I arrive at Wynn's Midtown office just before 6:00 pm. She greets and leads me to her office where the desk is lined with vials and pots of makeup. "Have a seat, I need to fix my make-up," Wynn says and continues with her grooming process. Ten minutes pass and I feel nervous. We’re supposed to meet Kate at 6:30 pm and I fear we will be late because we still have to ride in the turn of the century elevator back to the lobby, walk to the subway station and then ride the 4/5 train to Bowling Green.
Wynn must sense my tension because she peers from around her hand mirror and says, “Relax!” She is wearing two green tank tops a light colored one layered on top of a darker one and black pants.“Kate might worry," I say and cross my legs. Unplanned, I, too, am in a green and black paisley print camisole, a black sweater, fabulous fitting black skirt and strappy sandals. “So?” Wynn replies and applies mascara. I think it’s rude to arrive late, but what can I do. So I sit back in the chair and make a mental note to buy an eyelash curler.
* * *
In theory it should take 30 minutes to go the 5 miles from Midtown East to Bowling Green on the 4/5 train. Today time and transport elude us. Wynn and I stand on the warm subway platform, eagerly awaiting the subway. We get excited each time we see the white light coming out of the dark tunnel, only to be disappointed that the arriving train is yet ANOTHER N/R/W train. Fifty-two minutes later we resurface and trek east.
We pass Beaver Street and I shudder, delighted that I never applied to M.I.T. whose mascot is the beaver. Girl beavers. It’s like they never thought women would attend college there. I tug my purse forward and unzip it. My hand roots between my wallet, sunglasses and keys until I find a piece of paper. I pull it out and unfold the address and directions to the bar. When I leave the gridded part of Manhattan, so does my direction sense.
“What are you doing? You look like a tourist!” Wynn demands as I study my notes. “Figuring out where we are going.” “I know where we are going! Relax!” Wynn orders. “This has nothing to with you. I like to orient myself in new areas,” I reply calmly, but annoyed that she scolds me like a child. “Okaaaay,” Wynn replies. Her tone is a cross between bored and unimpressed, like I dyed MY hair green without HER permission.
We can hear the bar Ulysses before we see it. We turn the corner and stare down the alley street. I am not prepared to see so many people in one spot! It is literally overflowing with people. My depth perception is not my sharpest skill, but if the alley is 40 feet wide by a hundred feet long, it is crowded with the standing and the seated, the drinking and the eating. I watch two women begin walking across the alley. For every three steps forward they take, they take two steps back. At this rate it will take them 15 minutes to cross. An urban mosh pit unfolds before my eyes.
Once my evening mixes with vodka, I foresee regretting the combination of three-inch sandals and the cobblestone, even if my legs (BELOW THE KNEE) look model hot.
To be cont.