Crossing State Lines: Finding Love in the Big City XIX

By on September 18, 2008 @ 9:05 am

Finding Love In The Big City

Luck be a Lady Tonight. . .

Home of bucolic skies, rich green foliage and the chance to take a deep breath after running the rate race.  Where is this place – Well it’s New Jersey.  For as long as I remember New Jersey has routinely been the butt of my jokes – you know, I’m a New Yorker and I can’t help it.  Everything from the nasty-ass water to the factory smells that leave a rankness along I95 south for miles is pure inspiration for comedic fair.  So what’s slowly changing my mind. . .

the possibility of love.

A few months ago when bills were hitting me mighty hard, I decided to take on a second job – pretty much doing the same thing I do in the city – running events and managing a theater staff.

Why take on more responsibility?  Well I’m Caribbean. .

Translation:  Damn Fool enough to balance multiple jobs, wear bright ass colors and still have nerve enough to do both looking good.

At one point I had four jobs in three different parts of the city, so having two is truly a vacation.
In order to keep myself on my toes, I found a gig in the farthest region that I could get to and still get back to my primary job on time – the new gig is in Newark – yes folks NEWARK – the city that was once a complete ghetto – just one large desolate ghetto, rivaling the infamy of Chicago’s prison-like projects, thoughts of drive-bys and crack worries wafted my mind as I put my MetroCard into the card reader  leaving Ground Zero in the background.

Fitting image because the Newark I found was of surprise – taller, edgy and surprisingly bucolic.  New and tall buildings, and the beginnings of construction and restoration everywhere.  There was a little bit of that old image: poverty, crack survival etched in to a few  of Newark’s glossier image, but instead of evoking fear, it evoked the hope for a better day because it was a work in progress.

So one of my first assignments was to work an Outdoor concert – I hit JACKPOT!  What other way could I just chill, meet Newark’s cross-section of men AND get paid!


And oh was I pleasantly surprised – It was truly RAINING MEN – just glistening bald heads, manicured Caesars and just utter country-fied machismo in so many appetizing shades, sizes and flavors – yummy, yummy (okay silly ass, keep in mind YOU ARE at WORK). So I pulled myself together and went to work.

Validate parking. . . huh?  What’s that for? (it must be my New York Indiosyncrasies coming out . . .)

So my first task was to go around and chat it up with all of the Vendors and get them all settled in, so off I go – chatting it up and looking at their wares making mental notes about what I would go back and get, who is crazy and why validating parking is such a good thing. I get to my fifth vendor, feeling comfy with making small talk and look up and I saw him. . .

It was the first time I felt time stop.  I always heard of those stories where in critical moments or moments of great chaos, your mind will slow down to zero in on what’s really important, but I never experienced it until that moment;  it was like the universe was telling me that the soft brown eyes, aquiline nose and olivey-coco skin were supposed to be burned into my memory; and then he smiled bashfully  and I melted.

We were drawn to each other like fireflies to the light.  He came up to me and gave me his card, launched into the business spiel and at the end of it made sure to point out his number at the bottom so I could call if I was so inclined to.  You know me, I tried to play it off like I wasn’t interested, all the while I was hanging off every word and gesture.  My nose was open.  I had to go back to my rounds hoping that the night would allow me to pass by his vendor stand again.

And I did,
I smiled
he touched my hair
and I melted.

So for some reason, that usual bell that goes off in my head – you know, the one that distinguishes:



I saw him a few times in passing, trying my best not to go towards him letting him come to me instead.  Each time my smile kept getting bigger and his touches more lingering – brushing hair out of my face.

After 8 hours on my feet and the end to a wonderfully musical day, I saw him just before the event was scheduled to end and somehow I ended up in his arms, feeling the intimate breeze of his breath on my ear – a westward wind whispering words  “ I don’t know what it is about you, but I need to see you again. What are you doing after this?”

Caught up in the true rapture of his whisper-y breeze, I told him to wait for me after the event ended.  Having to untangle my hormones and spirit from his strong arms, I felt like I was falling HARD.  Is this what love at first sight feels like?  Is it true that it can happen?  The final hour of my shift dragged on like hours, seeming like my clock was playing a cruel joke on me – my minute hand winding backwards forcing time to stand still when all I wanted to do was jump into the nearest time machine and fast-forward it to the end of the day as it wasn’t coming fast enough.

Finally the end of the day came and giving Jackie Joyner-Kersey a run for her money, I flew upstairs clocked out and crossed my fingers hoping that he actually was waiting for me downstairs; that he wasn’t another joker to waste my time.

I walked back outside and looked around for him, covering the entire grounds, and just as I was about to give up hope and head to towards the long train ride home, on a lonely bench I found sunshine waiting for me.

Keep your fingers crossed. . .

Categories: Relationships

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meleah rebeccah September 18, 2008

Yeah….Jersey is um…kinda icky, but its really NOT THAT BAD. They are doing great things in Newark.

However…I am sooooooooooooo exited to hear about the possibility of a relationship developing here. YAY.

Princess0889 September 19, 2008

I have been reading you blog for a year and a half now. This is my fav series. I hope you as good as the hype

sdg1844 September 19, 2008

Oh my! How lovely your story sounds. I can’t wait to hear more. Fingers crossed.

lavenderbay September 21, 2008

Uh-oh. I’ve just read this, minutes before heading out to church, and I don’t think I’m going to hear ANY of the sermon!

dej September 22, 2008

ooh chile
where’s the rest?

The Orange Phoenix September 23, 2008

Trust me it’s coming. . .

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