I’m in the Renaissance Hotel – The R Lounge, and man, are things getting interesting. This lounge, the moments in it, this is the NY version of that Bill Murray Scarlet Johansen Hong Kong film that was all about the final whisper. The name escapes me, but you know.
Close your eyes, picture that movie. Hear it. Music first. Phone calls, missed connections, fabric samples? Really? And then in a moment, a smile across a room. A laugh, another. “Waiter, she’ll have another.” Suddenly the missed connection is found elsewhere, with a someone else. Not sex. Not an emotional affair, just an exhale, a – someone else gets me. Which is usually chased with a, “How did I get here. Not here at this hotel bar, but here in my life?”
We always imagine our lives will be easier, more suited to us, at the beginning of things. Well, of course that stranger gets you. Not only is she two drinks in, but she only gets the best of you. The easy you. The beginning of you. The you who gets up when she leaves the table to powder her nose. And you get the girl who powders her nose. Who doesn’t talk of colors or sizes or textures. She talks in black and white films, not TMI blog entries.
As a now displaced New Yorker, I can tell you this much. New York is still a bi-sexual. Paris, a woman, London, a man. All that said (again), Manhattan, as ever, is a city of romance. Not a romantic comedy, not even a man woman lovers city. A child with a violin case walking into a hotel lobby, a mid-western woman seated at a table for two, dressed in coordinated shoulds. It’s a city of sleaze and taste and a beat, a city of lights and polites, lounges, plays, cobblestone. And I miss it.
There’s no other way to say it: I’m alive here. It’s like breathing. This city is my exhale, my stranger across the bar, my missed connection found. And I just might have to move back.