Sorry Boys. Suzy Went and Got Herself a Man.

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Sometimes, people come into your life, depart and you remember them fondly. Sometimes you think about past relationships and feel anger. In the case of my “new” boyfriend, it was a mixture of fondness, anger, and wonder.

Where did he go?

Why didn’t he ever try to contact me?

Why did he treat me so badly at the end?

Does he still think about me?

It was hot. I was pissed off and angry at being dumped by my lover of two years and eight months. Blindsided. Furious. Pained. I was walking in a very crowded Herald Square, 34th Street and 6th Avenue to be exact, when I heard his voice.

“Hey, I know you!”

I whipped around, recognizing the voice immediately and scanned the crowd. There he was. Twenty years later. We spoke for about two minutes. He was working, I had an appointment. We embraced and I said “I never thought I would see you again.” He looked me up and down, touched my colorful arms full of tattoos  and said “I like…” His partner was resting against a subway entrance and becoming impatient. We spoke a few jumbled words and made plans to try and find a way to get in touch with each other. I’m “friends” with his brother and sister on Facebook, so I told him I would contact one of them. I didn’t have to. He called his sister right away and said “You have to get her number for me.”

Several hours later, I logged onto Facebook and there was the message from his sister. She wrote that he had contacted her and wanted my phone number. I gave it to her and then the communication began to flow.

He wanted to get together that night. I didn’t really care. I was in the midst of a broken heart and had just started online dating. I did know that I wanted to see hims and that we would have fun, platonic or not.

We learned a lot about each other that night. He apologized for his asshole behavior twenty years prior. We spoke about the scandal, started catching up, never quite finishing a story. I was drinking a bottle of wine and smoking my cigs. He was doing his own thing and we were having a great time. I got up to use the bathroom and as I was about to turn around to shut the door, there he was. Our faces inches away. He asked if he could kiss me and I said yes.

And twenty years later we kissed again.

The night flew by, we ended up in bed and it was almost as if no time had passed at all.

The next morning we had coffee in his backyard and I left. I was confused. I really liked him. I couldn’t help it! He was my first great love! However, I was ready to start going boy crazy again. He seemed to be eager to start right where we left off and it was something I pushed to the back of my mind.

We started hanging out more frequently and it was only a couple of weeks before he told me he loved me. I was reluctant to reciprocate that sentiment. I didn’t know if I loved him in that way. I was hurt and I was holding back.

It’s been three months and yes, I have reciprocated those sentiments to him. I mean it too. It’s so strange. We had this intense love affair in 1993 and 1994 and we’re in the middle of another intense love affair in 2015, but it’s different. There’s a level of comfort from knowing him and where he’s from and his family and finally catching up on his past, but it’s more than that. He’s a wonderful man. A kind, generous, romantic lover and someone I can imagine spending the rest of my life with.

I’m still not divorced (so ridiculous, I mean, really…) and I know that bugs him never being engaged or married himself, but I introduced him to my girl this weekend and it was perfect.

I feel like it’s perfect.

There is much more to the story than I want to bore you with in this post, but I had to let everybody know that Suzy has a boyfriend! And she’s happy.

To read a bit more about our past together, check out

The Departed: Part I

The Departed: Part II

Great Loves #1

xoxo,

Suzy Queue

 

 

Nine. Eleven.

New York Skyline

It was a dozen years ago, but every September 11th since 2001, I feel like it is today. I start thinking about it around the 7th and I have to prepare myself mentally for the flood of emotions that will wash over me every year.

I was at work. It was the most beautiful September day you could imagine. 80 degrees and the sky seemed to be bluer than usual. No clouds. It was my second year as a teacher, so we were cut off from the news. Suddenly Ronald Burshtein, a student known for his, well, quirks, began running through the hallways screaming “A plane hit the twin towers! A plane hit the twin towers!” Nobody believed him, because it was Ronald. I thought to myself that if a plane had hit one of the towers, it was one of those little planes. I imagined some scaffolding around the damage.

I had no idea.

As the minutes passed, someone found an old transistor radio and we turned on the news.

It was bad.

Still, we all thought it was an accident. A terrible tragedy. A plane taking off from JFK or LaGuardia broke down above the Manhattan skyline. It had to be. How else could a 747 hit one of the Twin Towers?

It wasn’t long before the second plane hit. We couldn’t see the footage. We could only hear the reporter’s descriptions. Minutes later our entire school was evacuated because some dummy called in a bomb threat. Students were asking teachers if they could use their cell phones to call their parents who worked in downtown Manhattan. Everybody was quiet. Teachers walked to their cars to turn on the news. We all stood underneath that blue, blue sky protected from the death and destruction that was happening in our city.

Then we saw the smoke. From miles and miles away, the blue blue sky suddenly had a trickle of  black smoke rising in the distance. We stared at the smoke. Some people started crying. It was still so quiet.

All public transportation was shut down, so the students who could walk home were told to leave and those who didn’t were given rides home by teachers. I got into my own car and drove the short distance to my Mom’s house. The TV was on. It was stunning.

It was hard to watch, but you couldn’t stop looking. You prayed for those above the burning planes, but you also knew-if they weren’t dead yet, they would be soon.

And then the first tower came crashing down. It was horrifying. How could that tower-one of the gems of the New York skyline cone crashing down within seconds? And the people. What about the people on the street and still stuck inside? The firemen who ran into rescue and hit a brick wall?

Vaporized.

So many souls were simply vaporized. No traces of their existence left. Not a hair or a tooth or a fingernail or an earring. Others were killed by the falling rubble. Bodies everywhere. I read somewhere that all of the New York hospitals went into emergency mode, expecting tons of triage. Hour after hour passed. Nobody came.

Nobody came because no one was injured.

You escaped or you died.

The second tower fell shortly after the first. My mouth gaping at the television set I couldn’t believe the dust cloud that it produced. How many more people? And what about the people running through the streets? Trying desperately to get away. To save their lives. My sister ran that day. She walked home over the Brooklyn Bridge. So many people walked home over the Brooklyn Bridge. Tired, confused, scared, sad, covered in ash and asbestos, lonesome and lost.

Schools were closed the next day and that’s when the “Missing People” signs started coming out. Family, desperate to find their loved ones made signs, hoping and praying that they just couldn’t get home the night before. Praying and hoping. Nobody knew the body count. It was first estimated at 10,000. It was much less than that, closer to 3,000. But nobody knew at the time. It was complete chaos. Where do you begin to cleanup the rubble of two fallen towers? How do you organize a place to keep body parts, burned clothing, a shoe?

3,000 people.

Vanished.

If you’re not from New York, I don’t think you can feel the impact the way we do. It’s painful. Every year it’s painful. I listen to the reading of the names every year and I weep. Gone. They’re all gone and our buildings are gone too.

The Freedom Tower is being built and making beautiful progress, but I remember driving through a part of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, seeing those towers and saying to who ever was in the car– “Best skyline on Earth. Where else can you see a skyline like that?” Every time I drove past before the Freedom Tower started going up, I wanted to cry. It was like looking at a beautiful smile with the two front teeth pulled out.

Empty.

The Freedom Tower is beautiful and so is the memorial. But it’ll never replace those towers. MY towers. Every New Yorker’s towers. They made us proud.

And I’ll never forget.