23rd Street and E 88th Street

I walked up 8th Avenue after work and arbitrarily decided to walk across 23rd, not remembering or really caring if I’d already done so. I stumbled upon the Orion Diner where my love and I had dined several months ago (strange how “dined” seems too classy a word to describe what goes on in a diner, isn’t it?). We shared a lovely meal together, though the food was mediocre and the milkshakes were akin to Ovaltine.

While we ate, we talked about my fruitless search for a lime (ha ha, fruitless!) to add to the Jameson and Ginger Ale I had waiting for us at home. (He was visiting from the Midwest, and I had been scouring the city for the little green fruities, but had been informed by multiple sources that the nation-wide lime shortage had finally reached Manhattan. [There’s a nation-wide lime shortage?])

The city was plum out of limes. Or so I had been told. After a thorough discussion of my love-induced citrus search and the futility of my efforts, my love went to the bathroom. He returned to me laughing and holding out his phone for me to see. He had taken a picture in the men’s room. I kid you not, a bright green juicy lime was sitting on the floor next to the toilet.


We had a good long laugh–the kind that keeps hiccuping back up over the course of the day and makes you feel that no one in the history of humanity could ever understand you as thoroughly as your laughing partner does. But, I already believed that to be true of my love, and the lime laugh only intensified the belief.

We left the diner and the lime (Yes, for a moment, I considered asking him to go back and get it), and explored the East Side, panning through coffee table books at St. Mark’s Bookshop (before it moved), holding hands while walking down 2nd Avenue, mentally outfitting our nonexistent home with an automatic orange juice dispenser at a kitchen supply on the Bowery. We eventually ended up at the Whole Foods on Houston. And this is where he found me the elusive lime that I had been seeking for him.

We bought it, of course, along with some sandwich cookies and a bottle of water. (Don’t ever buy baked goods at Whole Foods. Unless they’re the sandwich cookies at the Whole Foods on Houston.) We stuffed the lime in my backpack and went upstairs to eat the cookies. We sat a while and talked about things I can’t remember now, which is terribly depressing. Eventually I had to go to the bathroom and he had to make a phone call, so we went our separate ways and planned to meet again on the sidewalk in 5 minutes.

I had to wait for the bathroom a minute, but I finally got to my stall and rushed through the proceedings. I hung my backpack on the hook, bird-nested the toilet, peed relievedly, and dried according to the recommendations of the Society for the Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections. I needed some chappysticky, so I opened the backpack and grabbed my pouch, vaguely, peripherally aware that something had fallen out of the pack, but not aware enough to look around for the maybe-object. I de-chapped my lips, returned everything to its place, and prepared to hit the sidewalk, when, upon turning back to flush the toilet (no, I hadn’t flushed yet), I saw a most fantastical sight: my bright green juicy lime was sitting on the floor next to the toilet.


So, this is how it happens! Of course, I was delighted beyond delight, and I rushed to inform my love of the greatest thing that had happened since we’d made love that morning. And, he–the one whose laugh makes me know that no one will ever understand me as thoroughly as he does–was also delighted beyond delight. And all of life was complete from that moment forward and we lived happily ever after on our organic lime farm in Mexico.

Except that we didn’t. We’re not talking right now, and I didn’t really feel like stumbling upon the Orion Diner last night. Nor do I feel like eating sandwich cookies at the Whole Foods on Houston. Or seeking out limes ever again.

And I actually wish I could say that I feel like shit about it. But, I just feel weird and dead and uncomfortably numb. And I’m not sure what I want anymore, but I do know that, more than anything, I want to know what I want. And I want to want him. And I want to want all that life with him would entail.

But, I can’t say that right now. I feel sour. And lost. And dirty. Like nothing will ever rid me of the bathroom floor grime that’s all over me.



Streets walked: Clarkson St. to Hudson St. to 8th Ave. to 23rd St. to 1st Ave. to 88th St. to East End Ave. to 5th Ave. to 112th St. to Madison Ave. to 115th St. to Park Ave. to 118th St. to Home

Sights seen: Orion Diner


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