Saturday, July 4, 2009
Better known as Fourth of July
I woke up with the sun shining through my third-story window. It was so nice to wake up without a hangover on a Saturday. I yawned and stretched and squinted as I looked out across the short, industrial buildings of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, across the East River, letting my eyes pan across Manhattan, from the Williamsburg bridge to the Empire State Building. Sure, I was paying $1,000/month for that place, but the view was absolutely worth it.
The clock next to my bed read 11:30. I felt so rested. What time did I go to bed last night? Last night. Cayden. Accent. Kiss. Sometimes my body wakes up before my brain does. This would be one of those times. Parts of our conversation came back to me. He was here with his two "flatmates" and they were "on holiday" visiting from London. Half of the time I didn't understand the words coming out of his mouth, but I was more than entertained watching him talk, so animated, so lively. That British accent had me hanging on every word, whether I knew what the word meant or not. He could have been talking about pig shit and republican politics and it would have sounded beautiful. But he wasn't. At least I hope not.
I saw my phone flashing from my bedside table. I got that eager feeling I'm hoping everyone gets when they know they have a text message waiting for them. It could be awful news. It could be a mass text. It could be your phone company texting to let you know your next payment is due. It doesn't matter. It's the not knowing that gets me. I picked it up hit, hit the unlock button, and saw that I had a text message from a 15-digit phone number.
"Hey Whitney. Lovely meeting you last night. I finally figured out the international codes so we can text. What time should we come over tonight?"
We tried to exchange phone numbers last night as Nicole, Lynn, and Danielle were dragging me out the door. But there was some confusion about international codes and ones and zeros and area codes. So I grabbed his phone, put my Brooklyn address in his phone, and told him I was having a Fourth of July BBQ on my rooftop the next night, so just show up.
"So nice meeting you, too! Come over around 9?"
I was pretty sure the shin dig was going to kick off at 8 or so, at least I remember Jon saying he'd be there at 8.
SHIT. SHIT. SHIT.
How could I forget? I was dating someone. I was dating Jon. Jon is coming to my party. Cayden is coming to my party. Sweet, modest, soft-spoken, Dominican Jon. I got that awful sinking feeling in my stomach—that one you get right after you hear the crunch of your car backing into someone else's, or right after you accidently text the wrong person, talking shit about that person? It was a good thing I hadn't eaten breakfast yet. It would have ended up in a nice little pile on my shiny hardwood floor.
Should I call Jon? Tell him the party's off? Too bad I hadn't lost my breakfast. I could have taken a picture of it and sent it to him and it would just be implied. Ah, technology. No, I can't do that to Jon. But I couldn't even think about bringing myself to text Cayden to cancel. I just had to see him again before he went back to London.
So, I adopted my motto that's gotten me through many a situation. "I'll cross that bridge when it comes."
If they both show up, they both show up.
I pulled on a pair of shorts and stepped out of my room to survey the living room to see how much cleaning we'd have to do before the party. The living room could use a good sweep, and the kitchen a good scrub. Alexa's door was still shut. She wasn't home when I came in last night, so she'd probably be waking up with a hangover within the next hour or two. I heard Lea pad across her hardwood floor upstairs, and she slowly descended our metal spiral staircase. That staircase had caused more than one deep-tissue bruise and maybe a cracked tailbone. So whether she was moving slowly out of caution or drowsiness, I couldn't be sure.
"Let's go get a bagel. I have to tell you about last night."
Around 3 pm, I got another text.
"Hey Whitney. I never heard back from you, but my mates want to watch the fireworks down by the river. So, do you fancy a lunch date tomorrow?"
First of all, fancy a lunch date? How adorable is that? Secondly, he never heard back from me?
I tried to call.
"We are sorry to inform you that your service does not make international calls. Goodbye."
I stared at my phone.
Double shit. I suppose that applies to international texts as well.
I had no way of getting a hold of him. He thought I was blowing him off. Why didn't we just exchange emails like normal people in 2009? We were both sporting smart phones, but apparently "smart" ended at our cellular devices.
Although every part of me had this need to see Cayden one more time before he went back to London, I had to get real. He was leaving in two days. He lives 6,000-something miles away. Jon was coming to my party. Cayden was not.
Looks like I won't have to cross that bridge.
I decided to write it off as meeting a random beautiful guy one night, and leave it at that.
He was probably too good to be true, anyway.