I laid on the sofa shivering. My feet curled under a blanket that seemed more the size of a dishcloth. All I wanted was to be back in Brooklyn where my cousin was, family photos hung on the walls, and I could cuddle my iPod beneath a comforter. Instead, I was stranded in a room on the fourth floor of a Manhattan apartment, with an air conditioner thats was blowing away any sense of drowsiness.
I couldn’t venture outside though. The darkness seemed as deep as the ocean where any tourist would surely drown. My only life buoy were the Subway Apps but they didn’t have a chance of floating me all the way down the island. Eventually I’d have to ask a stranger for directions.
My experience with New York residents was already tainted though thanks to a man who called himself Ice Queen. A guy that had stood 5’6 in baggy jeans shorts and a book in the pocket. He had approached me tonight in the club and asked me to dance before taking my hand outside to talk. Ideally, it had been the moment I was searching for. Me up against the wall with a cute guy. It’s the kind of scene that happens on television screens, the one I’d envisioned in my head, the reason I’d come to New York.
Now alone I couldn’t get away from the picture fast enough. Every time I closed my eyes the cold air reminded me of Ice Queen, unwilling to leave when I said goodbye. He followed me all the way to the stoop of my friend’s apartment where I sat for over an hour. All texts and phone calls I sent went unanswered.
“There’s a coffee shop right around the corner.” he kept saying. There probably was such a place, but my relationship with the stoop was about as strong as a shadow’s with the pavement on a sunny day.
He wasn’t a bad guy. The book in his pocket was about philosophy and he read it when no one at the club interested him much. We talked about gay history and body language, although he couldn’t read much of what mine was telling him. In fact, he was a very nice guy but I wouldn’t allow him to put his arm around me. I didn’t trust him and he said that was ok, but then we said goodbye. My friend had come downstairs to pick me up.
I could have had another kind of adventure instead of couch surfing, I might be in somebody’s bed. Waiting out the darkness might have been a little bit warmer.