It all began on a dreary, rainy Saturday. I have stops to make in preparation for my boyfriend’s mother’s birthday celebration (my guy is running around crazed tying up loose ends for the impending television premiere of his documentary within the next week).
I love his mom so I also want to pick up a cake, flowers, and some wine for his dad, because I love him too. I’m trying to figure out the best way to get all this done without running around in the rain going from place to place and not seeing what I want. I decide to go down to 23rd street, where I work. I put my overnight and computer bags in my office and proceed to get the card, cake, and flowers all within a three-block radius.
I get my stuff from the office. So now envision this: I got my computer backpack, my overnight bag, my reusable grocery bag in which I have the cake, card, and flowers. Oh, did I mention that it was raining?
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On the F train I go, which is just across the street from my office. It’s crowded, because, face it, this is New York and people don’t care about the weather. I’m sitting on the train with my ginormous haul of goodies, my overnight bag and my backpack on my back since there is no other place for them to go. There’s a guy sleeping on the right of me, another guy sleeping on the left of me. There’s also a guy standing directly in front of me and a great expansive sea of humanity spread out all around. The train stops, the doors open, no one gets off, more people get on. Voices abound, a cacophony of diverse languages buzzing loudly about. I can’t move. My back hurts, my leg is growing numb. All I want are my earbuds so I can listen to music and go to a different place. But I can’t. They’re in my backpack. Which is on my back. By the minute, I feel pangs of claustrophobia set in with sprinkles of panic attack thrown on top.
Long story short, I end up getting sick. I take the Monday off of work and go in on Tuesday. I’m still sick, slammed at work with patient after patient. By day’s end, I’m seriously dragging, my plan to go to the gym overridden by my desire for a glass of wine to chill from the day.
I decide to go to my favorite neighborhood café which has one of my favorite wines: a South African Shiraz. I just love it. It has this spicy, earthy, grounded quality that just makes me happy. I enjoy swirling it in my glass, inhaling the bouquet, and swishing it around in my mouth before I slowly drink it down. I have a seat at the bar and the bartender knowingly pours me a glass.
Right then, in walks a guy, “Is this seat taken?”
I answer, “Yup, by you!” cause I got my wine and all’s right with the world.
I return to typing on my Kindle, about a really, really good entrepreneurial idea that I have (it really is quite good). He asks me what I’m typing so intently about. I tell him about my idea and he tells me his, the reason he is here in New York, and trust me, his idea is a great one.
We begin talking. I learn that he is one-week new to the city from Atlanta, here to pursue his real estate dreams. Friends of his offered to host him for 30 days in pursuit of that dream (mind you, he found them their New York apartment . . . from Atlanta).
“I’ve been out all day, hitting the pavement. I’ve only got 30 days and I don’t plan on going back to Atlanta!”
He asks me about other places in the area. I tell him about other hangouts in the neighborhood, places to meet people, eat, enjoy. I introduce him to the bartender, to the young lady sitting next to me who is a regular at the café, to my friend who sings at the church he just discovered. We are all bonding and vibing, having a great time. All the while, enjoying the lovely wine that I can only get here at this particular bar.
We’ve adopted one another as family — he’s now my lil bro and I’m his big sis. We plan to meet once a week, at the café, over that delicious glass of wine.
Deidre Ann Johnson is a physical therapist, actress and voice over artist from New York City. She also holds an Intermediate Certificate in Wine from the International Wine Center and hopes one day to combine her artistic talents with her knowledge of wine.
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