The previous chapter Seeking Knowledge
The sun rose as Anya and I felt it creep harshly through the blinds in my bedroom. She had enjoyed a good bottle of red wine. The attempted robbery had her on the edge of her seat or tips of her toes. I awoke and decided to play some of my favorite soothing music, which happened to be Charlie Mingus. He was one of my favorite musicians and I often wrote or edited my writings to the flowing sounds of Mingus. I was hoping that the soothing cool jazz would soften her hangover and the breakfast that I planned would settle her stomach. Turning over in bed I noticed her pale blue eyes and the long flowing blonde hair that reminded me of the sun. Her beautiful smile became confusion and then I realized that her headache had again crept in. Anya grabbed her hair with her eyes closed and I knew she felt like a freight train had hit her. After finally getting up and out of bed I handed her a glass of water with aspirin, but I knew it wasn’t enough. In situations like these a shower and a big complete breakfast go hand in hand like corned beef, cabbage and potatoes on March 17th.
She spoke first and I remembered what she said because I was thinking the same. “What the hell happened last night?” From the way she asked it I assumed her hangover affected her thinking. With her eyes still closed Anya asked, “Do you have a charger for my phone?” While cooking breakfast I realized we only planned to go out last night, and not end up at my place. Her eyes were barely open. In her hands laid her mp3 player, she was clearly not fully awake. I turned around, smiled and walked over to her. I kissed her on the lips. She was stunning but this relationship would not last. It was a pipe dream and I shouldn’t fall in love. She lived too far away. Naturally she had to have also felt this. I could see from her body language that this was just a moment for us and that a week from now each of us would be onto bigger things and then eventually into other relationships or at least situations. At that moment I was more afraid of finding things out about her that would make me desire her more. It had only been one night but later on I recounted that whenever we did kiss I remembered thinking that she tasted like a sweet cherry. I grabbed her large mp3 player from her hand and sarcastically asked how she made calls with it. Anya finally opened her eyes and tried to laugh and I remembered looking directly into her eyes. She was looking for excuses to laugh because it meant she might feel better.
After breakfast Anya grabbed a long shower. It brought much more than just a washing; the hot water was not only therapeutic but essential for hangover recovery. We prepared for the worst winter weather before going outside even though it was the same as the last couple of weeks had been, around the middle to late 20 degrees mark. Even though I grew up and had spent much of my life in the North East I never got used to the extreme cold. Thinking about the cold made me miss winter barbeques in Los Angeles. California winters were a piece of cake in comparison to out here, and in fact non-existent depending on which part of California you lived. Year round warm weather in California became the main reason why I have always aspired to live bi-costal. I would like to own a home predominately in New York and either rent or own a place out west to live in during the coldest four months of New York CIty each year. Those were future dreams but never number one on any list that I had written in my mind.
With pleasant weather two or three months away I decided to work harder, not that I needed this push but the undesirable weather as an excuse always helped.
After getting dressed I dragged Anya out of the house insisting that fresh air was the next best medicine for recovery. I gave her one of those magazines that relates insight into daily and weekly cultural and musical events. This deeply excited her. It was an unexpectedly windy day and the snow flew through the air lightly brushing the side of my face. Though the wind felt good I remembered that it was unusual in strength and I damn near lost my baseball cap six times before I decided to put it in my back left pocket. Anya was quick to relate to this situation with her vast experience but I remembered thinking that anything to help her headache was fine with me. The wind was strong and reminded her of the wind of 120 days in which I was unfamiliar with. Anya explained that one of the countries that she had previously visited often has stronger winds that last from June to September. She expressed that she was a volunteer and an advocate for female rights and in Afghanistan they apparently had very little tolerance of these rights. She was connected to a company that I was unfamiliar with but her enthusiasm was the selling point not for who she volunteered. What a women Anya was! I wondered why I had not met an American girl up to this point with these meaningful experiences, love of culture and deep caring for humanity. I sometimes wondered if all the best girls were already taken. Anya was unintentionally building a strong case for herself.
It was a Sunday and we were having the time of our lives even for only this brief stint. Anya had to meet up with her friends at the hostel and get other belongings. After dropping Anya off she kissed me and thanked me for being a gentlemen and escorting her around. She never blamed me for last night’s incident, for in the end I did get her back safe. I walked away wondering if I would see her again. I had decided to go to a coffee shop to write down notes on my thoughts and feelings about the last few day’s experiences. If I was ever going to get this published or at least have it read I was going to have to keep organized and stay up to date. I headed for the train at Queensboro Plaza and put my hands in my coat pocket for warmth. I was immediately reminded of the letter-sized envelope that was given to me the previous evening by a stranger. This man not only saved Anya and me from potentially violent robbers but possibly from even greater physical harm. My imagination ran wild and I remembered thinking or hoping that it would be a note giving me the key to the meaning of life. Opening the envelope revealed two tickets to a Judo event in March at the New York Athletic Club, a place somewhat unfamiliar to me. It all began to make sense. This man was either a Judo player, or instructor or someone who on his free time enjoyed practicing the art. But why gives Anya and I tickets?
I arrived at the coffee shop and began to do research into this specific Judo event. That is when I realized that Anya would not be around on that Sunday in March when the event was to be held and it saddened me. I looked up and noticed many other people of various ages and ethnicities sitting around talking, working and thought that I would have to meet another girl to take to this event. That is when my phone began to ring. Looking down I didn’t recognize the number but answered it anyway. “Hello” I said. “I see you got the tickets”, responded the caller. “Who is this?” I replied. “You know who this is” he responded. Befuddled I thought for a second and then stated, “the man with the briefcase from last night. How did you get my number?” “That’s not the important part, the important part is to standup and look outside. When you see me, let me know.” I was confused, who was this strange person and what the hell did he want? “Yes I see you”, I said. He replied “Pack all your stuff up, we have things to talk about”. After that he just hung up. Again who was this person and what the hell did he want with me. I was curious but uncertain. I remembered thinking that yes I enjoy meeting people but not in situations where it seems either creepy or just mysterious. However this person did help me so I decided to at least go and see what he was about and what he wanted from me.
Chapter 3 - Opportunities Around Every Corner