Monday, October 10, 2005

Rainy Weekend--A Walk and Ride in Central Park


It was Friday evening, we met in a bar that had a new name, at 329 west 51 st. It was in my neighborhood. I was there first, as always. But I was closer, and too eager to leave the office. I was exhausted.

You walked in, tired and broken. You looked as if you have lost some weight. My heart suffered for your pain, but I could not tell you. You will not want to be burdened. You always wanted to mourn your own loss. It would be better if you share it. But that might just be my Chinese upbringing.

Were you happy to see me?

I had a wine from South America, you had Martini. We caught up on things, one of the topic was gun control, others include my too many DVDs at your place, Rain Forest of Amazon and the crazy actor Kinski and his "best friend" Herzog. I love it so much to talk to you about silly things, things that do not matter.

In the back of my mind, I was scared of the pain that will follow, pain from parting, from the void that I felt afterwards. And we both were more cautious. We avoided touching certain subjects. The intimacy and trust were still there but well reigned. I felt opaque. That was your propritary feeling before. You rubbed off on me.

It started raining already. We went to our usual destination the cozy Japanese restaurant at 55 and 8th. As usual, there was no table, not until 20 minutes later. We were starving. You said there is another one. We went to the one on 56 and 8th, Pacific Echo. It was more decorated, more pretentious and more fusion, but the food was very good. I had Sakitini.

Once we got out, I said let's go to Central park. We walked past Columbus Circle. The newly renovated fountain area was empty. Maybe because it just poured and it was close to10.

There was no one in the park. Just you and me. I was wearing that white coat. I told you that I lost the belt of it, in a bar, when I was too drunk. I did not go out that often. But that night, I was really bad. It was the weekend before I went to visit you in the west coast a while back.

You asked me:why are you wearing this? It is not very cold. Are you not comfortable? Are you hiding something? Maybe some wound. But I just smiled and said nothing.

I just smiled and said nothing. I wish I had been more outspoken, fiery, and confrontational.

We walked along the belt way, past sheep meadow. I used to be lying there blackberrying you. How soon can time change everything. I felt the distance that I do not know how to pass. And the silence that tells and erases at the same time.

You said you know this park inside out. You used to jog around it everyday. Then you stopped one day.

We walked toward the lake, down the steps. I walked in front of you. If we were in a film, the viewers would be able to see your face and mine, walking toward them. There was still no one around us. I loved it but I was also getting a little nervous.

But the other side of me secretly hoped: let something significant happen. Let us be mugged, hurt or killed. Maybe I can then hold you and cry for help, maybe you can look at my corpse and say I loved her, this woman who used to breathe and giggle her Asian giggle sometime, like a girl. Maybe we only treasure more after we have lost and done.

Who knows. Maybe a city fall or a war break out to have two people meet, fall in love and say or do things they otherwise would not have.

We walked up to the edge of the lake, we stopped and kissed. You were not just holding me and kissing me, like you used to. You were eager to touch me. You wanted me badly. But my heart sank for no reason.

From time to time, one horse carriage would ride past us. The click of the horseshoe at the wet road surface sounded especially crisp and make the surrounding more quiet. I wanted to get on one. We checked out one that was riding toward us, it was already taken by a family.

We walked back toward 57 street where the carriage would park, along the wide tree-lined walkway. Usually it will be filled with tourists, roller-bladers, musicians and people pushing strollers. That night there was no one, as if the park was cleared for us, as if the whole world was cleared for us.

I tried walking backwards, felt like back to being 14. We checked out each statue trying to figure out who it is. I don't know why those statue were chosen to be put in the park. You said you don't know either.

We got on one carriage on 57 and 6th. It would took us back to where we just walked past, along the same road, trees and lamps, alone the same scenery. But we did it as if it was the most natural thing in the world. You arms were around me. I was looking outside. I leaned against you, trying to remember what you look alike, trying to sculpture it into my memory cement when it was still wet and writable.

We were like two lovers from out of town. A horse ride along central park on a rainy night. We would talk about it for the rest of our life in our small town back in Idaho. Why can't we be like that? Why we had to have too many memories in this city so that we could not continue like a simple couple, holding hands until they grow old, withered and die. No, let's not go there.

We kissed some more. I looked into your eyes. You told me this was your first ride in central park. Well everything has a first time. I was trying to be funny. I was glad we did it together for the first time, unplanned.

When we plan things, it usually went disastrously wrong. Expectations kill in our relationship.

I rode it before, with my parents when they last visited. That was the summer when I only knew you remotely, by name, when we did not fall in love, when I was still far from your orbit.

We held each other in silence, hidden temprarily from the world, from the city that we both love, from a tough year, unknown future, and bad news and events that we didn't want to know, with the warmth of friendship and some atmosphere of love--a moment to remember and to look back.

Two New Yorkers(I am a fake) riding the carriage at a rainy Friday night in central park, it was romantic in a very unsually way, in a sad way for us, for me. It was deeply sweet, yet so unsettled, so complex for well kept thoughts and longings that were not spoken out, so distortingly beautiful and yet desperate in a hopeful way.

We asked the Carriage driver to drop us in front of my building. They would go back to the station which was on 51 or 52 further on the West side. We got off and waved the driver goodbye.

We walked into the lobby of my building, my doorman remembered your face.

I would not think of tomorrow. I would not think of the time when we would part. I would not ask you all the things that I wanted to know, maybe already knew.

When I leave, I would just leave, stand up, walk way, maybe far away, keep walking until you and New York alike will just become a small spot on the map and Central Park a green memory, a clip from another film. When your existence will just become the words of your blog site, being imagined and guessed by people who read it, to me.

But let's close the door behind us now-a beautiful night had already begun and was still very young, for us.

4 Comments:

Anonymous murphy said...

be careful in central park!

12:04 AM  
Blogger New York Red said...

I know your story of being mugged in central park. (That was close). That was why I was a little nervous that night. But all turned out well.

But thanks for the comment.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful story. wow.

9:55 PM  
Blogger New York Red said...

Anonymous, please leave a name next time. I am glad you think it beautiful.

10:44 PM  

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