“I don’t normally smoke”, said Cata, their deep brown eyes glowing in the light of the cigarette lighter.
“Me neither”, I said after lighting their cigarette, and lighting my own. “The day just called for it”.
“What happened?”, Cata asked.
“I had a lovely few day by myself in Cold Spring. I just walked around the town, ate my favorite
foods, got caught up on reading, and did some writing. Then I come back here to find a letter slipped
under the door of my building from my ex-girl friend basically telling me I am a horrible person for living
my best life without her”.
“Didn’t she cheat on you?”, Cata asked.
“She did and not only that, but she was also super critical of me. It’s not fair. I have been the
bigger person this entire breakup, and she has done nothing but harass me. I block her number, and I
get notes under my door? I got ahold of my ex I am on good terms with who is a police officer, and she
is going to go pay her a visit, and talk to her about harassment, and why it isn’t ok”.
“I hope that helps. It sounds like really, she is just angry at herself for screwing things up and she
is now taking it out on you”.
“That would be correct. What has you smoking tonight?”.
“I had another bad date”.
“Well, this was a 2nd date. We had a nice dinner. Then we decided to go to Henz for a drink. She
excused herself and was gone for 10 minutes. So, I wanted to make sure she was ok. She was fine and
making out with one of the bartenders by the bathroom!”.
“Oh that is crappy. I am sorry.”
“So back to the drawing board”. We finished our cigarettes and stomped them out. We had
been smoking against Cata’s car. The car radio playing some Tegan and Sara. “I guess I should
go back in and finish my shift”.
“I am guessing my food is ready.”
The Jackson Hole/Airport Diner not only had been used in the filming of the movie Goodfellas. I
Have never been a fan of mob movies, since growing up I heard from my Italian grandmother that those
movies give Italian people a bad name and not all Italian people have mob ties, but thought it was an
interesting fact none the less. The menu was extensive as well. Breakfast was a treat and their burgers
were amazing. Tonight, I had chosen a cheeseburger and chocolate mint milkshake as my meal to
drown my sorrows in. Normally on a Saturday night I would treat myself to a movie, or grab a drink
somewhere. My haunt of choice had been Henrietta Hudson’s, my favorite lesbian bar, but, after the
mess that was my breakup, I was not thinking of meeting anyone. As a bisexual on the more lesbian side
of bi, I was not looking to meet a man or a woman. I needed a break. So, I found myself at Jackson Hole.
Cata was my favorite waitperson and only worked once a week, since they had a full-time job, and I had
a bit of a crush on them. They were also a very talented Artist, and I had bought a repurposed Hummel
statue from them recently. Cata looked at me.
“Holy cow your hair is curly”.
“This is what happens when I let it dry naturally after a shower, and it is humid out”.
“I like it”.
“Thank you”. I sat quietly savoring my burger and shake. My eye found the desert case.
“What looks good?”, Cata asked.
“That coconut cream pie. Can I have a slice please with a cup of coffee?”.
“You’re welcome. Do you like banana cream pie?”
“My manager let’s me take the leftover pie home, since we don’t serve it the next day. Do you
want to come back to my place, watch a movie and help me drown my troubles in pie?”.
“That sounds like fun. I would like to”.
“Great. I have some closing duties before I can leave. You can just hang out. It won’t take long.
“Ok”. Cata just had to merry the ketchups.
“Looks like we have a lemon meringue pie too”, Cata said. “It didn’t fully sell”.
“Lemon meringue is so good.”
“We will have some bustelo and pie and our problems will temporarily be cured”.
“Sounds good to me. We should stream Kissing Jessica Stein. It is my go to feel better movie”.
“I love that movie!”, Cata exclaimed”.
“You and I like the same things. You are nice. I should date you”. I said out loud, but meant to
say it to myself.
“Why haven’t we been out together?”, Cata asked.
“I don’t know”.
“Well tonight is a predate. If this goes well, tomorrow should be our actual date”.
“Sounds good to me.” We got in the car and drove to Cata’s apartment in Astoria, which was not
far from my apartment. Cata’s apartment was a large studio apartment with art of all sorts all over.
There was room for a couch and TV. “Make yourself comfortable. I am going to make us some coffee”.
“Can I help with anything?”.
“Nope. Just be comfortable”. They set a tray down on the coffee table with 2 mugs of Bustelo,
and 2 plates with a slice of banana cream and lemon meringue pie and 2 slices of cheddar cheese to go
with the coffee.
“This is the best late-night snack”, I marveled.
“Pie is such a great comfort food”.
“I agree”, I replied. “Good company. Good food. Good movie”.
“I agree”, Cata said with a smile. She rested her head on my shoulder and I draped my arm over
her shoulder. We fell asleep like that. I woke up covered by a blanket. Cata was pouring a cup of coffee
in the kitchen.
“Good morning! What time is it?”.
“It is 9. Also known as breakfast time”.
“You know what I could go for?”
“A bagel from Brooklyn Bagel”.
“That sounds good. The green market is today too”.
“Let’s go grab a bagel and then hit the green market!”, I suggested.
“I am just going to splash some water on my face and freshen up”. I grabbed a travel tooth
Brush and deodorant from my Vanity Fare canvas tote that I always carried with me as
sometimes I would arrive to my office near The MSG and realize I had forgotten to brush my
teeth or put on deodorant before leaving my apartment for work. Once that was done we left
and stopped by a news agent to grab the morning papers. We both had a love of the Daily News
and the New York Times and the same bagel order at Brooklyn Bagel, the berry bagel that
looked prideful and plain cream cheese.
“I get this because it looks prideful”, I said.
“Me too!”. We read our papers and then traded them. When we were done with
breakfast I called us a Lyft to the green market. We perused the market. Cata took my hand as
“I am enjoying this”, I stated enthusiastically.
“Me too. It feels right”.
“It does”, I smiled.
“Let’s go over to the park and sunbathe”, Cata suggested. We grabbed iced coffees, a
loaf of bread, and honey and grabbed a seat at a bench and had a snack. “So, tomorrow, there is
a movie screening and discussion at the Museum of the Moving Image. Do you want to grab a
bite at Café Ole and then see the movie”.
“I would love to. You won’t get tired of me after seeing me three days in a row”.
“Not at all”, Cata said with a genuine smile”.
“Well good,” I blushed. I had an optimistic feeling for the first time in a while. I did not
know where things with Cata were headed, but I was glad to be on the journey.