the world & words of a new york city writer

gretchen is a writer in new york city

Category: miscellaneous (page 3 of 16)

the tricks

the tricks

It was the magic tricks that might have won me over.

You have to work and so I meet him at Bethesda fountain. You’ve only known me a month and aren’t sure why I keep going out with strangers that I meet online.

You don’t understand, I should never be left alone for too long. It’s why I live in midtown.

He’s paranoid from the start, so I know he’s cheating on someone already.

“No, sorry, no phone numbers. Yeah, my picture. Sorry. It’s edited. You understand. I can’t show my face, my hair’s shorter now.”

I send two snapshots. One face. One body. He says I’m “pretty” and have a “nice butt”.

I roll my eyes, then breathlessly laugh. I immediately tell you what’s happening. “Wish me luck!”

“You’ll be fine.” Continue reading

at the restaurant

“Drinking your own urine is the actually the cleanest thing you can do, it’s like an elixir.”

I’m having dinner with a Greek classical pianist. Another craigslist connection. He’s tall, how I like. Decent style. Dark hair, deep hazel eyes. We’re both replacements. I’m here to replace his ex-wife, he’s here to replace you. But neither of us will talk about that.

“And enemas,”  he continues, even though I’d really like him to stop. Because I only came out for sex. And every word he says is making that idea more of a distant memory. A sheer impossibility. I’ve been here 37 minutes, I wish he wouldn’t talk. He should stick to smiling, he has a beautiful smile. “Enemas are so important. Isn’t it great that we’re both vegetarians?”

“Yeah,” I say raising my hand toward the waiter. He sees my empty glass, smiles and turns toward the bar. Shortly later he returns with my third martini. A dirty vodka martini, straight up with blue cheese olives. Every word the pianist says is making him less attractive. It makes me miss you. Missing you makes me sick. It’s been making me sick for nearly three years now.

You don’t care about that though. You never cared about me at all. Continue reading

downtown (2 of 2)

We’re in love by our third martini. Mine dirty, his with a twist. There is an excitement knowing how fast and temporary this will be.

The waitstaff are talking about us. When he leans in closer to hear my voice more clearly, I smell violets and cigarettes on his collar, and lemon vodka on his breath. I subtly swoop toward him and we briefly touch cheeks. His skin is as soft as the summer atmosphere around us and the dim streetlights above.

We aren’t discussing anything of great depth, but engagement is an obvious quality we share. And so we tell stories and tip glasses and laugh loudly while we talk about what it’s like living in other countries. Continue reading

downtown (1 of 2)

You told me to write you a story.

“I want it to be true, baby. I want you to tell me the truth about the things that you do.”

You don’t know a thing about what I do. All you know is what I tell you. And over the past two weeks, since you responded to my craigslist ad, I’ve told you random things. Banter. Continue reading

pattern disruption

pattern disruption

I met you in the winter on my third day of Vivaldi’s Summer. I tend to find ways in my mind to disrupt ordinary patterns; like the dreary push that a cold New York City day in January might bestow upon a soul. Summer helped that. Vivaldi usually solves most of my problems.

I was writing when we met. I told you I was on my second drink that day, when it was really my fifth. You sat next to me at the bar and asked what I was listening to. People aren’t abrupt like that anymore. They don’t just sit next to you in public places and ask what your headphones are playing. I actually found your query a quite personal question.

Your boldness made me blush.

“Vivaldi.”

“Do you play the violin?”

“No.”

You took sheet music out of your bag and told me about how you play piano. I didn’t tell you that I used to take lessons, or how Liebestraum has been more consistent in my life than any lover ever attempted.

Such frivolous detail hardly seemed significant.

So like I was saying, these violins had been waking me up during the night for days. Days on top of the weeks and years I dreamt of you.

We didn’t talk about this the day we met.

To the picture of a starry sky. An aurora borealis photo. Maybe a moon sculpture, of sorts.

And while strings moaned in pitches and places I don’t know how to reach, we read piano music and talked about Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Piano Sonata No. 4 in C major, movement 1.

You rolled cigarettes with a precision that made me feel foreignly safe. Because back then I wasn’t safe and you weren’t precise, but we convinced enough people otherwise to briefly build a life.

I walked on air around you and your thoughts became alive inside of my heart. We started around that place. We ended somewhere entirely different.

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