A Conversation with Scarlett -- New Yorker

"Okay, so here's what I was laughing at during the beginning of class," I said, giggling to myself.

"I was wondering what was going on there," she said.

Scarlett and I had started as Bikram buddies, saying hello in the locker room for a couple years. One evening after class we decided to grab a glass of wine, and several months later we were great friends.

We sat on the bench drinking water and breathing in the fresh air after finishing a very humid, very sweaty 90-minute class.

A quick shower and a little mascara later, we relaxed on the patio at BurgerFi, looking out onto 2nd Avenue, burgers, fries, a Brooklyn Lager for me and a Pinot Grigio for Scarlett.

"This morning when Dominic and me were in bed, he decided to name his...you know. He called it Cletus," I said laughing. "And later he forgot and called it Titus!"

"Titus?" she laughed.

"Better than Cletus, not sure how he came up with Carmen for me."

"Speaking of our men...I was very nice to Giovanni this morning," said Scarlett.
"Oh?"

Gio was the guy Scarlett was 'dating' from Milan. They had met, believe it or not, on Tinder while he was visiting Manhattan. They found each other one Saturday night while out with friends and in close proximity. They met up at Serafina for the imminent attraction. He flew back to Milan the next day and they hadn't even kissed, but a What's App and Facetime connection began, and months later, they were practically in love.

Scarlett pulled out her phone to share the sexy, artistic, revealing photo.

"That's hot," I said. "You look amazing."

"Thank you! He liked it. I thought I looked good too, but I showed it to another friend and she said, 'Why would you send him that? All your bones are sticking out.'"

"Your friend said that? I know she's your friend but she sounds jealous."

"I am bony, but this is just my body."

"You're not bony. You're active and you eat healthy and this is the result."

"Thank you. I really don't like body shaming. All shapes and sizes are beautiful."

"So...have you and Gio been talking a lot?"

"Yes, everyday, Facetiming," she said. "We're getting closer, but for all I know he's dating lots of women in Italy. I mean he's a 30 year-old hot, smart doctor," she said.

"A gynecologist," I said.

"I know," she pursed her lips a little. "Plus with the language barrier..." she continued.

"Dating someone locally and trying to communicate is challenging enough," I said.

"And...we're in different places mentally."

"What do you mean?"

"He's looking for true love...never had it, and I'm divorced."

"So what. You both want love."

She smiled.

"Have you guys talked more about when you're going to visit?'

"He wants me to come for two weeks in the fall," she said.

"Two weeks? Wow."

"I know...I guess if we're going to try and see, we need to have some time together."

"I agree," I said.

***

"Well look who it is!" said a man walking by, making eye contact.

I smiled big.

"Hi Gabe," I said.

He walked over and we exchanged hugs and cheek kisses. After four years in New York, I'm still getting use to the whole cheek kiss thing. In the south we give hugs.

"I was walking by," said Gabe, "and I thought, 'she's cute,' and then I realized, 'oh, that's Amy.'"

We laughed.

"On your way to the spot?" I asked. I had met Gabe at a local bar where we often ran into each other.

"Yeah. You know I hadn't eaten here in forever and I came here last night and got two burgers," he said. "I forgot how big they are, the double patties."

"Yeah, they're good," I said.

"I ate one when I got home and then I was like, 'what am I going to do with this other one, microwave it later?...so I ate it. Yep, I ate two of these things last night."

"Yeah, one's probably enough," I said.

"One is definitely enough," Gabe said. "Alright ladies, always good to see you. Will I see you later?
"Maybe," I said.

He headed down the street.

"I love this neighborhood," I said. "After living here just a few years, I always run into someone I know."

"Yeah," she said.

"So I hurt Dominic's feelings a little last night when we ran into him," I said frowning. "You know, when I made the comment about him talking a lot?

"He said, 'first you say I don't talk enough to your friends, and then when I do, you say I talk too much.'"

"Yeah, you kinda shut him down," she said.

"I felt bad. Sometimes he just goes on and on and I think it's a little inconsiderate."

"No, he was great!" she said. "If I want to say something I'll chime in. I'm obsessed with his pitbull," she said.

"He's huge and very sweet. Anyway, he said I embarrassed him. I apologized.

"We're learning. He'll tell me something I do that he doesn't like and I'll say, 'Okay. I'll work on that, I'm sorry,' and he'll say, 'Okay. Apology accepted.'"

"That's great." she said.
"This morning I was having my coffee and sat down on the couch to do some writing. I felt so relaxed and content. I had vanilla scented candles burning, my kitty cats were hanging with me and David Grey was playing in the background, a perfectly peaceful morning. And then I turned to look behind me to see him sleeping in my bed. And I realized the fact that he was there was the real source of my comfort."

"I'm happy for you."

We finished up our fries.

"So we're right by my apartment. I have wine. Want to come see it and hang there for a bit?"

"Sure," she said.

We walked down the block. A stray calico kitten ran by.

"Oh! That's Maryanne!" I said. "Actually I don't know if she's a girl, but I want to adopt her and name her Maryanne, to go with my Ginger and Gilligan. But three cats in a studio? That's a little disgusting."

"Aw, let's go get her some food," she said.

"CVS is right up here," I said.

***
Moments later at my apartment...

"They're replacing the elevator so we have to take the stairs," I said.

"That's okay. What floor are you on?"

"The fourth."

"How many floors are there?"

"Four."

"Oh, the penthouse," she said.

"Exactly."

We walked in.

"Cute, big for a studio."

"Yeah, I like it," I said. "But I'm ready to buy a one bedroom. I never thought I'd try to buy an apartment in Manhattan. I just assumed they'd all be a million dollars or something. But a friend told me about Trulia.com. So I'm looking and there are some apartments in the neighborhood for around $350,000 or so. It's still a lot, but I'm checking it out. Red or white?"

"Whatever's open."

I grabbed two glasses and a bottle of Yalumba Viognier.

"So what are you doing this weekend?"

"Not sure yet. David invited me to a party," she said.

"Really?" David was the guy Scarlett dated after her divorce. "Are you going to go?"

"I don't think so."

"When's the last time you saw him?" I said.

"It's been months."

"Why did you guys split again? It sounded like you two had a great relationship."

"We really did. He was exactly what I needed at the time. He's fun, full of energy. The sex was amazing, he treated me great and I loved his friends."

"So what was the problem?"

"He wants to move to California. And I don't want to hold him back. If that's his dream, he should go."

"Oh okay. Is he making strides to go?"

"No."

"Hmm..."

"Exactly."

"Do you think you'd still be attracted to him if you saw him?"

"I don't think so. I knew it was over for me when I got really sick one weekend. We had a mishap in the bedroom and I took the morning after pill. It was making me terribly ill and I was scared. He had a snowboarding trip and I asked him to please stay. He went anyway and I had to check myself into the ER."

"You had to go to the ER?" I said. "That's terrible."

"It was. I started bleeding really bad. He texted me all weekend. But he just wanted to make himself feel better. I can't be with a guy like that. But at the time he was what I needed. I put it out there into the universe. I wrote down what I wanted in a man after my marriage ended, and he showed up."

"You did?"

"Yes. I got an energy reading and she told me to do that. We're not meant to be, but he was what I needed then."

"Yep. Dream what you want and it will come," I said.

***

Until next time....keep Dreaming Big!