The next day I meandered on my own; down the skyline, though a farmers market, Little Italy and China Town. It was pleasant and fulfilling.
Sarah came back with a new guitar in tow. Bother. No offense to my sisters music, I am just not that into it. I just do not really get it. I am not that musically minded and never hung out with the cool kids so my musical tastes are less acoustic vocals and more just happy tunes. I left her to it “jamming” with some of the guys.
The next morning we were off to visit Dan, where Sarah and I were going to stay for the remainder of our time in New York.
Sarah wanted to visit a specific church as it was Sunday so we agreed to meet later.
I had found Dan’s road on the map, lifted my rucksack on to my back and set off the mile or so to find him. I arrived at the end of his road a little later, a little tired from the walk, a little hot and sweaty under my winter coat. The building next to me had a number 1 above the door. Dan’s apartment was housed in building 238. The road stretched out in front of me, a perfect straight line which petered out into the distance, the curve of the earth causing the last few buildings to disappear out of sight.
I did not recognise him when he opened the door. I suppose I had only seen him once for about 18 hours, 14 months ago. He was good looking; my memory hadn’t let me down on that account, a young Ryan Renalds. Standing next to him was his girlfriend, Kate. She was tall and pretty with natural blond hair, no makeup and was so adorably nice and easy to get on with.
I was shown in to the living room where Sarah and I would be sleeping on the couch and blow up mattress. Having only just got up, Dan went for a shower left Kate and I to make polite conversation. “So what do you do?” I asked. “I design packaging for a chocolate factory, so yes; basically, I work in a chocolate factory!” I did not think this girl could get anymore perfect.
A little while later, not feeling too much like the spare wheel, I set off with them for a drunk brunch: a New Yorkers Sunday morning tradition. All you can drink (max five) Mimosas with brunch. I think Mimosas sounds so much more glamorous than bucks fizz. Now this is the life. I had the most amazing Eggs Benedict.
I had never drunk so much so early and I could feel it. I realised I was concentrating more and more on what I was saying so I did not say anything too stupid, accidentally flirt with Dan I or let slip exactly how I had met him. Basically we had ended up sharing a tent one dark and lonely night in a free New Zealand camp site. That was honestly all we did, share a tent to conserve body heat. But understandable he did not want his girlfriend knowing that.
I could not help a little flirt though, later on that evening when it was just the two of us. But, alas a hug was as far as it was ever going to go.
Sarah decided that it was time for a new look and so the next morning she plonked herself down in front of me brandishing a pair of scissors and told me to bob her foot long hair. Even if I say so myself I did a very good job and the complements received were pleasing. It did suit her and it was quite fun playing hair dressers with my little sister. She is not the most confident of clients though.
“It looks ok doesn’t it….You are not doing anything stupid are you….Mind my ear!” I just told her to shh and wait to look until after I had finished.
Don’t forget to check out part 3,2, and 1! https://hsquarmby.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/story-1-couch-surfing-usa-part-3/ https://hsquarmby.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/story-1-couch-surfing-usa-part-2/#more-58 https://hsquarmby.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/story-1-couch-surfing-usa/