fter five months in the city, Angela was certain of one thing. Everything they were saying about the New York minute was truer than true. Seeing good friends was enough of a chore, let alone making time for a date. The nicest date she’d been on had taken three weeks to happen, and after it did, they both let so much time pass that the feeling, if there had been any at all, dissipated, paled by the Thanksgiving holiday, and all but disappeared by Christmas.
She’d never fancied the idea of Internet dating, but the way her friends talked, it was about as normal as grocery shopping. It was quick, easy, and efficient, and everybody had a success story to share. Yet it seemed so sterile and wildly impersonal. How would she describe herself within the confines of 200 characters? If she checked all of the cuisines and music she liked (all in both cases), which, in her opinion, was evidence to her open-mindedness, it looked superficial and noncommittal on the screen. Her body type seemed neither “thin” nor “voluptuous,” yet the expression “a few extra pounds,” which was in fact true, seemed to be a euphemism for fat.
There was another option however, an online classified. People were searching for apartment sublets, used cars, and love, all in the same place, and ideally with a discerning eye for detail. Meanwhile, others were looking to sell. It all seemed so silly, and she couldn’t help but think about her own mileage. She wasn’t exactly in mint condition.
She spent an afternoon describing herself in a million different ways, and describing what she thought she wanted. Still, she couldn’t bring herself to publish her ad until New Year’s Eve approached, about the time she began to wonder who she might be kissing at midnight, if anyone. She popped open her laptop and signed up, signed in, posted her ad, and waited.
An hour later the light on her Blackberry phone began to flash red.
“You sound enchanting,” it began. He was her age, living on the Upper West Side, challenged and intrigued by his job, a lover of Argentine Malbec, and a Libra.
He had attached two pictures. One was of him with a toothy grin atop a mountain clad in a parka. The other, a muscle-ripped torso and the top of his low-slung jeans. A lovely combination of cute and hot. And he’d called her enchanting!
She answered, telling him that anyone who called her enchanting deserved a reply, and attached a photo of her face with what she felt was sweet, and sort of sexy smile.
“Gorgeous!” came his reply.
“More of me….” This time he’d attached his naked body, twisted at the hips so as not to show too much, while still showing off plenty.
“___” She answered. She was in fact speechless.
He replied with a “Ha!” and began telling her a little about himself, and asking her more questions. He was engaging and interesting, and seemed to think the same about her.
She asked him what he was doing for New Year’s Eve. She was going to be at party in SoHo. He would be quite far up North at a friend’s place.
They bantered until he asked her what she’d want to do, assuming they found themselves together at midnight.
She bit her bottom lip and replied, “The same thing you’d like to do….”
His response, a winking emoticon.
She took the phone into the bathroom to do her hair and makeup, and in between strokes of the mascara wand she detailed her favorite way to kiss, blushing to herself in the mirror.
The light blinked again. “What are you wearing?”
She let her towel drop to the floor.
Red light. He wanted to see more.
She sensed a rush of heat up the insides of her thighs
But there was no time. She was late. She jumped into a cab.
Her phone flashed red. “I’m waiting.”
There was traffic on the bridge. Headlights lights shone into the back seat, where she sat with her coat open. She felt quite unlike herself, but a thought crossed her mind. She undid a few buttons on her top and snapped a photo. The quality was grainy, but the subject was clear. She pressed send.
“More?” Came his reply, along with another photo. She had to scroll up and down to take it all in. He’d shot in high resolution, and very close up.
She slipped her phone inside her skirt, shut her eyes and snapped.
Red flash. “Where are you tomorrow at 3 p.m.?” I want to meet you.
In very New York style, they wasted no time. On the first day of the new decade they showed each other everything.