Possible-Mate-From-Chicago and I step out of the hotel. Before we take to walking west, I point out the halal cart on the corner and say, “Just wait, the line for that cart. Around 11 pm or midnight is going to wrap around the corner.” He laughs, like he finds my comment amusing. “No, I’m serious,” I say. “Oh,” he says, slightly taken aback, perhaps more by curiosity than surprise.
We walk about half a block and he asks, “So what part of town is this?” “Midtown East. We are going to pass through Midtown West before hitting Hell’s Kitchen,” I reply. At the traffic light on Seventh Avenue he says, “So you really don’t miss Minnesota?” he asks. “Nope,” I reply. “Name two reasons why you won’t move back,” he says. “Snow and driving,” I reply. “And all this noise and bustle and jay-walking and dodging taxis and doesn’t give you anxiety?” he asks. “Nope,” I reply.
“Do you like going to Delhi?” he asks. “I don’t mind it. I mean for three or four weeks, but not to live,” I say. “Oh, no, I’m never moving to India either,” he adds. “Were you born there?” I ask. “No,” he replies. “Me either. Besides, we won’t fit in, we’re Midwestern, which makes us too softy-soft American to make it there,” I say. “I think we’d be fine…” he begins. “Really? My cousin’s mother-in-law bribed the phone technician to splice her phone so when she makes longs distance calls to her kids abroad someone else gets stuck paying? Can you do that?” I ask. “You KNOW people like that?” Possible-Mate-From-Chicago asks incredulously. It is rather sweet how disgusted he is. “These are not my people; I have enough problems with my people. That woman’s off-spring married into my family.”
He nods his head a little. I step forward and into the street. He grabs my arm and pulls me back. “Ah, the light is not green,” he says. “But there are no cars coming,” I reply. “We can wait for the light,” he says. Fine. “And you would never go back to Minnesota?” he asks. “Never say never – but no, not going back any time soon,” I reply. It strikes me that he is very obsessed with my future plans. A part of me wonders if he is trying to figure out, if this works, would I be willing to move to suburban Chicago.
We begin to cross the street. “You don’t miss nice people?” he asks. “People in New York are nice,” I reply. “My cab driver was insane,” he says. “Well wouldn’t you be if you were stuck in a yellow car all day driving people around all day?” I ask and point at the door to Afghan Kebab House; it is tied as one of my fave Hell’s Kitchen eateries. My other fave place is Yum Yum Bangkok - but hell if I am taking my date there on his first night in New York.