I’m pretty sure some version of this story has appeared on my blog. All names and some locations have been changed. Just a heads up: it’s not really safe for work.
Caleb kissed my cheek as I walked onto the East River Ferry. I blushed and wanted it to be more than just a peck on the cheek. I wanted him to fuck me back at his apartment like he had done seven weeks earlier in his studio in Murray Hill. It was the first week of December but mild. It was windier down by the water. He made me nervous. He was 6’1, skinny, brown hair and blue eyes. He was the only person I had been involved with who looked like he could be a model. He loved ferries because he grew up on Whidby Island outside of Seattle. He had moved to NYC in 2004 but was happy when the East River Ferry started running a few blocks from his apartment. He would ferry to other islands or Seattle quite a bit he told me.
Caleb and me had met up an hour earlier for coffee at a place that used Stumptown Coffee near Grand Central station. The coffee shop was busy with customers and there was a constant flow of foot traffic outside on the busy sidewalk. I was standing in line when he walked up.
There were two tip jars out on the counter. One was labeled “Tina Fey” and the other “Amy Pohler.” Both were stuffed full with dollar bills and change.
“Tina Fey, duh!” he said. “Is there any doubt?”
“Agreed!” I said back
I met him in Portland in 2003 at the tale end of my first major break-up with “B”, my long term on-again/off again boyfriend from 2002 to 2007. Back in 2003, Caleb had just gotten out of a long term relationship as well. His girlfriend, Jennifer, had cheated on him and he seemed to be nursing a big resentment. Understandable. We both worked at Wells Fargo as temporary employees and took the same bus together at night.
Caleb had a faux hawk before they were cool when we first met in 2004. He’d do his hair up and had curls on either side of his cheek – just like Hasidic men had – only his were thinner and not as long. He usually waited at the bus stop with a gay man who was in his early 30’s who also worked at Wells Fargo. Caleb lived downtown. He was the only person I knew who lived downtown in 2004. No one lived downtown. Only businesses, restaurants and hotels existed downtown. I waited by myself and smoked. I tried to get at least one cigarette in while I waited at the bus stop. I smoked compulsively and fast. I always wanted to get a second cigarette in as well. Caleb lived at the Beverly Alder apartments and his apartment was immaculate. It bordered on OCD.
Back at the coffee shop near Grand Central I was still nervous. I hadn’t seen him since I left his apartment in Murray Hill seven weeks earlier. After sixteen hours of sex, movies and eating at a southern restaurant down the street. He had turned me onto the “Tim and Eric Show, Good Job!” It was an odd comedy sketch show that made fun of 90’s infomercials and so called experts on news shows. The two main characters, Tim and Eric, played a majority of the male and female characters but had guests on like John C. Reilly and Steve Buscemi on it a lot as well.