Three events over the last two weeks have led me to make this my final journal entry.
The first event occurred two Saturdays ago. Jessica and I awoke at my apartment and took a long walk to her new apartment via the Manhattan Bridge. After sleeping at my place for 10 out of the remaining 14 days of last month, Jessica moved into a sublet on the first. It's in Fort Greene -- one of those classic Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods. I'm very happy for her. She seems more relaxed now that she has a home base.
En route, I snapped a few pictures of Jessica in front of a graffiti-covered concrete slab that protrudes along the bridge's walkway. With a sly smile and the early day sunlight slashing across her sunglasses, she looked confident -- like she didn't care about a thing.
We stopped for breakfast at a cafe in Brooklyn Heights. While working on a Bloody Mary, I admired the photo and asked Jessica if she would like to email her mother the picture. She suggested I send it directly and gave me her mother's email address. I sent the pic with the subject line, "Your beautiful daughter." Her mother responded minutes later, "She is beautiful. Thanks for sending and can't wait to meet you!"
I knew she had spoken to her mother about us, but "can't wait to meet you" immediately struck me as evidence that I was significant -- at least enough to warrant a potential meeting. I showed Jessica the message. She responded by telling me how much I'd love her mother and her mother's sense of humor. I welcomed the opportunity.
The second event was Jessica inviting me to a midnight movie at the IFC Center. We got stoned and went to see Alejandro Jodorowsky's "The Holy Mountain." It's probably the most bizarre and hallucinatory film I've ever seen (a limbless dwarf befriends the protagonist in one scene and in another frogs and toads are dressed like Aztecs and Conquistators). Despite this, I kept dozing off. Jessica would wake me up by kissing me on the neck and saying, "Look at this! Can you believe this?"
Eventually, I shook off the drowsiness. I found myself looking over at Jessica more than a few times over the final 30 minutes of the film. The flickering light cast off the screen illuminated her face and slashed across her wide eyes. She was brimming with enthusiasm over what she was seeing. It was one of those child-like expressions that some people seem to give up when they reach adulthood. She still has it.
The third event occurred over the last two days. Yesterday afternoon, we hopped a train to Philadelphia to go to the art museum -- a trip Jessica has wanted to make for a while. When we got in, we had dinner near Rittenhouse Square with my brother and his girlfriend. We traded stories throughout the meal and as we were walking out, my brother's girlfriend tugged on my shirt and whispered, "I like this one." This was a relief, because she made it fairly obvious she didn't like the previous one.
The four of us then headed over to a house party in a neighborhood called Fishtown. The party went late into the night and at one point Jessica and I found ourselves dancing together amidst a bunch of boozy art school grads. We were outsiders, but we felt welcomed into the hot mass of perspiration. I think there was a New Order song playing when Jessica grabbed me by the waist, leaned in close to my ear and ask, "Am I your girl?" I nodded slowly and confidently and said, "Yes, I think you are."
The next day Jessica and I woke up with matching headaches in my brother's guest room. We clung to each other and mumbled back and forth about how we might never be able to leave the bed. During a pause, I immediately thought of the conversation the night before. I felt like it meant something. I was unsure, though. Maybe she was just saying it to be affectionate. Maybe she was just drunk.
After breakfast, we made our way over to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and up the steps Rocky made famous. Jessica's brimming enthusiasm, the same enthusiasm I saw in the movie theater, was back. We were looking at a massive three-way plug sculpture made by Claes Oldenburg when she asked me about the previous night. She bluntly said she needed to know if I was sure about the answer I gave her. I told her I was sure.
And like that, I am no longer single. Those three events, at least in my mind, have meaning and confirmed I now have a real partner. They also made me feel like our attachment is growing.
Then again, I guess that could be debated. I guess people might say that Jessica got into a relationship with me too quickly after a breakup and she is just using me to not be alone. They could say I'm still smarting from my last relationship from which I'm only three months removed. They could say a lot of things, but I can't care about that. This is the situation I am in. It feels good and that is enough for right now.
I toyed with the idea of continuing the journal one more week to track how my relationship is progressing. In the end though, I think this is a good place to stop. A relationship's honeymoon period seems rather dull to write about and probably even more grating to read. Perhaps you found this entire exercise grating. If that's the case, you're in luck.
Anonymous Single Guy was a newly unattached 30-something living in New York City. This is his final journal entry.