Last Sunday, Alistair and I decided to run errands on the upper west side. I re-told Alistair all of my favorite Columbus Circle stories. He laughed at how excited I became and how quickly I spoke as we passed my favorite places.
Our first stop was Sur La Table. We Facetimed with Alistair's friends in Sweden, bought ourselves Nespresso pods and a butter dish, then headed further uptown to West Elm where Alistair bought a drink stand to sit beside his Eames chair. We lugged it to the subway and had dinner at home.
The warm weather on Monday and Tuesday lifted my spirits slightly. You see, I had been in a boredom trap, so on Tuesday I made a list of new things to try, specifically, things that scared me. I emailed a French teacher from Craigslist for a Skype lesson in intermediate French, I decided to join a gym (but haven't yet). Even still, I feel like I need something more. Alistair listened sweetly as I pouted about not traveling this week on my days off, about not having any friends in town, and general winter malaise.
On Wednesday a reprieve: after work I took a ferry to Greenpoint for a book launch with my colleagues. It was raining but through the windows of the boat the New York skyline and Brooklyn Bridge were glorious. We stopped at a bar beforehand for burgers and fries. I took the G train home and returned to the apartment sopping wet.
Saturday morning I put on my nicer pajamas, pulled back my hair, and did an introductory Skype call with my French teacher. I told Alistair to watch something loud on TV, I was so nervous, so worried about making a mistake. When you write as much as I do, you consider being articulate as your only strength. Then when you speak in another language it feels...debilitating and embarrassing. My teacher kept pausing, "Are you sure you're comfortable?" she asked. I wasn't. I was mortified.
That afternoon I took Alistair out to his favorite brunch spot, Bessou, to thank him for helping me move. It's a charming place that barely gets the crowd it deserves. We both ordered miso soup and beef short rib with potatoes and poached eggs. Mid-meal Topper Harris called. I hadn't spoken to him in three years.
"Topper! What's happenin'?" I said. I told him I was at brunch and planned to have him call me in the evening to catch up. Around 6 pm Alistair put on a tux and left for a work function. I used the opportunity to watch all my favorite trashy TV shows. Topper called and I talked his ear off and from his suggestion, ordered pizza from a (believe it or not) place that served pies in the same style as pizzeria's in Nice, France.
"Don't forget to ask for their chili oil on the side," he said.
At 10 pm my pizza arrived and I ate it in front of the TV; a slumber party for one.