It’s Sunday afternoon. Michelle and I are terribly hung over and strung out, languidly lying down in the grassy park of Stuy Town trying to sunbathe as best as two pale girls can. After a good hour or so, she packs up to go to the gym. I decide to stay out a bit longer and stretch out in my two-piece. I feel uncomfortable. I lie out as a social activity, not for sport. I will be a chunky red-head until my dying day, and nothing about the summer will change my pasty finish.
The sun hits the back of the trees and shadows begin to creep up my feet. A good half hour has passed. I am bored, cooling down, and obviously uncomfortable with my partially naked solo act on the lawn. I begin to pack up. I slip on my shorts and fold up the blanket when I spot a man across the lawn eying me. I am uncomfortable, sure, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued. I can’t help but look back.
He gets up and dusts off his pants. I get nervous. I quickly put my tank top on and pack my books into my bag. The man makes his way through the crowds of hard-bodied NYU students in their triangle-bikinis and stops at my spot.
“Hi,” he says, and I flush. Thankfully, I have now reached fully-clothed-ness. “I know this is weird, but would you like to join me for a glass of wine?”
Two thoughts enter my mind: The first is how awkward this situation is, and how weird it would be to accept. The second is the hilarious story that will emerge from saying yes. I inevitably choose the later, of course.
I walk with him about twenty yards away to his make-shift picnic and he pours me a plastic wine glass of chilled white. I taste it, expensive, and look at his accoutrements: a worn copy of Moby Dick and a bound court case. Exciting.
“Listen, I know this is weird, but you live in Stuyvesant Town, right?” he asks.
“Yes. I mean, I have been lying out….” I say, and swallow a heavy gulp of wine.
“Right. Well,” he pauses. He looks nervous, and his wine-cup may or may not be shaking in his hand. It is hard to tell in the waning light. “Well. I saw you walking yesterday.”
I frown. “You saw me?”
“I saw you. Yesterday. It rained all morning, and then it cleared up and the sun came out. You were walking in on 14th and A and I was behind you, and there was a puddle –”
“There was a puddle?”
“Yes, a large one. Do you remember?”
I nod. I think there was a puddle, and I had definitely emerged from the L around 5ish when the skies has cleared.
He rubs his forehead and smiles. “So you were in front of me, and there was a big puddle, and you — I know this is weird, but you stepped, you leapt over the puddle, and it was so beautiful, you, you were so beautiful . . . and then I saw you on the lawn right now. And I decided if I didn’t ask you to come have a drink with me I would hate myself for the next month.”
“You would?” At this point, I begin to chug the delicious glass of wine like a tall boy of Coors.
“Yes. See, my brother was supposed to be here, but he got busy.”
I see. I see how very quickly a 33 year old Jewish lawyer with a copy of Moby Dick can turn into a creepy man with a crush on a 24 year old girl in a rush to get home from Brooklyn. And when he asks for my number I say no, and sweetly provide my email address.
Coming soon: New chapters from “Insightful Emails from Rejected Suiters: The Lawyer Edition”.