Boy left in a bitter-sweet haze of goodbye, I love you, I’m going to marry you and we will make a plan to be together soon. We’d only had one beautiful day to spend together under the new promise of a life together. We went walking in the park, onto 5th Avenue and took a picture of us in front of Tiffany’s before heading out to La Guardia. Seeing his tears and his brave smile as he finally tore himself away from my embrace, watching him grow smaller as he waved one last time, nearly ripped my heart out. I cried all the way back into the city.
Once Beautiful Boy was gone, it was time for me to take my leave of NYC. Lala and I had a few more things on our to-do list. We ate the worst pretzel in the world on the Staten Island Ferry (the cheapest way to see the Statue of Liberty – it’s free!), took a hundred pictures of Manhattan from the Top of the Rock, visited a friend of Lala’s at her super posh apartment right next to Trump Parc and shot the breeze with Jazz great Wynton Marsalis at Dizzy Jazz Café on Columbus Circle. As you do.
By a great coincidence we would still be in NY for Halloween! We don’t celebrate this holiday back home, which added further excitement. The night before Halloween we were at Dizzy’s. I had two glasses of excellent red wine and fell a little bit deeper in love with the city as seen from the panoramic windows with smooth, hip jazz in my ears. From Dizzy’s we went to a little hole-in-the-wall bar somewhere round Spring Street. We had a couple of beers and made small talk with the locals.
One local was a little bit odd. I can’t remember his name and might not recognise him if I ever saw him again, but I do recall how creepy he seemed. I tried to be nice and non-judgemental as he ranted and raved about bad art and how good his art was and how he didn’t even like his girlfriend cause she thought she was cooler than him, but she wasn’t… Blah blah blah the guy went on and on. Long story short, he eventually tried to persuade me to come see his art at his studio just around the corner.
By this time I was not worried about offending him any more and I turned my back, didn’t respond, ignored him completely. He got angry and rude. Eventually the owner escorted him out of the bar for being drunk and disorderly. A short while later, I started feeling sick. I asked Lala if we could go home and though she was having a good time, she agreed to come with me. We got home safely and I crashed into a dead sleep.
When I woke up the next morning, I thought I was going to die. I’ve had too much drink before, I’ve mixed drinks and not slept enough and suffered hangovers I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies, but this was so much worse. I’d never felt so nauseous, weak and riddled with pain. I could hardly lift my head from my pillow, getting into the shower seemed impossible. Lala went out to get us some food; I could hardly eat a thing. I spent the day in bed drifting in and out of uncomfortable sleep filled with strange dreams.
By five o’clock, Lala urged me to get up and join her and friends at the Halloween parade. I really wanted to go, this was probably a once in a lifetime deal for me, but there was no way I could get out of that bed and spend the evening amid thousands of people in weird costumes.
Now I can’t say for sure that the creepy guy spiked my drink, maybe I just had the worst hangover ever in the history of humanity, but I guess in this twisted way I’ll never forget my one and only Halloween in NY!
The next day I felt almost back to normal. Thank goodness, because I had so much shopping left to do! I spent the GDP of a small African country on shoes, boots and Forever 21 and then fondly said goodbye to what would now forever be the city of love to me.