I was full of fire and gin and feeling quite unstoppable. As I reached the exit, the door was opened for me by the same doorman who wittily commented on my intentions going in in the first place.
"One drink huh..."
"Yes. That fucker tried to kiss me!"
"Well who wouldn't?"
"...do you want to?"
I grabbed his hand and ran across the street with him, uttering words here and there about being lost and having to pee. He leaned me up against a fence in a parking lot across from the hotel and we made out, all the while pointing out how crazy and awesome this was and that this was something that I never ever did. His name was **** ***** and thats all I knew. It felt like making out did when you were fourteen, when you're parents still forbade you to date but you did it anyway and that guilt and excitement were the best teenage feelings you never forget and never have again. Giddily, I said goodbye and ran in the direction he pointed me to. Turns out, the street I was staying on was literally, one block away. I ran all the way back to the house, seventy five percent elated, twenty five percent steadying myself so as not to pee my pants. Unfortunately for me, I couldn't get into the house; the deadbolt lock was finicky and the key I had would not budge so I ran back outside and looked for a better option- before it was too late.
My uncles live in Tribeca, so the next portion of my story needs to be prefaced with the following:
Their apartment is in the middle of "DeNiro's" block which means the infamous Nobu is on one corner and the Tribeca Bar and Grill (a restaurant that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck had been dining in the day before) is on the other. My choices for relief were limited.
I ran next door to the Bar and Grill- the seemingly less intimidating of my two options- and kindly asked the host if it would be alright if I used the washroom because after all, I was a Canadian girl staying alone in the Big City and it just so happened that I was locked out of my accommodations. He allowed my request and I ran through that restaurant like there was a fire behind me.
I had the greatest pee of my life, albeit a humiliating experience.
Back up at the apartment, feeling the glow and with new pants on I thought, what the hell. It was early and I had nothing to do so, I freshened up and returned (with absolutely no shame) back to the hotel. **** ***** didn't seem surprised to see me. In fact, he had expected me to return.
For the next three hours or so, I hung out, got acquainted with the man whose lips had been on mine and enjoyed the randomness of the evening. Eventually I began opening doors for guests, and curtsied as I gave them my best "welcome to the Tribeca Grand, have a lovely stay..."
It's funny because the simplicity of the evening thus far was the most fun I had had in the longest time. I felt free and anonymous. So anonymous that I didn't even tell him my name. I was "Miss Canada" and that was enough for us. Just being- and being on the side of drunk helped too, especially standing outdoors that long in the midst of December winter. **** ***** gave me one of his mitts so that my door-exposed hand could keep warm. He smelled like soap and so did his mitt. I kept it. I still have it.
Eventually, the shift was over and my doorman, the bellman (whom I had also befriended) and I decided to carry the evening onward. After all, how could we stop now? We three went across the street to the Tribeca Tavern and danced and drank and made out some more- that is the doorman and I, not the three of us. By closing time we were spent and the boys walked me back to the apartment. He and I kissed out our goodbyes. He gave me his number even though I told him that I would never use it and we departed, once again as strangers. Just before they left, the bellman came to my side and took down my email address. If we were to meet again, this drunken man would somehow remember that my identity lay writ on a piece of garbage that he stuffed into his jacket. Time would tell I guess. But at that moment, the euphoria of that unexpected meeting would carry me forward.