When you've been out west, in high desert long enough, the city's humidity feels tropical, exciting.

November 1st, 2013, 11pm

It was 17.2°C with few clouds. The breeze was gentle.

It felt that way when you first moved there, not used to the humidity, and certainly, not used to the summer’s heat. Then you were so enamored with all the people everywhere, sweating and sticky too.

You went to sweaty clubs to dance. You found them with a long-torsoed guy you knew from home and somehow happened to run into in Union Square (the western sun still shining from both your skin). Back at home you had both been too shy or taken. Here, it wasn’t clear. Nothing, actually, was clear. Everything you knew disappeared in that particular pink of a Gotham sky. Sopping velvet, hovering and smudging all the buildings. Any lines you might have relied on were gone, let alone the horizon. Not here or there.

His, yours, everyone’s otherness was exaggerated.

But he had found this bar and knew if you went early the bartender would give you slices of fresh fruit, whatever she had on hand. One for you, one for him, two for her. Pineapple, apple, right off her cutting board. And then she (this stranger!) would keep an eye on you, in case other guys got too close. Because they all knew you were fresh off the boat.

Paul and Cassie said thanks.

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Sara Distin

reader, writer, runner, slipper, glimpser

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