After dinner, your AirBnB host and his laughing English friend invite you onto the rooftop, and together you watch the sunset paint the New York City skyline pink while listening to Johnny Cash and, later, Stairway to Heaven.
This, right here, with the sunset, this can be ours.
The next day, you wake to sunshine streaming in over the sunflowers on the green desk in your room, and you head out for a day of exploring the hipster-friendly world of Williamsburg, where you once/first met your now-faraway friend Laura for the first time.
You have the most successful shopping day of your life. A vintage “80s Prom Dress” for $40 from one of Williamsburg’s epic vintage clothing stores, a pair of green heels that cuddle your feet (and in which you can walk for eight hours, the first time you wear them, with nary a blister), and an exciting local Brooklyn ice cream, Steve’s Ice Cream Sunday Morning, described as “Buttered Maple Syrup Ice Cream with Crispy Waffle Pieces”, which tastes like more than the sum of its parts.
You explore Smorgasburg, Brooklyn’s Flea Food Market in Williamsburg, and you eat an enormous spicy pickle while looking across the river at New York City, giggling over the fact that your photo is a little grotesque.
And then you’re walking down a street, just one of many streets in Williamsburg, just one of many streets on one of many days in one of many cities, wandering by yourself in the sun with the hipsters and the frozen yoghurt and the freedom and then all of a sudden you hear yourself shout
and the girl with the curly red hair is turning and it is Anna, it is Anna, it’s the girl you used to catch the bus home from school with every afternoon from grades seven to ten in Canberra, Australia, and you’re staring at each other laughing because aren’t you living in Canada and aren’t you living in Melbourne and of all the streets in all the world and so you make plans to meet up day after next because how can we not, really, seeing as we found each other all the way here after so many years?
So two days later you and Anna meet up in East Village and spend a few hours talking, walking, catching up on each other’s adventures (and oh, what adventures!), delighting in each other’s stories and feeling glad, so glad, you found each other halfway across the world, because otherwise you’d never have mmm-ed over 16 Handles frozen yoghurt which, let’s be honest, is really ice cream, because
but even better is the fact that you are eating it with Anna, the girl you used to catch the bus home with ten years ago in Canberra, and isn’t this life pure magic?