I woke thinking about what I miss most about pre-Covid life. Every week it’s different but today I miss my old summer practice of slipping into movie theaters on Monday mornings to see the newest releases in delicious cool quiet surrounded only by other (cheap) cinephiles. I’d pay for one show, then sneak into another and then another and another before finally emerging into the still-sweltering early evening. Falling into step with all the other New Yorkers making their way to dinner and drinks and drama and doldrums–first by foot across town and then by ferry across the river and then again by foot up the Williamsburg hill. Floating in a blur of the films I’d just seen and the film of all the strangers with whom I was moving, shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, all of us beautiful in our sweaty sullen noisy throng, framed by the rising steam and NYC skyline. O my god I miss the ordinary-extraordinary physical intimacy of anonymous city life.
Only once has someone broken up with me in a way that I immediately and completely accepted. Really, this was quite an achievement, because historically I date people off and on forever unless they reveal themselves to be complete sociopaths or get married. (Although my aversion to marriage is well-documented, I am not in the business of making third parties miserable.)
But though this beau was neither married nor a complete sociopath, his breakup line was so effective that we never spoke again once he uttered it. In a low, caressing voice he said: “It seems this is not what we had hoped.”
In point of fact, he was absolutely right. We’d been dating for four months, which is exactly how long it takes for sexual chemistry to wear off when there’s no other glue in place. I won’t bog you down with the details (he did too much coke and considered me too much of a prude) but as I write this I can assure you that, 20 years later, the only real memory I have of that relationship are those nine magic words. Continue Reading →