I can't hear this song without picturing myself sitting on the edge of the fountain at 57th and 6th. The sky is dark, but as is always the case in New York, there's not a star in sight. Just lights, bright lights everywhere, illuminating the tourists who drag their feet on their way back from Times Square, wandering back to their hotels after glimpsing the brightest city block in the world.
A little bit of that light sticks to their faces as they pass me. I watch them, and sit in the dark, smoking a cig and thinking about another face. A face that's far away.
We had the best summer. We couldn't get enough of being together. Our dinners went on for hours as we talked about everything imaginable, serious and silly by turns. One night, we picknicked in Central Park until past midnight; when we parted ways, we both looked back and waved. I walked the 15 blocks home as if I were floating, unable to suppress my big, dumb smile. I felt dazed, awash with the perfection of the moments we shared.
Maybe the moments themselves weren't perfect; maybe that's just the romanticism of my memory. But what was perfect was us – him and I together. We fit so beautifully.
It was unlike anything I've ever felt before. I can't explain how I knew, but in those moments, I knew we would be a part of each others' lives for a long time, and that it is right for it to be that way. I felt as though I was finally arriving somewhere I'd been traveling to for a long, long time.
As I smoked my cigarette and examined the windows, lit and unlit, of Broadway's skyscrapers, I'd listen to this song and dream of his face. Dream of when I would see him again. Wonder if he felt the same way about me as I did about him.
My heart was hot and cold by turns in my chest. The rising music filled me with hope and with longing. My favorite part:
They'll never get you right,
I've been watching you all night.
And the people passing by,
Should tremble at your sight.
Because you are the best thing I've ever seen. The culmination of everything I want, love, and admire, in a single, amazing human being. We are so similar that it feels like we grew up together, and yet you are constantly new to me.
When I hear this song, I can't help but think of you, far away, waiting for me. I can't help but imagine what it'll be like when I see you in three weeks. Will we kiss? Will we decide to give this a try? Will we remain at a distance, friends in love, unable to speak what we feel? The possibilities hang in the air like my cigarette smoke, slowly floating away.