Chapter Six – The Magic is in the Moment

by Christine Wild

I was not in love for four years. I felt that lack quite starkly at times. I would get very sad and feel empty. Some nights, I just burst out in tears for no reason. I remember on one particular occasion, there was a very handsome man in my bed and I woke up in the middle of the night from a dream. I do not remember what it was about but I was panicked. He was sleeping soundly and he was a sight for sore eyes. Yet I was having a mild anxiety attack. I wrapped myself in a blanket, and quietly opened the balcony door. I lit a cigarette and tried to sob silently. As I looked over, I knew he never was and never would be mine. I am not even sure I wanted him to. I was not in love with him. I was in need of falling in love. He had potential. He would have made the perfect candidate for the college fling that I so craved. I came back into bed and he made room for me in his sleep. He put his arm around me, hugging me tight. It felt so good.

It is funny to realize you never know what life has in store. I felt this need for love, for a boyfriend mostly when I was at home, bored of my daily routine. Next to all of my loved-up friends, I just felt cursed. I rarely realized how truly lucky I was to be single all that time and fortunate enough to travel to globe. In the summer of 2010, I returned to New York City to visit friends. I needed to refuel on the city’s energy. It was a perfect weeklong layover, on my way home to Europe. The Big Apple has always been a very lucky city for me. When I am there, incredible things happen to me. It is just fascinating what such a high concentration of all sorts of people can create.

On my second night of the week, my friends and I went to grab a bite at a trendy hotel bar near Columbus Circle. Within minutes, we were chatted up by this mysterious figure sitting across from me, a few seats over. I had noticed him right away. He had long wavy blond hair and a beard that made him look a lot older than he was. He mentioned he was from Geneva and my friends thought it fitting we exchange contact information, so as to meet up once I got home. He stood up and I was left to gaze at his tall figure, swiftly walking away in his beige linen suit.

That night my friends and I moved on to a cool bar in the meatpacking district. Amongst the 9 million inhabitants of NYC, I managed to bump into my Vancouverite friend’s long lost love. I recognized him from pictures she had shown me. I approached him inquisitively and we called her together. I actually heard her fall off her couch. My timing is at times incredibly ridiculous. That of all the people and places, this man and I would happen to be at the same bar on a random Wednesday night is just unbelievable. We chatted about her, the world being so small at times and all things New York.

The next morning I received a message from the man from Geneva. His name was Robert*. He wanted to let me know that it had been a pleasure meeting me. Flattered, I considered my options. My friend was busy that night, so I asked him what his plans were, thinking what the hell? He suggested we meet at his hotel, which was only a couple of blocks away from my friend’s house. We then hopped in a cab to some shady area downtown to a taco joint his friend was opening.  His friends were nice and the evening was going pleasantly. We stayed there much longer than expected and since neither of us had made proper plans, we decided it was safest to go back to the club in his hotel. After a couple of drinks and some dancing, things got a little heated. We were both on holiday and invigorated by our adventures. When it was clear we wanted more from each other, he confessed being on a business trip and having the misfortune of sharing his room with a colleague.

Faced with this conundrum, we continued making out on the dance-floor until we could not bear it anymore. A hunt for good sex locations then started. We began with the handicapped stall on the main floor. This soon showed to be a highly demanded facility and we were forced to relocate. After some wandering, we stumbled unto a staff room on his floor. It looked like a concrete box, full of linens and ironing equipment. It is insane how romantic it all seemed when we were horny. He laid down a robe on the floor and took a little plastic wrapper out of his pocket. We managed to have successful, though awkward coitus in this little hole in the wall. I cannot even grasp how long we were in there. The mixture of alcohol, lack of windows and general NYC craziness renders all of this a bit of a blur. I cannot however forget the poor cleaning lady that walked in on my bare ass, and his face buried in my neck, peeking at her from under my hair.

Interrupted and brought back to reality, we walked down to the café, which had a beautiful patio at the base of huge brick walls with vines climbing all over them. We drank our coffees and were very affectionate, though sleepy. He then pointed out that it was about 7am and the rooftop was due to open its doors. So we waited, full of anticipation for the greatness that was about to occur. We got up there and it was grandiose. The colors of the sunrise were still tainting the skyscrapers. The view was simply breathtaking. We sat on one of those lounge chairs for a bit, embracing the moment before it seized us again. We were in awe of the simplicity of this physical intimacy. We knew little about each other. Merely we were both enjoying creating these memories; we had a mutual agreement to make the most of the beauty of the moment.

Some memories remain in your head somewhat foreign. They are present, yet feel like it was perhaps a dream or part of a movie you once saw. This memory is like that.   The bathroom on the rooftop was a little house, with a window overlooking the Manhattan skyline. It quickly became clear to us that we had hit the jackpot. The privacy of this little niche, tangled with the exposure to the whole city through the window, made this scene purely incredible. His hands on my hips, cheek by cheek, we reveled in this moment, where every thrust was a dab into the city.

I came home to my friend’s house and she awoke full of enquiries. I showered and changed, catching up with her over coffee. As she was getting ready to head out, Robert texted me to meet him again. He wanted to take me to my favorite flee-market, and so we went. He was wearing bright green pants and a ridiculous amount of accessories. Picture a blond, Nordic looking Johnny Depp attire, in color. It was a nice day. I remember feeling the way I did that time, two years previous, in the park with that kid from Kentucky. Intimacy and comfort with a total stranger, absolutely no strings attached.

That trip is just an example of my luck with that city. I saw Robert again in Geneva. He had lost all of his charm and we had no beautiful moment to connect with anymore. I never regretted seeing him again. It did not taint the memories, because the magic was in the moment. Some wonderful people were met that week. We were accidentally let into very exclusive places, without having to ever pretend. It gave me the sense that I was absolutely to come back to New York. The city was one day going to be my playground. And it would be fabulous.