I met The Author last night, at a rather swanky, old-fashioned cigar lounge where the female servers wear red cocktail dresses and you have to be buzzed in.
I was quite the sight when I arrived to meet with The Author; our age difference was perhaps the most pronounced aspect of the two of us. The two German men sitting two tables away kept staring at me and my companion. I sipped on my gin and tonic, flirted with The Author, and he sipped on his delicious, smooth Bourbon. He invited me to join him with the same libation, but I declined, to which he teased, “But G+T is such a summer drink; why would you drink it now?” I replied, “Because to me, it is summer, always, most especially when it is not.”
I knew he would find that charming. And he smiled and sipped while I smiled and held his gaze.
Flirting is such fun.
We talked about all kinds of things, he making statements, me listening, for the most part, then intervening with quips initially, then with interruptions. I would let him talk, seemingly passive, and alternate between being indulgent and complimentary, to being challenging, or skeptical. All along, he noticed, and appreciated my interventions. It felt like a dance of sorts. A fencing duel would probably be not a bad metaphor for the kind of back-and-forth repartee.
There are few things more attractive than intelligence. And few things more exhilarating than alternating between boredom and stimulation so unexpected that you’re left wordless.
We went back to his apartment, I admired his paintings, and we sipped champagne. I became incredibly drunk and realised I’d have to leave. We said our goodbyes and he put me in a cab, paying my cab fare. There is a lot to be said for the niceties of life.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll be in New York; it looks like I might not be able to teach here next semester. There was a problem with making up an additional course that I need. If I don’t get to teach two course sections, I will have to return. That’s a shame, since I’ve only just started really enjoying myself here.
New York is a tough place, there’s no doubt about it. And I think The Author is right when he advocates a “just don’t take it seriously” approach.