Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Romance in Gotham City...

"They say when you look at some one walking away it means you want them to stay..." - Anon

By Patrick Alcatraz

NEW YORK - I heard she stayed a few more years and then went back to her hometown in Virginia. Who knows? We lost touch after that winter, when we'd met at the opening of the Cowgirl Hall Of Fame restaurant in Greenwich Village. Kathy had been checking-in coats and I had bopped in with my friends, David and Melanie Bartlett. Tickets had come to Dave somehow, perhaps through someone at The New York Post, where he and I worked. Saturday nights usually took me elsewhere, to places where the crowds threw guys on girls and girls on guys. Dave thought checking-in with the cowboy mob would be a taste of back home. I met them somewhere and we took the subway all the way down, stopping at the White Horse Tavern for a cold one just to get in the mood. I remember I wore a blue-striped shirt under a black sweater and my black trenchcoat, which I slipped out of to give it to the pretty girl handing out the claim slips.

Kathy was her name, one of those wholly American names for the sort of woman who wears her attractiveness well. She wore a scarf of the sort worn by stewardesses. I handed her my coat and looked at Dave and Melanie, making a Playboy's face, nodding like a teenager. Dave and Mel laughed, knowing my ways. We strolled into the large banquet room and arrived just in time to see Patsy Montana, America's last cowgirl, twirling a rope with the appropriate western soundtrack and a hundred or so New Yorkers yelping corny-as-hell yippees and yippeeee-kai-ohs. I kept glancing back at the coat-check girl and managed to grab her attention, me waving and she waving back. Patsy Montana began singing something or another and I leaned over and told Dave and Melanie I'd be elsewhere for a few minutes. In seconds, I was back with Kathy, chatting and getting info. People came and went and she would hand-out coats or claim slips. I thought she looked like a movie star, her long, radiant hair in place, face as natural as a baby's. When she asked about me and about my work, I handed her my card. In New York, a business card with the name of one of the newspapers is....well, gold with the chicks.

I called her two days later and invited her out to dinner. She agreed to come to our building on South Street near the Brooklyn Bridge and soon walked into the Post's newsroom, all frickin' eyes on her, the frumpy, big-nosed female reporters wondering what all the fuss was about. So much grace, was the phrase that stole my entire brain. Kathy would come over every now & then in the ensuing weeks. Once, Mike Pearl, the newspaper's grizzled police beat reporter, cornered me in the men's room, asking, "Man, how the Hell do you get all these pretty women?"

"I ask them out," I said.

"Gotta be more to it than that, shit," he shot back.

"Well, yeah," I returned. "Plus, with women, it's not what you say or do...it's how you make them feel."

He laughed and said something about Kathy looking like the actress Susan St. James and I said, "Yeah, I get that about her, too."

Kathy lived with a girlfriend in a small apartment on Hudson Street in the Village, a place at the end of a narrow hallway in one of those old buildings without an elevator. Actually, her apartment building was about three blocks from the White Horse Tavern, a place we later would go to often. She would walk the frozen airs nicely in her own black overcoat, looking patrician alongside a mop-topped guy in battered boots and ragged jeans.

She took classes at Hunter's College by day, majoring in Sex Ed.

And, yeah, when we finally hit the sack for love, she insisted on me wearing a condom. I hate those things, cause it's like a dog took my place, or somesuch imagery. But she was worth it. I've never taken a class in sex, but it seemed to me that whatever Kathy was learning was right up my alley. In fact, she was the one who introduced me to anal sex, and, yeah, I took to it as if some crazed addict after that, suggesting it, if not demanding it, when other women arrived.

It had nothing to do with Kathy, but I recall this other woman in Fort Worth hit me with this after she'd taken it up the ass: "It scared me, 'cause I liked it."

Any hetero guy who says he doesn't come away with something new & different after making it with a new woman is...either an idiot or some dolt unaware of what it is he is doing. And, absolutely, when Kathy would exit the cab in front of her apartment, she would look back toward me as I sat in the backseat...and I would turn my head to look back at her again as the car began to roll...

- 30 -

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