I love Manhattan at four in the morning, when the night has only the music of taxicabs and town cars. That period of time on the cusp of one day ending and a new one beginning – where the energy in the air is dense and palpable. The streets are dark and the pavements cold while women and children lay asleep, safe in their beds. Drunkards wallow half-conscious on barstools and twenty-somethings frolic in and out of doorways, alleyways, and streets feeling awake and alive and anxious with the possibilities of the evening.
I love being one of those twenty-somethings. especially with you. We meet in a bar but you’re hardly a stranger. An old friend who fell in love with New York a long time ago, just like me. Our hands are almost touching when the night begins – the tension between us, hesitant and awkward. We’re unsure of what’s allowed and what’s not. Our bodies stand rigid and separate. The taste of the chilled sweet liquor in our hands has yet to leave our glasses and melt away on our tongues. Soon that magical hour hits and it’s as if a veil has been lifted. Suddenly, everything’s clearer.
I love how the night unfolds from here. We’re kissing and it’s fast and slow and funny and serious all at the same time. Hands are clasped tight and our bodies are pressed together and it doesn’t matter where we are. It only matters that there’s alcohol and adrenaline and excitement coursing through my veins. It only matters that your lips are on my lips, speaking a language that makes more sense than anything I’ve ever heard. It’s all so organic and I can’t think of anything other than how much I don’t want this to end. The bar we were in turns into an alley and the alley turns into a street. Before I know it, we’re kissing atop a subway grate as quiet lights in my peripherals change from green to red, red to green.
I love our current conversations. Amidst intermittent kisses, we’re talking about New York and what we like and what we don’t like. We talk about silly impossibilities and how we can’t seem to keep our hands off of each other. We talk about our friends and their problems and then, our problems. The problems we can’t seem to fix and the problems we don’t want to fix. We talk about everything but what we’re actually doing. What we’re actually feeling. What we actually want.
I love the honesty. Because isn’t that what this whole thing is about? We’re not talking about what we’re doing because there’s nothing to talk about. We’re not feeling anything except for what feels right, right now. We don’t actually want anything except for what we want right now.
Now there’s this smattering of things I’m in love with. I love Manhattan and being a twenty something and insane nights and good conversations and blatant honesty. But those things don’t matter even a little, do they? What matters is that you don’t love me at all. It matters when it’s four in the morning and the lull of the motors passing by have failed to put me to sleep. It matters when I realize that loving things doesn’t fill any voids. It matters when I find that my beloved Manhattan can make me fall in love with just about anything but it can’t make just about anyone fall in love with me.