate him, it's just that we don't click.

"It's like one of us is speaking English and the other is speaking French," I explained.

"Why do I get the feeling I'm the French one?"

Hey, I didn't say he wasn't funny.

Wondering...
What next?

I am...not sure what to write about you, especially since you asked. Words are my gift, but also a source of misunderstanding and confusion as often as communication and clarity.

I like that I'm not getting ahead of things, for once. I'm enjoying and appreciating what is, including the sweet anticipation of what's just on the horizon.

I don't want to blow it. In the past, I've been overexcited or underwhelmed; I've been more aloof than I intend to be or more transparent than I meant.

All that and less, I've known -- but never this. It seems we're in the same place at the same time. It's fun, exciting, and comfortable in the best possible sense of the word. It's incredible to be appreciated for who I am, rather than exalted for my physical beauty or derided for my foibles.

I've kissed at least my own share of frogs; I've seen the disappointment in too many eyes. They've admired my mind or my body, but never before both. You seem to see and appreciate the whole person and that's all I ever asked for and wanted to reciprocate.

Some asked me to marry them, some were afraid and convinced that's what every woman wanted. I'm hardly ready for The One. All I ever wanted was something without preset limitations.

You're smart, funny, sweet, kind, sensitive, attentive and consistent. I can't think of qualities I could desire more. I'm thankful that you're being patient with me, taking things slowly. For my part, I'm working on being less suspicious. I've seen so much bad, yet enough good that I still believe it exists.

You wanted to know what I'd have to say and I'm not sure myself. I think the most important thing is that you came along and showed me there were possibilities where, not so long ago, I saw none. I thank you for that amazing gift.

I'm delighted to be a comfort to you. It's been a hard year all around and it's nice to sense the shroud lifting off us all.

This is a new adventure for me, a fresh start; I'm approaching it with an open mind. I feel so blessed that you're doing the same. I want to see where this will take us, but for now I'm simply enjoying the journey.

. . .

On Friday night, after 3 years, I finally had a chance to meet up with Brad,, who I met through an autobiography course and writing group in San Francisco. He looked amazing and was surrounded by fabulous, creative friends.

I invited Rafe to join us, since it was a group and it didn't look like I'd see him this weekend otherwise. We met in front of The Waverly (theater, not diner) and took a cab down to La Mela in Little Italy to join the rest of the group.

There's a neighborhood I don't venture to often enough. It's less than a mile from where I live and I haven't been since perhaps last November. Really have to check out Chinatown as well -- soup dumplings and all.

La Mela mural

The lighting is unfortunate, so this photo doesn't capture the true colors of the mural.

It was terribly loud, between the 14 of us, a Staten Island bachelorette party behind us, a bachelor party from Merry Olde behind them and a birthday party next to us. The food was sumptuous and the company interesting. Several people played musical chairs, so it was a bit like Hurry Date; I got to know several of Brad's friends.

La Mela garden mural

As someone remarked, there wasn't anything growing in the "garden." This mural was the closest thing to actual plant life.

At one point, Rafe mentioned he'd caught up on a considerable amount of my archives. Oy. This hasn't exactly been my proudest era. I haven't cried so much in a single year since one of the more beating-filled early teen years (age 13, as I recall). He was understanding about everything.

Then he referred specifically to the Celebrated entry of a few days back and asked, coyly, who was this "boy with a brain" I'd been kissing. It warmed my heart to see the shy grin come across his face when I tapped on his forehead and winked.

Rafe and I scooted out early, but not before I could snap a shot of this charming sign:

Seat down eat, and shut up!

Please seat down eat, and shut up.

. . .

So much for not seeing Rafe this weekend. We met up in Columbus Circle on Saturday afternoon. His gym is 2 blocks from my old job. He and I share more than a few mutual online acquaintances as well, which struck each of us as funny. It's like we've just been missing each other on the fringes.

While I waited for Rafe, I watched these kids dance. The smallest one was about 3 or 4 and as cute as a button. He was a tiny boy with big clothes and shoes, who could barely do his dancing for the baggy clothes. But when he stood on his head and then got up to take a bow, he owned that crowd.

Dancers in Central Park

A talented, graceful group of young dancers near the Maine memorial in Central Park.

Afterward, Rafe and I wandered into the park a bit and nestled on the grass in the nearly continuous shade of many trees. It was quite a relief from the heat. Laying there -- talking, hugging, kissing -- was just about the sweetest thing.

[Next entry: "Getting It"]
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