So tonight I did what I said I would. I went over to FoodBar when my battery alarm came on as my 41 minutes remaining suddenly turned into 5 (wtf?).
I took along my usual single's armor web-enabled cell phone and a magazine. Fortunately a couple messages came in that made me giggle and feel a little less lonely. I have mixed feelings about eating alone at a restaurant, but you get used to it on work trips. One of my friends at work will order room service and stay in before she'll eat out alone. That seems boring! But I won't say I don't sometimes feel a little awkward. And tonight was one of those times.
I think I went into the restaurant knowing it was kinda lame of me to go to the same place two nights in a row, but I really like their food. Plus, on my last trip there, I ran into an old friend from L.A. The owner or manager recognized me from the night before as soon as he seated me, which killed my "maybe there will be a different staff" plan. haha. Oh well, I went where I wanted to, and I got to get the lamb that I should have ordered Saturday night.
But, at some point the text messages stopped, and I'd read the magazine front to back twice. Suddenly I felt a little alone in a restaurant full of people. I'm sure if I looked a bit more approachable, I'd have met new people, but I get that way when I'm somewhere by myself. If I'm with a friend, I'll be a little shy, but I think more open. When by myself, my defenses are fully up.
The check came; I paid my bill and started to get dressed, putting on my beanie, coat, scarf. I placed the earbuds back in my ears and unpaused my mp3 player. I grabbed my backpack, slid on my gloves and walked out into the cold. It was hella early, not even 10:00 yet. I was going to just walk downtown a bit and hop on the L at 14th, but it was actually kinda nice out, and I wasn't ready to go back, so I decided I'd take the walk up to 23rd and drop in a few shops on the way. It was a nice walk, and I actually scored long underwear in what turned out to be an adult novelty shop (we'll call it). I went down to catch the train. I like people watching on the platforms. You see others alone with their armor (there's something about those headphones), couples, and the occasional single schizophrenic who entertains himself.
Now this is where headphones show their versatility not only as armor but as a magical devices. As the guy comes on the train to sell his newspapers, a quick push of the volume button, and he no longer exists. I should wear these all the time. It was a long wait for the L, but my connection to my train back to the hotel was fairly quick. I resurfaced to find the air a little crisper and the sound of Evanescence's "My Immortal". As I passed Duane Reade on the cold, hard pavement, I looked down to help navigate my Doc Martins over a frozen puddle.
As I looked up, I was greeted by one of the first snowflakes of my trip. No matter how many times you see them, there's something mystical about these creatures (well, the first day). Suddenly I felt better. I was in New York, having a good time by myself. I took off my gloves and unwrapped my scarf a little and walked into the flurries the rest of the way home.
I have the window open, the flurries are so small you can't actually see them coming down from my window, but the roofs and awnings on the adjacent buildings tell a different story, completely coated over the past hour, snowflake by snowflake.
I like being here for the first day of a snow shower. I'm going to bed hoping it'll still be snowing tomorrow, so I can go out and play it in.
(and sleeping pills take over)