Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

Photo illustration: James Gallagher

This week, a brand new New York resident is going on Rockaway’s surf date with a potential new boyfriend: 25, single, Brooklyn.

DAY ONE

8:30 Today is the day! I packed all my belongings in a U-Haul last night and am ready to leave. After living in DC for two years, 15 minutes from my childhood home and surrounded by lifelong friends, I move to Bed-Stuy. Never thought I would be the one moving to New York, but here we are emptying 95 with everything I own clinking around in the back of an 11 foot truck.

16.00 Finally, I unpacked all my stuff using my new roommate – a guy I went to college with – and one of my closest friends from college who happens to live five blocks from my new place. I couldn’t help but wish I had a boyfriend to help me make this as silly as it is. I’m a few months out of a complicated relationship with a guy who moved to LA without ceremony to find himself. He does not even know that I have moved to New York. I sit on the floor in my unoccupied new room and resist the urge to tell him so.

20.00 I’m taking the train to Manhattan to meet my cousin. He is 29 and has lived in the city for almost five years now. We’re very close and I love that he’s so excited to have me here – it reminds me that I’m excited too. We have oysters and many bottles of natural wine at a delicious Tribeca restaurant where he used to wait for tables so it is mostly compensated. We’re even sitting next to a celebrity whose name I can not remember. It all feels very New York.

23.00 We stumble upon a bar close by where one of our friends and a group of his friends are out. This is the first night the bar is properly open again since the pandemic started; everyone is beautiful and on their wildest behavior. I feel undressed until a guy approaches me at the bar to tell me how nice I look.

12:30 After a few espresso martinis, a friend of my cousin leans in and asks if I want to go with her to the bathroom. I nod yes and she grabs my hand and leads me in where she cuts us a few lines of ketamine. I make a line and she leans in close to tell me she wants to kiss me to make her boyfriend angry. I’m too drunk to make a smart remark, so I tilt my head back with laughter and tell her I’m flattered.

03.00 I’m on the verge of seeing twice when a cute guy with bleached, spiky hair and beautiful eyebrows comes up to me and tells me he’s been looking at me all night. I take his hand and we dance a little. It feels good to feel wanted — I realize that living in DC after the breakup, in the midst of the pandemic, made me feel like an old spinster. We exchange drunken numbers before my cousin gets me a taxi back to Bed-Stuy.

DAY TWO

10 in the morning The first day I wake up in my new apartment and I’m so hung up. I take a little Advil and run despite the nausea. I return home to a text message from A, the guy from last night, and said it was nice to meet me. I laugh; I did not think he would even remember me, we were so drunk. I can hardly remember what he looks like, but I’m fascinated.

12.00 My roommate and I pass U-Haul south to Red Hook Ikea to get some furniture before I have to return the truck. On our way, we see a bunch of Brooklyn-based comedians on a street corner being filmed doing little. My roommate can’t stop laughing – he’s just moved here too (even though he’s from LA), so living in New York feels new to both of us.

16.00 A and I exchange a few funny, teasing texts about our day. It turns out we were at Target just a few minutes after the other. He makes a joke that he does not remember much about me except how well he felt about talking to me. That’s exactly how I feel, I tell him. We decide to meet later in the week. The excitement gives me energy to go out again tonight.

20.00 Dinner at a sushi place on the Lower East Side with two of my closest friends from college. I just left a demanding job at a law firm of general interest after realizing that law is not something for me, just as meaningful as work is. Now I’m looking for a new job, even though I do not know what I’m looking for. Hi, quarterly crisis, my new friend. I’m so happy to have these two to remind me that I have a lot to do for myself. We drink cold guilt and laugh a lot and I tell them I already have a date in line that they are not surprised at all.

DAY THREE

13.00 I’m cycling over to a friend’s new apartment in Fort Greene. It feels so good to be surrounded by friends and acquaintances after having a small, albeit tight, circle in DC My friend makes us chicken tori katsu sandwiches and we eat them outside before walking around the neighborhood.

17.30 Rushed back to Bed-Stuy before heading to Manhattan for the night. I’m so not used to it taking at least 45 minutes to get anywhere in this city. I bring a glass of orange wine – the only one in my fridge – into the shower and try to masturbate but can not climax. Too much stress and adrenaline and not enough sleep, I say to myself.

19.30 At a friend’s birthday party on her roof terrace back at LES. I spend most of the night talking to an old Italian couple who own a restaurant that my friend visits. I can’t help but feel insecure by having to explain over and over again that I have no idea what I want to do with my life.

22.00 A group of us leave the party in search of some dinner. We end up in a trendy Greek place before going for a night out at a restaurant in Chinatown where another friend works. I end up getting full of Negronis and one by one leaving my friends until it’s just me, my friend who works there, and some of the bartenders. We close the place and head over to a nearby karaoke bar to continue drinking.

04.00 The party continues in a guy’s shoebox Nolita’s apartment. We drink and dance and there are many drugs and people who work in fashion. One of the guys flirts with me, but my mind slips back to A. I was drunk looking forward to seeing him tomorrow.

8 in the morning Right now in bed.

DAY four

13.00 Late breakfast with a colleague who lives a few blocks away. As I leave, I turn the corner and physically encounter an old college connection and his fiancé – he cheated on her with me when their relationship had just begun. This neighborhood is starting to feel like campus.

17.30 After a few hours on a deep LinkedIn dive looking for job openings, I shower, put on some makeup and throw on a pair of funky pants and a low-cut top. A and I plan to meet with him. It strikes me that I do not even know his last name.

19.30 We meet and I’m excited – my drunken haze was right, he’s so sweet! We sit in the park across the street from his apartment in East Williamsburg and talk about everything over a bottle of red wine: our families living in the city what we like to do. He is a surfer and a musician with a fancy day job. Such a hot combo.

21.00 We go to dinner around the corner and he keeps! my hand! on the way there! I’m so dizzy even though I’m a little thrown off by how forward he is. We eat tacos and drink margaritas before going to a bar closer to his place for a nightgown. He asks me questions about myself and actually listens.

23.30 I go back to his apartment and even though I went into the night and did not plan to stay here, I really enjoy our energy. Back in his room, he plays me one of his songs on the guitar, and I swear. We start doing and he fingers me as we go to his bed. We have sex until we both come.

DAY FIVE

10 in the morning A wakes me up with a kiss, still naked and spooning me. I turn to him and we find out a few minutes before we have sex again. I kiss him goodbye and we make plans to hang out in Rockaways in a few days.

12.00 I take L to G and smile all the way. I decide at the last minute to take the train to Greenpoint. I sit by the water and call my sister. She’s two years younger, but much less chaotic than I am.

19.00 I meet a childhood friend at a restaurant in Bed-Stuy for dinner. I see three (!) Different people I went to college walking down the street and am reminded that I should find out my life pretty quickly so I can limit the number of acquaintances I have to tell about my unemployed situation.

22.00 A text to me to tell me he can not stop thinking about me. I tell him I can not wait for us to surf together. I masturbate in memory of us fuck before I go to sleep.

DAY SIX

11.00 Six days after living in the city, I finally decide to unpack some boxes. Instead, I walk around the corner to buy a few plants. I arrange them in different corners of the room and tell myself I will do the rest later.

13.00 I go to a close friend’s place that lives nearby and we Uber to a barbecue in Williamsburg. We have mimosas and hot dogs and I meet so many new people.

21.30 I’m taking my childhood friend to a college friend’s birthday party in Fort Greene. A sends an sms to me and says he really wants to see me and when the party accepts I send him the address. He Ubers right away and I introduce him to everyone as if we’ve been together forever. We hold hands and act like that. It feels like a hot secret that we just met.

23.30 A, my childhood friend and I get a car to a bar he likes back in Williamsburg. We immediately take all the shots together before A and I slip into a booth and talk about how much we like being around each other. We go back to his apartment and have sex on his couch while he pulls my hair from behind.

DAY SEVEN

11.00 A and I still wake up and embrace again. I love waking up next to him.

12:30 I get an Uber back to my seat and I change into a bikini top, cycling shorts and a white dress while sitting in my backyard. It’s our Rockaways surf day! We go and hold hands, as if we have known each other forever, to the nearby cafe for espresso and squeezed panini. We eat them on the train to Rockaway and talk about music all the way.

14.00 I lie on the rug and watch him surf before following him in the water. I have only surfed a few times before and by no means have any skill, but he makes me feel comfortable. We share his board and he coaches me through the process: lie down, feel the wave, paddle hard, jump up, stay up. I’m so turned on by him.

15.30 I’m catching a wave! Before diving back into the water, I return to A, who pumps his fist in the air and smiles at me. I paddle back to him and we find out, tipping in and out of the surf. I feel his cock hard through his suit and wrap my arms around his neck.

18.30 We make it to the ferry just in time for a perfect sunset ride back to town. We stand on the upper deck with our arms wrapped around me from behind, sharing warm Narragansetts and laughing at the drunk passengers around us. The sun sets orange on the skyline. I have a warm feeling, I will know him for a long time.

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