"You've grown skinnier since you got married," said Joe Cigar, as he handed me a neatly folded white paper sack. The aroma of warm chocolate-chip cookies hit me like an alarm clock, and I automatically reached in for a bite. Some things never change, I guess. I've been away for five months and when I come back, I still get cookies on Thursday. Why Thursday? I guess he knows that by the time a girl reaches Thursday, she just needs that little push to get her through the one long last day before Friday. Why Joe Cigar? He says I remind him of his daughter. I think he has a thing for girls smiling and eating cookies. C always tells me he enjoys watching me eat because I appear to love it so much, and maybe Joe Cigar feels the same way.
I was hoping for shortbread cookies from Sant Ambroeus, but he brought chocolate chip cookies from Macchiato, newly opened around the corner. And he was right--it's much too hot and humid for good shortbread right now. The chocolate chip cookies were fat and decadent, fudgy and crisp at the same moment, somehow. As rich and overwhelming as New York City itself.
But New York and I have a thing. We get each other. It pushes me and I push back a little, then I give in and fall into the city rhythm. In some ways it's like I never left, and then sometimes I look around and wonder how I got here. Buildings as far and high as sight will reach, endless people, smells I forgot existed, the most amazing clothes, an utter lack of silence, a never-ending list of happenings, an infinite menu. Yes, I do enjoy food! What else is there for a good Mormon girl to indulge in?
After work, my feet walked to the subway and got on the train while my mind paid no attention. I just knew the way. I found myself wearing my New York face, avoiding eye contact with people, reading my Raymond Chandler novel as the train slowly chugged its way up west Manhattan, as if an old book was so much more interesting than the living breathing pulsing metropolis all around me. But it's okay because NYC and me are old friends, the kind you don't even really need to talk to much because you already know as much as you can or want to know about each other, and usually you're content just to hang out.