The restaurant where I met Bear for our first date has closed. In the three years that I lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, I saw restaurants wink out like dying bulbs on every block. I saw new ones burst into the old spaces. There was a quick current, a constant cycle. Only the fantastically innovative or legendary or totally necessary remain. And ours was never that. It was always only pretty good.
But still, it seems a little sad that New York has taken away our table, by the wall in the back. And that the entryway where I stood waiting to see him for the first time is now chipped and forlorn. In the city, life moves impatiently on and on. There isn’t time or money to maintain all of these nostalgic spots. The next thing is supposed to be better.
I met Bear for the first time three years ago, this week. He was bigger in person than I’d expected. But then, I hadn’t really tried to picture him. His nose was surprisingly delicate, and upturned. It made him look boyish and vulnerable. I always notice noses. A self-conscious habit, born of worrying about mine. I always vaguely thought that I would end up with a man whose nose would dwarf mine, so that mine would finally feel feminine and fine. Sort of like my friends would sometimes say that they would only marry a guy over 6’2″. So tall! (The one who insisted on this the most vehemently has been with a man who is a good several inches shorter than her for, what? Four years now?)
Isn’t it funny how we set these little rules for ourselves? Not the kind that matter enormously if they’re broken. But still, rules. I will never wear yellow. If I don’t get a book published that means I’ll have failed at life. I won’t gain any more weight. My eventual partner has to be really musical.