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On Dating : Maddy #6 - The Morgan - kale & cigarettes
On Dating : Maddy #6 – The Morgan

On Dating : Maddy #6 – The Morgan

3:30pm – 10:30pm

I was standing outside the turnstiles in the subway practicing how to be standing normal for when she came off her train. I was having a talk with myself on whether or not I should be leaning back casually or standing upright with more attention and energy in my body. It was mid sentence that I saw her pale, clear frame come into my view. She had been watching me, I could tell by her face.

“How long have you been standing there?” I asked her.

“Long enough to witness whatever that moment was,” she said as she signaled her eyes to the wall I was leaning on.

“Oh, yeah. I was practicing how to be standing when you saw me.”

We walked through Midtown to The Morgan Library. The great thing about Maddy was that she studied art and history and those subjects are immensely applicable for dating in New York City. Not necessarily as a means to earn a living.

The Morgan was filled with dark, aged woods and the smell of money so old I felt a faint connection to my ancestors.

There were books from floor to ceiling. I snuck my camera out of my pocket and snapped a few pictures. She wasn’t particularly interested in me taking her picture in the beginning but I was able to come around a corner shelf crouched down enough so she couldn’t see me and capture her in the frame unknowingly. She was standing under the light beautifully, wearing her glasses and long black pea coat, looking at the volumes of bound books with her head tilted to the side and a smile forming the corners of her mouth. That photo became the image on my phone for when she called.

When we came out, it was raining. I had my nice umbrella and we walked arm-in-arm through the city feeling the pull towards wealth that occured in the company of those massive buildings and ancient institutions.

“Are you hungry?” I asked her.

“Yes. Where should we eat?”

“I don’t know, this is your city.”

“We can head back to my place and order something,” she said.

It only took 15 minutes to get to her apartment in Chinatown. I had only been there once before when I mortified her by asking to come up and use her bathroom only to discover her room in complete disarray. She dismissed me awkwardly that night with a Namaste bow and closing of the door nearly in my face.

This time she was more prepared. Her room was tidy and charming. String lights across her headboard casting a warm glow onto everything. A bookshelf took up the wall space between two windows that looked out into the alley. Freud, Sagan, Plato. Everything was very serious.

“Do you ever read fiction?” I asked her.

“I don’t like to read things that don’t teach me anything,” she responded.

“You can still learn from fiction. And give your brain a chance to think about something differently,” I said.

“Maybe after I finish my course on the origin of molecules I’ll give fiction a go.”

We laid there together for 4 hours. No music. We talked more about my divorce. The settlement. How everything went down. She told me about past relationships. That she has a certain threshold I need to cross before I understand the more tender sides of her.

“Once we get to that point then I am all in. Probably too much so,” she said.

“Is that why you never initiate a kiss, because I haven’t hit your threshold yet?” I asked.

“Yeah, and I never will until you do. Sorry. Even though I badly want to.”

We were on our sides, facing each other. Her hair in a bun, glasses resting on her nose. We hadn’t hit the threshold but she was wearing glasses on a date so I figured we were going the right way.

“Well I’ve never really kissed someone on a first date,” I told her.

“That caught me off guard. I couldn’t figure out if you liked me or not. Guys are always trying to kiss right away or invite you up to their place. It’s uncomfortable.”

“I can’t really kiss someone until I know I like them and I can’t tell if I like someone after 3 hours. I mean, I liked you right away but wasn’t sure how real or serious it was.”

“It’s refreshing. But it always made me wonder why.”

We talked about work and money. I asked what she feels smart at. She said she understands how to come into complicated situations and figure out how to solve problems. I told her that I like to engineer things into existence.

“You are a creator,” she said.

“And you’re an editor.”

I told her how I can’t sleep well at night. Growing up with a bedroom on the first floor while my parents slept upstairs. Every night I prayed, “Dear god, thank you for all my stuff. Please protect me and my friends and my family and please don’t let a robber come into the house tonight and kill us all.”

I told her about my plan if someone did break in. How I would fluff up my bed with pillows and hide behind the door with a kitchen knife and when they leaned over the bed I would jump out and stab them in the back.

“How old were you?”

“This fear started around 8 years old. It all came down to me being able to fall asleep before I heard the dishwasher start. That meant my dad was going out to smoke his last cigarette before going upstairs and leaving me alone to defend the house.”

She leaned closer to me and put her head under my arm and rested it on my chest. I kissed her forehead and smelled her hair.

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