The first time I went to NYC was to visit David. I was there for the weekend. Imagine me, Dallas about the biggest city I'd ever been to. I was on a business trip to Cleveland and the flight was cheaper if I went to the city first, spent the weekend and then flew to Cleve, so I was able to book the flight on the company. I flew in to JFK and then caught the bus to Port Authority. I remember the traffic trying to get through a toll booth. It came from everywhere, like a spider web and funnelled into that one set of booths.
When I got to Port Authority, I took a cab to the candy store where David worked. I thought he had a place for us to stay, but apparently that wasn't working out, so the first thing he did was hand me a phone book that was as big as my suitcase and a map and tell me to find a hotel in the midtown area. Easier to find a hotel than to find a hotel I could afford. From the candy shop, we took the subway to the hotel. I loved the subway. So much to see in just one spot. The whole world passes on the NYC subway.
The next morning, I sat down with the hotel tourist book and found the places I wanted to go, and used the subway map to figure out which trains I had to take to get there. Only once did I make a subway mistake and leave the station and have to use a second token to get back in. The native New Yorkers thought that was hilarious. I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I saw the Egyptian exhibit and then I had a nice lunch in a restaurant that I found along the way, a nice place with table cloths and great home cooking (I'd never be able to find it again) and then I made my way to the Museum of Natural History where I spent the rest of the day and saw Anne Bancroft taking a friend on a tour. Just before closing, saw the planetarium show and then took the subway back to the hotel to meet up with David.
We had dinner and then we went out. Now, the thing about going out to gay clubs, and I don't know if it's the same in other clubs, but everybody is looking for the people having the most fun. Everybody wants to be part of that fun. Well, me being from Texas, we had a lot to talk to people about, especially in the NYC version of a country/western bar. Ha! So, we were very popular and a crowd developed around us everywhere we went. Anyway, we went from club to club until 2 and then we headed back to the hotel. I'll never forget us playing chase in the empty subway stations. Running and laughing. There was no one else in the stations we were at, except I remember one guy standing on the overhead bridge going from one platform to the other. He watched us play. It was like two little kids, laughing hysterically and running everywhere. Like something you'd see in a movie. A young couple having fun. Of course, when we got on the train, there were other people there and we had to behave or we would have gotten kicked off, but while we were in the stations, we were just having fun.
When we got to the hotel, we were locked out of the building. Apparently, the hotel I'd picked was not in the best neighborhood and we had to show our key to get the doorman to let us in.
The rest of the trip was filled with other Museums, most notably the Guggenheim, and off broadway shows in the evenings. David had to work every day and I saw as much of the city as I could. I can remember that I couldn't see anything from the streets. The height of the buildings blocked my view. So, it was me and my map. I still have that map somewhere.
I only made it back to NYC one more time and at that point, David had a tiny apartment above a Chinese restaurant that always smelled like cooking cabbage. I'd love to take Rob to the city and show it to him and let him see it for the first time like I did. Of course, I'm sure it's different now. I went in the early 90's and by 9/11, David had moved to Alabama. I never found the people in the city to be stand off-ish the way that people described them. I tried an experiment and made eye contact with and smiled at everyone I passed and they all made eye contact and smiled back. I also bought my first backpack. Everybody in the city carried a bag full of stuff and there are cabinets in all the stores for you to store them while you shop. Still have that cheap naugahyde (sp?) backpack and still use it sometimes when I'm in the mood. I always get compliments on it and there is no wear at all. Don't know how I got that lucky.
So, that's it for today's Way Back Wednesday and that's it for my posts about David. Rob says we all needed some closure from these posts and I wanted to end on a happy memory. I don't think I was very fair to him on Monday. I only shared the bad stuff, but there was so much fun stuff to that I wanted to share it with you as well. And, this is one of the happiest memories of my life. A memory from the carefree days when I was young and invincible and nothing could hurt me.
I've left you guys hanging on Sydney's friday fest from last week. She had a blast at the waterpark and came back with sunburned cheeks and huge hair from it drying in the wind on the bus ride. We met the bus at the school to take her backpack. I brought fresh underwear in case she'd forgotten. And, Rob brought her a pair of converse shoes that he had designed and had made specially for her with her name on them. She dumped her stuff, changed her shoes and was headed to the dance without even a la-di-dah for us, until I made her come back and give a hug. She enjoyed the dance and when it was over, there we were again to pick her up. Exhausted. She did get to sleep late on Sunday and because I wanted time alone, she didn't have to do all those pesky chores I had planned for her.
This is what it's like to be a parent. Being there. Being inconvenienced. Being unthanked. This is what it's like to be part of a parenting team. This is what it's like to be in a good, strong relationship.
This is our life. Filled with our choices. The good ones, the bad ones and the rediculously funny ones.