New York, New York
I am having to recognize Mr. History as a real person in my life, I can’t just avoid him for the entire summer, not even for a week it seems. First of all, he lives in the same building as I do, so I really can’t hide from him. And since I live with three other people in my apartment, he manages to be in my living room when I get home on Friday after finishing my first week of the internship. We are all sent home at 5 p.m. today, which is the earliest I have been home all week. The only one disappointed about this, of course, I am rather enjoying the chance to get lost in work versus being forced to socialize with the others.
Jessica puts to work my computer skills immediately. Since the building only has one Help Desk for all the departments, she is excited to have her own personal Geek Squad in me. I spend most of my first week teaching her the ins and outs of her desktop as well as cleaning up her laptop so she could work from home more efficiently. I even went to her house one day to upgrade her network connections so her lap top runs faster and installed the system for her to be able to do conference calls from home. Around computers, I am comfortable and feel so good about myself. I am one of those people who secretly, can’t wait for a colony of robots to hang out with. I watch Star Wars, day dreaming of my own R2-D2 or BB-8. Unfortunately, tonight I have to go to a Yankees game with the entire internship team. All humans, no robots.
So that we get the full experience, we all take the 4 train to 161st Street/Yankee Stadium stop in the Bronx. It’s quite a sight to see forty people getting on and off a train together, all dressed up in our Yankee’s t-shirts and cap. It’s amazing we didn’t loose anyone in the crowded train. I stand in the middle of one of the cars, leaning up against one of the poles. Trudy is seated with a few other people, chatting away. I can see Karen, David and Susan are in the car ahead of us, talking and laughing. I think about joining them, instead I allow my body to enjoy the rocking of the subway as it makes it’s way uptown. Mixed into our crowd of interns are every day commuters and so many others heading to the game as well; their accents fill the air, music to my ears. Moments like this is when I realize that I am in New York City. I eves drop on a few conversations, not really paying attention to any in particular. I made sure that I waited for Will to get in the car behind me before entering this one. I am sure he will find me once we are at the stadium. I am trying to enjoy this moment alone, amongst all these strangers.
Thanks to the BART, I am not as nervous to ride the subway as some of the others, to whom, this is a very new experience. Just like in the movies, the bright florescent lights flicker on and off sporadically, you are expecting the boogie man to jump out of the dark. The screeching of the wheels of the train along the rails when we take a sharp turn is like finger nails along a chalk board. Hands do this funny dance as people adjust to share their hold of a strap or pole. Some people close their eyes to avoid others and some to get a moment of rest between their daily events. I am not sure if I dare to describe the smells of the various bodies and cuisines that waif towards me every time the doors open, the only warning is the muffled stop announcements. When the doors open, you witness the crazy exiting and battle of entering the trains; the rush and pushing of hundreds of people. I feel like a part of a cattle call during the walk from the platform to the stadium.
The new Yankee Stadium, also known as the house that George built, sits just north of where the old stadium sits, known as the house that Ruth built. It’s rather bitter sweet to be here, I wish I could have experienced the old one first. Of course, it doesn’t get better than the Legend’s Seats in the new stadium; there is free food and club access along with cushioned seats. More posh than anything I have enjoyed when my dad took me to see the SF Giants a few times, although nothing can beat baseball with your father. The sounds of Sinatra’s New York, New York over the speakers fill the stands with smiling faces singing along. And who can not love the random screams of “peanuts, cracker jack”, from the guys and gals walking up and down the isles, selling concessions. This is baseball!
“Hey California!” Will sits down next to me.
“Hey Mr. History.”
“Can I get you a dog and beer?”
“Why not? When in Rome.”
I take advantage of the only moment of silence I will have for the next several hours. Looking around me in awe of such an impressive property. You hear New Yorkers complaining about this stadium not being as great as the old one. I have nothing to compare this to except AT&T Park back home and this wins hands down. Maybe it’s the section we are sitting in, or maybe it’s a part of this great city that I am falling for so easily. It is true, the stadium isn’t as packed as I am sure the old one always was. But I am not here for the politics of it all, I am here for the love of baseball, as well as it’s a part of my job this summer to enjoy this city to it’s fullest.
“How was week one for you?” Will returns proud of himself for successfully attaining dogs and beers for us.
I chug the beer so I don’t have to answer him. I learned the first night we met that if I stay quiet for long enough, Will just keeps talking for the both of us. So I swap between bites of my stadium dog and sips of my beer. Will doesn’t seem to notice that I don’t answer any of his questions. I am glad when we are asked to stand for the national anthem. Once the game begins, Will is quiet. He is a huge fan of the sport and the team so his focus turns from me to the field.
Just before the seventh inning stretch, I excuse myself to the bathroom. Taking the chance to find the perfect place in the club house to hide. I enjoy experiencing a sporting event live, but much prefer to watch them on television. Probably because I grew up watching on the television. Growing up, I never attended any of the games of our high school, so I don’t have the love for live events like some of the people here today. The only Friday Night’s Lights I ever experienced was the television series.
“Not a fan or hiding out?” A thick New York accent interrupts my solitude, I immediately think of Saturday Night Fever.
I look up to find a handsome, New York Italian, in his late thirties in front of me. He is well groomed, but you can see the residue of growing up in the streets underneath his decorum. A self made man, probably working on Wall Street like everyone else in this club house. He is waiting for me to answer. I am watching the crowd thin out as everyone heads back to their seats.
“Sorry if I am interrupting something, I just can’t help myself. I see a beautiful woman sitting alone and I have to rescue her from herself.”
He’s kidding me, right? The looks of him says he is well educated, yet when he opens his mouth, I know I shouldn’t judge. I look up at the television and try to focus on the game. Hoping Mr. NY Italian can take a hint.
“Can I get you another beer?”
I nod without looking away from the game, he apparently isn’t going to leave me alone so I might as well let him get me a drink. When he returns with the beers, he slides into the booth next to me. I hear Benji’s voice in my head, telling me to at least try and be social.
“Thank you.” Is all I can muster.
“My pleasure. So, you ain’t from around here, are you?”
Too personal of a questions, so I keep my silence, drink my beer and watch the game. It’s too late for me to head to my seat without being rude. Plus if I go back to my seat, I am just trading in Mr. NY Italian for Mr. History.
“Okay, do you like the Yankees?”
“Who doesn’t?” Question with a question, I can see the annoyed look that Benji would have right now.
“Are you new to New York?”
Again, too personal so I am back to my beer and the TV screen.
“Okay, how’s the weather?”
“Hot. But that’s summers in New York, I guess.”
“Do you not get the fours seasons where you are from?”
Nice attempt at figuring out where I may be from. So he may be smarter than he sounds.
“What do you like to talk about? Apparently nothing personal since you are avoiding all my questions about you.”
“What do you think about the new stadium versus the old?”
“I will watch my team from anywhere I can. Plus, I think change is good. Of course, I wish they had left the old stadium alone and not converted it to Heritage Field.”
I find that if you let people do all the talking, they are quite happy to.
“I have a lot of fond memories in that old stadium. When I was a kid, we would save up in order to buy one of the seats in the nose bleeds. I am glad I got to see as many games as I did there. I would have never guessed back then that I would be sitting in the Legends Seats or meeting a woman like you in the club house.”
Mr. NY Italian talked through the eighth inning. Once I realize that this is going to be a shut out in favor of the Yankees, I decide to leave.
“How about I take you to dinner?” He asks, as I start to gather my things.
I can hear Benji in my head again, egging me to go.
“Sure, why not? Just let me hit the loo before we leave.”
Mr. NY Italian has a car waiting outside for us. I get in without asking any questions. I don’t want to know. We ride back into Soho. We are heading to Blue Ribbon Sushi. Coming for the Bay Area, we have some of the best sushi in the world, I hear. I am glad for something other than sandwiches and dinners served in the conference rooms at work. There is a line outside the door, I hear the hostess telling people that the wait is an hour, more surprising, people wait. When we walk in, we are warmly greeted and taken to a table immediately. Okay, apparently I am in the company of someone important. During this great meal, I find my self debating if I should sleep with him or not. This is definitely an improvement on my part. Maybe I am getting over my addiction. Addict Val would already be making out with this man. He is hot.
“Shall I take you back to your place or would you be interested in a night cap?”
“I could go for some champagne right now.”
“I know a spot.”
“Do you have champagne back at your place?”
“Shall we then?”
Of course he lives in a penthouse apartment off the Westside Highway. From his balcony is a spectacular view of the Hudson. New Jersey across the way sparkles onto the water, I am shocked at how quiet it is down here. We are staying in midtown and it is rather noisy all day, all night.
After two glasses of champagne on the balcony, we retire into the living room. Once on the couch, we start to kiss. He is a pretty good kisser. I let him lie me down and undress me. He makes his way straight to my pussy with is lips. His tongue enjoying the taste of me. He is much better at this than he is at kissing. I hold his head to my pussy, it’s nice to let someone else do all the work. Impressed that he can do this for so long. As long as I continue to come, he continues to eat me out. This is dirtier than I expected. I can see that he has freed himself from his pants. As he eats me, he is jerking off. Looks like this is going to be all about me for now. I lie back and enjoy the view of his living room. His decorator did a nice job. The room is modern and simple, but every detail thought out. It’s more masculine than it is feminine, but not a complete bachelor’s pad. You can tell he isn’t home much, but when he is, he likes his comforts. This couch feels plush, as sleep worthy as any bed.
My goodness this man enjoys eating pussy. Sorry, it’s hard to describe this as anything hot and sexy when it’s clearly just oral sex for him. The more I come, the more of me he wants, the faster he starts to stroke himself. I am so engrossed in the art on his wall that I almost missed his orgasm. His hot breath pants into my inner thigh. He gives my thighs a few kisses and heads to the bathroom to clean himself up. I head to the guest bathroom to dress and leave. I catch a taxi outside before he can come after me. I wonder if this is sex in this city.
My roommates are still out, so I quickly shower the dirt of tonight away and put myself to bed. Tomorrow we have a cruise around the island. I need sleep. And since I just orgasmed close to a dozen times, I will sleep soundly tonight.
After a brunch at Cipriani Downtown where I gladly enjoy their famous Bellinis, I find myself on board the Circle Line. A two and a half hour narrated cruise gives us a great overview of this city. As the boat moves, I wonder if I regret having had my third Bellini. I didn’t each much, the food was good, but I am one of those picky Italians that will most often feel that my family’s home cooking is better than any Italian restaurant. I manage to find a nice breezy spot against the rails of the boat. Trying to focus on the horizon and allow it to help keep me steady. The good news is, most everyone is hungover so I am actually left alone to enjoy the tour. This magnificent city has five boroughs, three rivers that surround it and seven bridges that connects it to the rest of the world. Each site we come to is as impressive as the first, but the most impressive of all is Lady Liberty. You see the Statue of Liberty in movies, learn about this great landmark in school, but nothing will prepare you for the feeling that comes over you once you are in front of it. I will have to bring my parents here and really get up close to it and not just ride by it. If Mr. History were standing next to me right now, I wouldn't have to listen to the narrator. Although I much prefer this monotone voice over any familiar voice at this moment.
After the cruise, we are all allowed to go our separate ways. I hurry past everyone and start walking along the West Side Highway down towards Battery Park. I have yet to experience the Chinatown here and am excited to do so. Those of us from San Francisco really take pride in thinking we have the best Chinatown in the US, for sure it’s the oldest. Here it is larger and louder, more of a hustle and bustle vibe. In San Francisco, Chinatown is slower, tight knit, well preserved in design and culture. The boundary is clearly marked with an authentically designed gate and standing pagodas. Whereas here, along Mulberry Street, you move between Chinese restaurants and shops to bits of what remains of Little Italy and more of Chinatown. Which is better? It all depend on preference and pride. In this moment, I choose to embrace the craze around me. I buy a knockoff of a Prada backpack and BBQ pork off the street vendors. I find a great hole in the wall for dinner. Thanks to Benji, I know what to order in Mandarin. I walk uptown after dinner, feeling impressed with myself for enjoying Manhattan’s Chinatown. I love this city for the walking culture. I explore all the sections, picturing myself living in the apartments here, imagining what my life will be like in this amazing city. Every now and then I would catch the exterior of a building and stop, wandering what it is like inside. Who lives here? Is it someone that has lived there all their lives? Or is the person a new transplant? Are the rooms spacious or a one bedroom converted into two. I hear a lot of stories from the others as they talk about the different apartments they have all experienced from growing up around here. I wonder if the apartments are like those we saw in Friends or Seinfeld. Or how about those beautiful apartments in the old movies of Manhattan? I picture myself checking my mail from my metal mail box in the foyer as I walk up to my apartment. The hardwood floors would cool my feet after a long day in heals. My fridge greeting me with a bottle of champagne to toast another great day in this town. Rummaging through my menus to decide on dinner and cozying onto my couch to watch TV and distract myself. I fantasize about various scenarios of how my life will be here someday. Feeding my motivation to make it all work for me, for this internship to lead to my move here after college. The dream is so much more real and vivid in my mind thanks to this moment.
The next week we attend a Mets game at CitiField. On our way to the stadium, I see the Unishpere and immediately think of Men in Black. I know I should be thinking of the World Fair back in 1964, which is what this structure is built for. So much history here. But the fact that we are pulling up in dark, tinted, black SUVs, I secretly wish we are all in black suits with shades on. Ready to fight the alien invasion sounds more fun than another baseball game with my work troop. There is a definite difference between the feel of both stadiums and fans. The Mets are the red headed step children of this town, much like the Jets. Always living in the shadows of their New York City counterpart. This makes for more loyal fans, I feel.
This time I manage to stay with the group and make myself enjoy the game. I sit with my team; Karen, David and Susan. I make an effort to get to know them all better. Karen is studying at Boston College, David and Susan are both attending NYU. It’s fun to be with such an east coast crew. They have a very different vibe. It’s taken a little time for them to accept the strange west coast girl, but I can tell that we will all be life long friends. East coasters have this devotion that is rare once you can get them to like you. All of us are the eldest child with rebellious younger siblings, so you can imagine the intensity summed in us all. In one way, it’s been nice having like minds and empathy for what it was like growing up and some moments we can really butt heads. Four very stubborn, smart and determined individuals that are used to making all the decisions, compromise is a new word to us all. Then add in that we are all fighting for attention from our current “parent”, Jessica. I am still not quite in the crowd. I hear them making plans to head out after the game. Mr. History is chatting away in my ears so I pretend not to notice and try not to let the sting hurt so badly. I can’t blame them for it, I am not exactly the best at friendships.
“How are you liking your internship so far?” I ask Mr. History, thinking that it’s not too late for me to learn to be a friend.
Mr. History pauses and stares at me, as if he is shocked at the sound of my voice. I smile at him as he blinks at me. He is really nice to look at, I should look at him more when we talk, or maybe actually talk and have eye contact.
“I am really liking it. The people are nice. How about you?”
“Me too. And I am glad that we have all been doing so many things together, it’s been nice getting to know everyone.”
“Yes.” I laugh mostly at my realization that I must be a bitch to him and yet here he is, sitting by my side.
Will, maybe a good friendship starts by addressing my friends by their name versus their nickname, can be sitting next to any of the ladies here in the crowd. His is handsome, smart and kind, I need to be more grateful that he continues to sit with me. And I really do need to actually listen to what is coming out of his mouth, it could prove a great education on this town.
“So, Will, how about dinner after this? My treat.”
“Then yes to dinner, but no to you paying. My mother would kill me if she ever knew I let a woman pay.” And a perfect gentleman to boot.
“Thank your mom for me for raising such a great guy.”
This time I stay with everyone and make an effort to get into the game. Singing along during the 7th inning stretch.
“You have a great voice.” Will compliments.
Will takes me to an old school Italian restaurant on the upper east side, it doesn’t even have an a name on the door, Georgio’s he tells me. He clearly knows the owners for he is treated as if he were family. And the food is amazing, I am impressed and of course, we never saw a menu. The chef personally brings out ever dish. Asking Will about his life each time. I am starting to feel bad that I know so much about Will and he knows so little about me. I want to let him in but something inside of me keeps me holding back.
“And how about you beautiful, what is your story?” Georgio asks.
I can not be rude here, this man is giving us a precious moment.
“Lo sono Italiano, dalla California, grazie.”
“Il tuo Italian è perfetto.”
“Wow, I did not see that coming.” Will is impressed.
“Both my parents are first generation Italians. My mom is insistent in us speaking only Italian at home.”
“Well, your mother is right to do so. And I am so happy to hear such a great accent in this country.” Georgio compliments.
This is my opportunity. I need to tell Will, I want to tell Will, more about me. So I do. The more I share, the wider his grin, the better I feel about this progress.
“You know we have to go to Korea Town and do some Karaoke one night. I will not let you out of my life before hearing you sing.”
“No, I only sing in the shower.”
I can sense that Will wants to make a move in that opening and am glad that he is too much of a gentleman to do so. I like our friendship and although he is a beautiful man in so many ways, I am actually not attracted to him that way. I definitely do not want to ruin such a great night by turning him down on any advance he might make.
“But for you, I am sure I can make an exception. Let’s do it! Let’s plan an night when we can sing our hearts out.”
“And you won’t have to worry, they have these private rooms we can rent so no one but I will hear.”
“That’s odd. I am used to doing Karaoke at bars where we all can cheer one another on.”
“This is definitely different from that, but it will be fun.”
“Maybe we can invite a few others then, and with enough champagne, I will gladly perform.” Again, another missed opportunity that I am glad Will is too nice to take.
Sunday we have to ourselves so I drag everyone out for dim sum, I scouted a place when I was in Chinatown last week. I am feeling rather proud of myself. Dinner with Will yesterday after the game and hosting a brunch today. Even all my Manhattan born and bread friends are impressed with this amazing gem I found. Then let’s not diminish the fact that I am paying, splurging, for the first time in my life. From day one here, I have been self conscious, shopping at vintage stores and sales, as not to over spend on myself. Lucky to have a few classic designer wear, but not the amazing new looks that I admire walking about the building. This is a step in the right direction. Maybe before I leave, I will treat myself to something at Bergdorf or Henri Bendel. Everyone is always coming back from lunch with bags from these stores, I have been too scared to look.
I take a lot of photos to prove to Benji, my moments of growth. Sending them to him once I get back from brunch. Satisfied in my belly and my self.
“Well done student.”
“Thank you master.”
“I like the sound of being your master.”
“In that case, master, what do you wish of me?”
Shit! Did I just say that? First of all, how cheesy. Secondly, now what? Apparently too many beers at dim sum.
I stand my phone on my dresser, pointing to my bed. I take a look at my reflection in the mirror, I see myself kneeling half naked in my bed. Suddenly, I realize I am not ready to do this with Benji. I still don't know where we are at or where we are headed. I finally got my buddy back and am not ready to loose him again. So I lie.
“Not alone, might be awkward.”
“True. Later?” Of course he is not letting me off the hook for this, better now while I am in the mood.
I can't believe I am so horny. Must be the lack of play mates combined with my mediocre escapade after the Yankee’s game. Here goes nothing.
“Why wait? I like the sexting momentum we are on. I may not be able to fully enjoy but surely you can.”
“I am already hard and waiting, so, start typing.”
“Where are you?”
“Seated at my desk in my room.”
“Can you feel me nestled under your desk?” I text.
Benji is most likely pulling his cock out of his pants at this moment. I don’t wait for him to respond. Instead, my imagination starts to go wild.
“My hands squeezing at your thighs as I work my way to your bulge; your growth begging for my touch?”
“Mmmmm, yes it is.”
“I free you of your sweats and begin to stroke your hard cock. I can hear the clicking of your keyboard as you try to stay focused on work. My left hand wraps around your balls, leaving a finger near your rim, massaging and playing on the edge. My right hand stroking your shaft slowly from top to bottom and back. My mouth and pussy moisten in envy.”
I can picture Benji in his chair, head back, cock in hand. I use this image to further inspire my typing. It’s amazing how fast I can type on the phone. Grateful that the alcohol is altering my state of mind, giving me the courage to express myself freely the things I have been wanting to do with Benji.
“My eyes take in the beauty and the girth of you as my hand enjoy feeling your change in texture. As you lengthen and harden further, your skin stretches and softens. I can hear your body moaning and feel your aching for more than just my hand. I slide your chair back to make room for me to climb on top of you. As much as my lips want to taste you or the back of my throat is eager to have you to push against it, I long to ride you.”
“I so wish you could be on my lap right at this moment.”
“Take your hands off your keyboard and put it back onto your cock. Let your hands be the feel of my girl taking all of you inside. Allow your body to feel it from all the memories of me straddled onto you. The memory of how it feels as you enter me and allow my wetness to surround you. The need to control your urge to come as I ride you hard and fast. Pushing down on my hips to take you deeper. Feel every inch inside of me. Feel how you make me so wet, how my clit spasms from your pleasure. Your face, nestled between my breasts. Taking turns enjoying each of my nipples. Knowing that I will come again if you play with them right. A bit of nibbling, tugging and of course the feel of your teeth clamping down, taking me to the point of pain. Just enough to make me come.”
“I want you to come baby. Let me ride us into an orgasm together.”
“Oh yeah baby, I am coming, come with me.” He sends in a voice text, gotta love those tech savvy men. He allows me to hear him coming.
Unbeknownst to Benji, I did come with him. It's difficult to text and masturbate at the same time but I couldn't help but join in. Grateful that for once, dictation understood my every word. Apparently Siri is horny too.
“Thank you baby! Although now I really want you. When can we FaceTime?”
Yes, this is a good show of how long-distance could work. I am letting my wall soften and my boundaries extend towards possibilities I never imagined before. But is this me missing and wanting Benji, or do I mainly want Benji when I can't have him.
“I am so happy that you are feeling relaxed and sated.” I ignore his request for a repeat.
“I won’t push.”
Benji knows this is a huge step for me, for us. He also knows I am one step forward and five steps back. That this might just scare me away for awhile. His work week is busy, he will be distracted and give me space. I will try not to let this effect us, key word, “try”. Already my brain is my worse enemy, the guilt setting in. The need to shower away the tease that I have just partaken in. How selfish can I be? I should have been honest to Benji about my reservations. But I need to say aloud my pent up desires for him. Now I will have to deal with the repercussions of it all.
Feeling a surge of energy from the releases thanks to our sexting session, I grab my laptop and start writing a piece comparing Chinatown in New York with that of the one in San Francisco. Benji is correct, how do I write about traveling when I haven’t traveled much or far? With that being said, I do now know a small part of two major cities very well. I need to take the risk and write. I don’t want to just be the back up help desk here, I want to write for Wanderlust one day. When I finish, I email it to Benji, asking his feedback. As long as I am pushing boundaries, I am inspired to show Jessica this side of me as well.
“Sorry for the delay, I knocked out. But yeah, you should totally submit this. You are a great writer and it's nice to see you writing. Take a chance on yourself and show them all your dimensions. Good luck love!”
I give the article another look, then hold my breath as I push send. No matter where Benji and I end up in the perimeters of our relationship, I will always credit so much of who I am today to him. Even the times we were on the frigid side, his absence grew me just as much. He pushes me and forces courage into the many shapes of myself.