“Well I should go,” I reply. We have spent 45 minutes huddled over the laptop, inches apart, looking at toilets and lighting fixtures. “And you should go to work.” He nods and looks at me almost wistfully – almost longingly, for a sliver of a moment and then it disappears. Which makes me wonder if I made it up – and if I have fabricated feelings for him and that this attraction is an effed up one way street that I am walking along – alone, while he cruises along a two-way boulevard – in France.
I collect my things and move several feet away from him. He stands up and heads towards the sideboard. “What do I owe you?” he asks. “Oh,” I reply and fish the receipt out of my bag and hand it to him. He calculates the math in his head, fills out a check and hands it to me. I don’t even look at it – I just know it is enough to pay rent and stuff it into my bag.
“Thank you,” I say. “Thank you,” he replies. “Let me see you out," he says. We walk to the front door quietly, we stop and I avoid eye contact. He leans to give me a hug, which I accept and then leave. Instead of going straight to the subway, I stop to get my eyebrows and upper lip waxed – having hot wax applied to my skin and ripped off with a muslin cloth is less painful than dealing with my feelings for Town and Country.
After my grooming, I walk and walk and walk and walk. I walk 30 blocks uptown before heading west. Once I hit the West Side I keep walking into the West 90s when I finally decide to get on the subway and go home.