New York City

The thing about Crissy is that she is hip without being overt about it. Understated is the word, I suppose. Or unassuming. She is incredibly helpful, which some would say is one of the most important qualities to have, maybe even top five. Crissy is a lithe speed demon who fears very little, but please do not accuse her of being naïve. Let's be clear, she likes to race, but she also believes in safety first. She is not blemish free, no way, though her loveliness outshines her dents and rust to the point that you really have to look twice, look deeply, to see the imperfections.

When a girl texts you, “Hey, buddy, take it easy on the texting. You've sent me like a dozen texts and we haven't even met yet”, do not respond with “Wow, do you have some hangups or what?” followed by three more text messages.
Speaking of hangups, I am declaring right here and now that I am unamused by your “jokey” comments about my eyes being closed in every picture.
I am especially unamused when you say you find my “chinky eyes” to be cute and funny.

I met Sally last week while I was walking north on 2nd Ave in the East Village. I was wearing my pink polka-dotted party dress in anticipation of a night of partying and celebrating my 31st birthday. I was excited for my first birthday in New York, so even though I was in a hurry and had to dodge between other outdoor revelers, I was smiling. Whether it was the happy dress or the happy face that drew her in, I don't know. But this very old and very short woman saw me scurrying and she called out, “Excuse me!”. I turned. “Excuse me, dear . . .can you help me?”

So I was perusing Craigslist, which is the biggest time suck but has basically been my life for the last month or so, and I came across an ad for part time work. My first tip-off should have been the word "unique", the phrase "no formal hair experience is necessary", and the fact that this was a repeat ad, which is an anomaly in the world of Craigslist employment opportunities. This is the ad:

Hi. You are probably not even reading this, but I will write a few words anyways. Let's get serious, you saw my five profile photos and you think my smile is cute, and you will probably make a comment about my squinty eyes (no, I am not part Asian, thanks for asking) or maybe reference to the cupcake I am biting into in photo number three. You don't care that I go to church twice a week, that I am a recycling vegetarian, or that I like Joss Whedon. Maybe you even wrote down American Beauty in your top favorite films, or Magnolia, or Moulin Rouge, like me. Did you read my stats?

Three weeks. 67 apartment inquiries sent. 5 apartments viewed in real life, hundreds viewed online. Zero apartments rented. Resume sent to 6 different salons. 3 salon interviews. 1 salon offer (1 salon turned down) and 2 salon potentials. Dates with 6 different dudes. Lots of dates. 2 batches of cookies baked. 1 partial meltdown. 1 heart to heart with my best friend that is allowing me to crash at her place. 3 encounters with friends from San Francisco in town for business. Mom's flight booked for June. 2 new friends I adore.

Dear White Knight,
You sent me an email and lambasted me with words, so very many words, that it took me a day to respond. Also, I wasn't sure what to say to your postscript. Do you even remember your ridiculous question? “If you were a hot dog, would you eat yourself?” I confess that I read it aloud to my flatmate and she was tickled so very rosy pink, and then she could not stop giggling, and we were both left wondering what you meant.

Washington Square Park is both a square and a park, and I have become a regular. Usually I take my dogs to the fenced off oval of dirt in the southwest corner of the square, but today I left them at home. Please do not tell Ma'amie. She has been rolling around in my unemployment with a grin on her grizzled face and has subsequently taken it for granted that all free afternoons are devoted to her tennis ball drills and social time with new dogs.

Swallowing trees.
I like you better now like this, barren and skeletal
and just as imposing.
Foreigners and locals sunbathing,
tourists and the homeless.
I wonder if they continue to seek shelter here,
even during the bitter winters,
coughing up blood as they scoop snow off the benches.
I’ve read of muggings and murders
taking place on the winding paths and
I am ashamed that people would taint your splendor.
I’m sorry.
Swinging and laughing, chasing and racing,
there are children everywhere,

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