“You never know the biggest day of your life is the biggest day. Not until it’s happening. You don’t recognize the biggest day of your life, not until you’re right in the middle of it...” - Grey's Anatomy
July 10, 2009. In the middle of Grand Central Terminal, 2:30 PM. One moment changed my entire life.
We had been talking for months; All the private messages on internet forums, IM conversations, emails, Skype webchats, phone calls - they had all been leading up to this. Finally, we were meeting for the first time. Nervous, I had been lingering in GCT for about an hour & 1/2 because his flight had been delayed. But he was here now, just stepped off the subway, and was somewhere in this building waiting just for me. I rolled my big purple suitcase, full of entirely way too much stuff for a 3 & 1/2 day weekend, up the ramp from the lower level to where the subways let off on the 42nd & Park ave side. I saw him first, standing there in his polyester pants and a light blue shirt, cell phone pressed to his ear with me on the other end. I said "I see you. You're wearing a hat". A straw trilby. He turned his head and saw me approaching, and his eyes lit up with delight - like when a kid unwraps that present they were hoping for on Christmas or their birthday.
I strolled right up to him and said hi and then let him follow me as I made my way through the crowds of tourists on the street towards our hotel, my giant purple oddity trailing behind. He told me I was shorter than he had expected. I told him good, I like being tiny. He made fun of my excessive amount of luggage. I told him I dress according to mood. We found our hotel and waited to check in while making fun of the German tourists in front of us. Elevator up to our room and well, here we are. This was it. The moment I'd been waiting for, so why was I so nervous? Because it was finally real?
I explored the crevices of the room like a curious cat: Ooh! Bath & Body works products in the bathroom! What a large shower! Comfy bed! Spacious closet! Wonderful view of the brick building across the way - If I stand right here, I can ALMOST see something important. And he cornered me by the window and very coyly asked me to show him where. I pointed my finger against the glass into the distance and he put his hand on my hip, coming in close and I could smell him now. He leaned in to kiss me and I put my hand on his chest for the embrace and it was like magic. As soon as his lips touched mine, all the nervousness melted away. And in that one single moment, that one kiss changed everything.
The rest of the weekend was a whirlwind romantic adventure: We shared some Neapolitan pizza in the West Village, saw some junk (literally, a bunch of garbage that had been collected in China) at the MoMa, drunkenly walked the streets of NYC at 3 am, cured our hangovers over avocado eggs benedict and omelettes, bought bananas at a street fair, went to a Japanese market over in Jersey and tried to drink sake on the sly (note: do not eat a banana with one cup sake in the hopes that it will make it taste any better. Totally makes it even more nasty), met up with another bunch of weirdos from the internet and ate, drank, and sang karaoke until we exploded, more hangover curing with H & H bagels and a morning walk along the Hudson, adventures with dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History, strolled through Central Park, made faces at animals in the zoo, and then had a very romantic dinner with some delicious Vietnamese food followed by drinks at a sake bar.
There were lots of hand holds, smiles, hugs, laughter and forehead kisses. (There were also some very lovely, intimate moments in there that I will not reveal - and a very hilarious incident which resulted in lots of laughter and almost a bit of temporary blindness.)
And on that last morning, we got chocolate croissants and coffee, packed up our stuff, made one more trip downtown for pizza and found ourselves right back where we'd started: Grand Central Terminal and my giant purple suitcase, saying our goodbyes. We kissed and I boarded my train with dry eyes - but once I hit the bridge that connects Harlem and the Bronx, I found myself brushing away a few light tears. I was on the verge of falling in love after a mere 72 hours.
It was the most amazing weekend I'd had in a long time with one of the most amazing people I'd met in my entire life. And it was only just the beginning....