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This was my second trip to the city of apples, also commonly referred to as New York City. I found a cheap plane ticket on American Air and Blair had been asking for me to come see her since last spring.
I had forgotten about the comically long lines outside of Laguardia for cabs, and I had no idea how an Uber would ever find me there, so I waited for 40 minutes for an actual taxi like it was 2003.
Forty dollars and one awkward conversation later I was in Murray Hill, standing in front of the wrong apartment building and questioning whether or not flying all the way to NYC from Chicago was really worth it.
I had inadvertently given my taxi driver the incorrect address, which is how I found myself walking around absentmindedly at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday with my leather duffel in one hand and my phone with Google Maps opened up in the other.
Screaming bros in Patagonia vests and Brooks Brothers button downs cried out from every corner bar in the neighborhood, which, I’m sorry to tell you made me feel comfortable and a little less anxious about this trip.
Blair had already been to Chicago once to visit me, and I was simply repaying the favor, but I had a sneaking suspicion that this was probably the last weekend we’d be involved in any capacity.
That Thursday when I got in she said she was finishing up drinks with a girlfriend near her apartment when I texted her from the cab queue, and after ten minutes of wandering in Murray HIll I finally just called her to see if she was still at the bar.
She was, and so I punched in the name of the bar to Google Maps and started walking. I was sipping Bud Lights by 9:40 with my duffel bag in tow.
I woke up in her shoebox studio the next morning with a violent hangover. Blair took the day off from work to hang out with me, so we slept until 11 and then walked down the street to eat hamburgers. Mine was good, but my bill came out to twenty five dollars and I didn’t even get a beer with my meal.
We walked around Greenwich Village for a few hours after that and just caught up. It was nice and I found that there was an energy in New York that you simply can’t find in Chicago. I know it’s cliche but New York City really is lovely in the fall.
I tell Blair I should move here and she shrugs her shoulders while looking down at her phone. “It’s really expensive here.”
So now it’s Friday night and Blair tells me she has to go to a work event. We’ve been walking around the city for five hours and I really just want to get a drink somewhere in Manhattan but I don’t tell her that. She says it’s a mandatory thing but I think she’s already sick of me.
I tell her to text me when it’s over and I decide to meet up with Chuck, a friend from college who lives in Brooklyn. I take the subway a stop too far but I don’t care because I want to get an Instagram story up in Williamsburg anyways.
We drink gin and I half-ask Chuck if I can crash on his couch for the night, but in all reality it’s more me telling him that I’m staying with him tonight.
The details of the rest of the evening are inconsequential. Blair doesn’t text me back when I ask her what she’s up to around 9:00 p.m., and so I drink vodka-Red Bull’s with Chuck and his friends from work until I throw up in a bush outside the bar we’re at.
On Saturday morning, I wake up at Chuck’s with dried vomit on my khakis. I call Blair because all of my shit is still at her place, and then I hop on my phone and change my flight from Sunday night to Saturday afternoon. When I get to Blairs, she’s on her way out the door with a yoga mat.
“Sorry about last night,” Blair says. “I crashed after the fundraiser and I figured you wanted to party anyways.”
“It’s fine, I’m headed back today. Let me just grab my stuff and I’ll get out of your hair.”
In my Uber pool on the way back to LaGuardia, I text Blair and tell her I’m sorry how things went this weekend. Her read receipts show that she saw the message, but she never texts me back. I grab a beer at the airport and catch the end of an old USC/Notre Dame game playing on ESPN Classic, and four hours later I’m back in Chicago regretting all of the money I just spent..