Dateline: "In a moment of moxie, I threw my number into a handsome musician's guitar case…"
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3:04 p.m. – I finally decide to look up the place where I'm supposed to meet my date. He's a musician, and he asked me to join him at a bar for a buddy's gig. I'm stoked to be hanging out with him — hell, I was stoked he called me to begin with. You see, I'm new to New York, and one week ago I was sitting in Central Park, thinking of John Cusack movies, while listening to a good-looking street performer. And in a moment of Cusackian moxie, I threw my number into said handsome busker's guitar case. "Give this Texan gal a call sometime," it read. And he did. So now I'm headed to a show in the unknown depths of the Lower East Side.
3:05 – He's directed me to a coffee shop.
3:05:20 – What if…? No, no. He's definitely of age. Is he? Whatever, he's still good-looking.
8:06 – I arrive in the area. I'm six minutes late, but still too early to be cool. I do a walk-by. It looks popular! The light catches a young man's retainer.
8:12 – I'm in a bar down the street. "Two shots of Maker's, please!" Whiskey, darling, you are my gentle lover. I pay my tab and breathe deep.
8:18 – He's waiting outside for me. He's all smiles and I can't help but join. The show is about to start in the basement and as we walk past the bar, gentleman that he is, he offers me a drink. I graciously decline a chai tea soy latte.
8:20 – The descent.
8:21 – The smell hits me first, followed by a chest-crushing humidity. I'm in a cave — a moist, sticky abyss of teenage hormones and Proactiv. Skinny, underdeveloped limbs are wagging from skinny, underdeveloped bodies, and I'm being eyeballed suspiciously. I'm introduced to my date's friend John. John is applying to my college. "Oh nice! For… grad… school?" Nope! For undergrad.
8:23 – "How old are you!?" My date's twenty-one. Sweet relief creeps over me, albeit still peppered with skepticism, but I relax into the music and conversation nonetheless. The band isn't half bad.
9:30 – The band finishes their set and we head upstairs to get some welcome air. His band friend joins us and suggests we head over to a bar in Alphabet City with some others. I am comforted by this as well as genuinely enjoying my date's company. I agree.
9:45 – I am led to a shady pan-Asian restaurant overflowing with cheap beer and watered-down pitchers of sake. "IDs?" the waitress asks as a formality. My date then orders… a screwdriver.
10:30 – I'm getting along well with the young troubadour and I've all but forgotten about his questionable drink choice and the teenage cesspool I was thrown into earlier. "You want to get out of here?" I ask. "I've got a place in mind." And one last test…
10: 52 – I take him to my own faithful haunt in the East Village. The doorman has nothing to say about his ID. I congratulate myself. He has his guitar on his back and it's cute to watch him navigate the crowd.
10:55 – We dance awkwardly, smile earnestly, and drink moderately. He is still very good-looking.
12:00 a.m. – We decide to call it a night and head home.
12:08 – We're going in opposite directions, so we must say goodbye at the top of the subway. We hug and pull back. And then I kiss him because I want to. He kisses me back. "I had a really nice time with you tonight," he says. The feeling is mutual.
12:18 – I ride the subway alone, thinking of fate and love and middle school and my totally contrived adventure, among other things. New York City really is magical.
12:45 – I come up from the subway and smile to myself because musician man (boy?) has texted me. I savor the butterflies in my stomach for a moment.
12:46 – "I'm really sorry for leading you on. I have a girlfriend. You're great, though!" Oh, come on. Fuck you, John Cusack.