On Tuesday morning, the doorbell rang. My super and his assistant shook my hand and I guided them to my living room. I pointed at two spots in the ceiling where the drywall had split in two.
"When?" asked the super. I walked to my hallway between my bedroom and living room and I pointed at another crack.
"I don't know, a month?" But in the last week it'd gotten worse. I was so busy with parties, dinners. Friday night I was at a party and performance at my boyfriend's-friend's-place. Saturday, Korean barbecue (we'd upgraded from our originally low-key place to Gaonnuri which was actually a treat). We had a very late writing group meeting on Monday, and when I made it home at 10 o'clock my living room ceiling resembled the chest of a fit man with a bloated belly. The ceiling near the window was flat and perfect, but then slowly, towards the opposite wall, became sagging and bolbus. This was dangerous.
The super nodded and told me he'd try to schedule to fix it as soon as he could.
I raced off to the office late. On my series of local and express trains (I have an hour and ten minute commute one way) I grieved my clouding calendar. My boyfriend and I had so many little things invitations and outings. I was keen on cancelling them all, I'd been down and tired and burntout, in short.
Wednesday evening he and I took a subway from the Financial District to the Upper West Side. New York remains incredibly chilly for March, we stuffed our hands in our pockets and I pulled my hat almost past my eyebrows.
"I love this neighborhood," I said.
We walked by the Europan Cafe where I used to have weekly private French lessons. It was boarded up. Closed.
"I used to have French here. My teacher, she met her boyfriend there, he was one of her students. When she told me the story, I said, 'Oh you fell in love here!?' The restaurant was so old and dirty she said, 'No. No love can start here.'"
We continued our walk down Broadway. I showed him all my favorite places and gushed enthusiastically over the beautiful buildings of West End.
One of my boyfriends-friends had us over for dinner. They had three adorable children, the youngest was a four-year-old who poked me in the leg and smiled, "It wasn't me!" I marveled at their life. They had a lot of room for the children to play and a very beautiful art collection. Very rarely in New York do you come across a house that feels like a real home.
Snow fell as I hailed a cab on West End. I arrived home, put down my things, and looked up at the ceiling again. No improvement.
On Thursday, we had tickets to showing of a documentary, "China Hustle," at the Tumblr offices. I raced out of work and got on an empty R train. There was a woman asking for directions and struck up a conversation with a man on the train. He asked her where she was going, she said to an art show. They discussed the artist at length, and as the train rolled into the station he stood.
"Well," he cleared his throat. "if you ever want to take in a show together sometime, you can take my number."
"But, is this your stop?" she asked. Everyone was watching.
"Yeah but if I miss it, I'll just miss it," he said. She took his number, and he made it in time to get off the train. As we rolled away from the station, I saw him beaming on the platform.
Then, the group of three youngsters became inspired by the scene and one of the guys started to compose a text.
"What do I text him?" one of them asked. "Should I ask him how Paris was considering the..."
"Don't say that," the girl snapped at him. "You want to see how he's doing, you don't want to make a home in his ass."
Well, there goes the magic.
After the film screening my boyfriend and I went to a Greek restaurant in the Flower District. He listened to me whine about the weather (New York will be cold for another few weeks), about needing to get away, about needing less plans and more time to myself. When, when, when? The super was scheduled to fix the ceiling on Saturday. My eyes welled with tears.
Then on Saturday, as I waited, fully dressed in my living room, the super texted, there was a bigger emergency, he would be there next week.