418. I Heart NY
There is a time of year in New York when, even before the first leaf falls, you can feel the seasons click. The air is crisp, the summer is gone. And for the first night in a long time, you need a blanket on your bed. It brings up other needs as well.
- Hello? - What are you doing?
- Is this who I think it is? - Who do you think it is?
- Princess Grace of Monaco. - She's dead.
- So you can understand my surprise. What's shaking, kid? - It’s fall.
I thought it was still Indian summer. Then I guess I should take off my moccasins.
- Are you still smoking? - Yes and no. I'm bad.
- Are you alone? - Yes, ma'am.
- I can't sleep. I'm feeling a little lonely. Do you ever feel lonely? - No.
- Can I come over? - Sure.
- To be clear, it's just to keep each other company. - I always enjoy company.
- Get it while it's hot! - I thought it was just a ''company'' visit.
- All your furniture's gone. - See? This is why I'm leaving New York. The crime.
- Leaving New York? - I'm moving.
- You are not moving. - Tell that to my realtor in Napa. - Napa... as in California?
I bought a vineyard. Half a vineyard. Technically, it's three-quarter of it, but there's a dispute over a hillside.
Take this pizza, and put it someplace. Wait. You're moving? Moving when?
Monday at 5:00.
And if I hadn't happened to call tonight, you were just going to quietly go away without telling me?
I'm not big on goodbyes. I would have called you.
From where? A wine vat somewhere? You can't leave New York. You're the Chrysler Building. The Chrysler Building would be all wrong in a vineyard.
- Arrivederci, baby. - But... why? - I'm tired of old New York.
If you're tired, you take a Napa. You don't move to Napa. I need a Cocktail.
And downtown, another woman was feeling deserted.
Don't ''gorgeous'' me! You're three hours late. I've eaten half a box of chocolates. When I get cellulite, you have no one to blame but yourself.
- I got held up at the hotel. - Richard Wright, the telephone. Have you two met?
I was busy. What's up? I mean, besides me.
I don't appreciate being kept waiting. Especially when I have a gift for you.
Is this an actual gift, or are we talking sex? What's the occasion?
It’s national ''Richard's A Prick'' day. I saw it, and I thought of you. Do you like it?
It was the closest Samantha had come to giving her heart to a man in a long long time.
I think it would be perfect right there.
- You kept nothing to sit on, but you have your records and a turntable? - I know what's important.
- Blood, Sweat and Tears? Wow! Shouldn't this be in a museum? - Be nice.
Henry Mancini. Exactly how old are you?
It was my parents', and don't knock it till you've heard it. Here.
- Thank you. - Easy, pops! - Just give me the record.
I've been thinking. You can't slink out of town this way. We have to do it up right. A proper goodbye. You, me, New York. You owe it to us. And by ''us,'' I mean New York and myself.
- How's that wine? It’s from my vineyard. - In that case, I hate it.
- You can't be serious. - Wait. - So corny!
No. It’s Classic. Listen. This was my parents' favorite song. They used to put it on before they went out on the town. Listen. Did you hear that? ''Two drifters.'' When I was little, I thought it was ''two twisters.'' You know, the twist. It was the '60s, and my parents had the moves. See? It got you.
- Thank you for the company. - That's it? You can stay.
No. I'll see you Sunday night. Don't disappoint us. And by ''us,'' I mean you and me. That pizza will be fantastic for breakfast.
The next morning, I broke the Big news.
Going, going, gone. It’s the end of an era.
I'm always surprised when anyone leaves New York. I mean where do they go?
The real world?
A homeless man showed me his dick on the way here. It doesn't get any realer than that.
- Big wasn't even going to tell you? - No. He said he'd call, but what if he didn't?
It’s like the guys you have the great second date with and then never hear from again. I pretend they died.
- Okay, now the tough question. - Should you sleep with him one last time?
- Exactly. Going-out-of-business sex. What do we think? - No.
- Okay, Quick Draw. Give it a second here. - No.
- We like each other. We respect each other. It could be nice, romantic. - No.
You had sex with Steve.
Sex with an ex can be depressing. If it's good, you don't have it anymore. If it's bad, you just had sex with an ex.
It wouldn't be bad. I'm just saying.
Are you afraid that the sheer force of it all will just pull you back into all that Big stuff again?
- No. He's not Niagara Falls. - Isn’t he?
I love you sweetie, but you're not giving me any credit. This is not two years ago. Things have changed. I'm different now. Big and I are different. I feel safe around him. He's like... this great man in my life, and he's leaving.
Use a condom. That's all I'm saying.
I don't know how you survived any of it, Big or Aidan. This love stuff is a motherfucker.
Did you just say ''love''?
- Oh, what the hell! My name is Samantha, and I'm a loveaholic. - Hi, Samantha.
It’s so infuriating. I mean, where can this possibly go? No one actually makes these relationship things work, do they?
Should I think they're the same people who leave New York?
I'm just really surprised Big is moving. I always thought... Never mind.
You always thought what, never mind?
- I just always thought that you two would end up together. - How?
I don't know. Yes, they made mistakes, but…
They were never supposed to be together. If she was going to wind up with anybody, it was Aidan.
This is all very informative.
You don't have enough distance to have sex with your ex.
- Thanks for the sound advice, Mommy Biggest. - I haven't had sex since my ex.
- Honey, you should get on that. It’s the only way to move on. - Use a condom.
Later that night, I got to thinking about fate, that crazy concept that we're not really responsible for the course our lives take. That it's all predestined, written in the stars. Maybe that explains why, if you live in a city where you can't even see the stars, your love life tends to feel a little more random. And even if our every man, every kiss, every heartache, is preordered from some cosmic catalog, can we still take a wrong step and wander off our own personal Milky Way? I couldn’t help but wonder, can you make a mistake and miss your fate?
If you look at how brilliantly Monet suggested glimpses of sky and the luscious, tactile quality of the canvas, you can see how he established his fate as one of the true poets of nature, and my personal favorite.
Charlotte's fate led her to the Museum of Modern Art.
Follow me, and we’ll move on to the Pollock. Weren't you here last Sunday?
Yes. I was... I love the impressionists. And I'm trying to get up the courage to invite you to dinner.
That's very sweet, but…
You have a boyfriend, right? How could you not?
Actually, no boyfriend. But I was just separated, and I'm not really ready to date yet.
I totally understand. I went through a divorce last year. I'm Eric, by the way.
Viewing Jackson Pollock's One is an almost overwhelming...
And speaking of overwhelming exes, there was Charlotte's, with his mother, Bunny.
I detest Monet! He's such a sap.
Mother, you have simply got to learn how to form an opinion.
Okay, enough Pollock. Follow me, as we move on to Paul Gaugun. Now! Come on. I changed my mind. I'll have dinner with you. Hurry, everyone.
In order to avoid her ex, Charlotte ran all the way into the Expressionist era.
And up on the Upper West Side, two other exes were dealing with A, B and Cs.
''Connect part C with bracket B and bolt 3.''
Okay, now you're not even making sense. That can't be right. ''Connect part C to bracket B using bolt 3.'' Hand me bolt 3. Aren't you gonna point our you were right?
No, you've got 40 pounds on me.
- I was thinking of Danny. - Danny who?
- For the baby. Danny...Hobbes. - Danny. I like that.
- Did you have any other ideas? - Paul.
- Paul! - Paul is a big name in the Brady family. You know, my dad and my granddad.
But even then, Dad, you didn't even know him. Danny is better. ''Hey, Danny, you want to go shoot some hoops?'' It sounds right.
- Good. - Wow! We're making something for little Danny.
- Don't cry, Steve. - Sorry.
- Gorgeous, I've got work to do here. - You want out of this, just say it.
- I don't want to have sex once, and I want out? - Not just once. What about yesterday?
- We were at the opera. - I was bored.
I fucked you for three hours when we came home.
Big whoop! Why haven't you hung the hearts?
- I will. - It been laying against that wall for days.
- I'm not sure it belongs here. - You mean, I don't belong here.
Samantha, a stranger to love, didn't do it very well.
I heard the weather this morning, but they didn't say anything about a shit storm.
- Where were you on your lunch hour? I stopped by, and you weren't there. - I was eating.
Eating who? I saw you get into a cab with a woman wearing come-fuck-me heels! Listen, Richard, just tell me you're sleeping with someone else and we'll call it a day.
The hearts would be better in the den. I had a salad and salmon. The woman is a business associate. I do not want out of this. But if you do, this is a good way to go.
- I'm sorry. - She was an interior designer. You believe me, right? - Yes. I do.
He's plowing someone else. I know it. How could he not be? The man was a tramp.
You're not cheating on him. Miracles happen.
- I think he's doing it at lunchtime. I'll follow him. - Oh, Jesus!
Don’t worry. He won't know it's me. I've got a wig from the Raquel Welch wig line.
The Raquel Welch wig line?
Sassy shag, chestnut brown, cute. Very realistic for synthetic hair.
And why would you be doing this?
I can't go any farther down this love road and have my heart broken. If he's cheating on me, I have to know now.
Samantha, if you love him, don't you think there's even the slightest chance that he might really love you, too?
I stole a key from his cleaning lady. I’m sneaking in and check his hands-free.
I do not have bail money, just so you know. Oh, hello, lover! I am needing those for my last Big night on the town.
- What are you two going to do? - Drinks, dinner, dancing. Very old New York.
- I meant, sex or no sex? - Please. I'm just getting around to picking the shoes.
Our mistake was we never really agreed on what each other wanted out of the marriage.
My wife and I, totally different backgrounds. And you would think we'd be able to see that was gonna be the problem. But nope. We were in love.
- Love, right? - Love is tricky. I mean, it's just... so hard to see clearly through it.
Exactly. It’s like a fog or something. You're very sweet, Eric.
And after dinner, Charlotte invited Eric home for coffee and... The ''and'' being, I'm determined to move on from my ex sex.
- Wow! This place is huge. You live here alone? - It’s not that big.
- Not that big? Wow! Look in there. Was your ex, like, a king or something? - He was a doctor.
Look at the size of this place. I live in a studio. You're rich. My ex-wife was an orthodox Jew, and now you're a rich girl. Why can't I ever find a woman who's compatible with me?
You know what? I'm not really feeling that well. Maybe you should go.
Jesus Christ, it's huge! It goes all the way back there.
- Follow me. - Good idea.
Charlotte realized she may be ready to deal with her marriage past, but not her dating future.
I had a lovely dinner. Bye.
Contrary to popular opinion, I have decided to give myself permission to sleep with Big if it feels right. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
You're a big girl.
Can I get that in writing? It had better stop raining before tonight. I have the most amazing shoes, and water will just not do. What? Are you having a baby or something?
- Damn! And that was just a kick. Wait till the labor starts. - You okay?
- I'm getting a little freaked. - Yeah.
Will you be in the room with me? Steve's a good coach, but he's too emotional. I'm going to need something normal to look at. It’ll make me calmer.
Okay, but I'm there purely for decoration. I'm not cutting any umbilical anything.
That night, after the rain, after the dinner, after the dancing, I took Big for a ride.
I can't believe you actually talked me into this. Buggy ride in Central Park. Very corny.
Nope. Classic. What are you going to do out there in Napa, besides watch grapes shrivel?
Work, smoke cigars, look at the stars.
I give it a week. New York. Aren't you going to miss it?
No. But I will miss you, kid. Very much. Your cell phone's ringing.
I don't own a cell phone. Oh, Jesus, that is me! Miranda gave me one, because, you know... How the hell does this thing... Thank you. Miranda?
- Hi, I'm in labor. Meet me at Mount Sinai, at 99th and Fifth. - Okay, is Steve with you?
- No, he's on his way from the bar. I didn't think I should wait. - Are you okay?
So far. Taxi! Okay, I got a cab. I gotta go.
Miranda's in labor. I have to get out of here. I have to get to Mount Sinai.
Excuse me, sir. We have an emergency. We need to get to 99th Street and 5th Avenue in a hurry.
- I can't leave the park. I'll get a fine. - What's your name?
- Bobbo. - Ok, Bobbo. Here is 400 bucks. See what you can do.
One short carriage ride later...
So, you leave tomorrow at 5:00? How about lunch? I'll come over around 2:00?
I can't believe you're leaving me alone with a horse and buggy.
- Thanks for the ride, Prince Charming. - Anytime. Carrie. 81st and Park, Bobbo.
Dr. Thomas, call postpartum emergency.
- Boy, you will do anything to stop me from having sex with Big. - You look pretty.
So do you. Shouldn't you be lying down, or biting on a leather strap or something?
I'm moving around, trying to get my water to break. The doctor says it's better than having them break it for you.
So, what can I do?
When this gets going, don't let anyone get all cheerleadery on me. I don't want any of that ''You can do it, push!'' shit.
And thus, with a destroyed pair of Christian Louboutins, began Miranda's delivery. And it would continue well into lunch hour the next day.
There she was, Miss Sassy-in-her-shag, trying to catch Richard with his lunchtime shag.
- Follow that car! - Are you fucking kidding me? - Just go.
One cab ride and a breaking and entering later, Samantha found herself at Richard Wright's bedroom door.
- You bastard! - Who the hell are you? It’s just sex. I love you.
Turns out she was right about Wright. But now she wished she was wrong.
- There! Now your heart's broken, too! - Who the fuck was that?
Turns out the baby was almost as stubborn as Miranda.
- You're doing good there. - That's right, you're almost there. Now push!
- Nurse, don't say that. - Okay, Miranda, one more deep breath. And go.
- Oh, my God! There he is! - And he's perfect. He's perfect!
- Nurse. - Ten toes, ten fingers, two Balls.
- That feels good. - You did it.
And just like that, Life comes in and things begin to change.
It's weird. It's like suddenly there's a giraffe in the room. Hello.
- Hey, Danny. - I was thinking Brady. Brady Hobbes.
- Steve. - That's a fabulous hat.
- Hi! - Well?
- Well. He's really teeny, and he has red hair. - Really? Oh, my God, that is so cute!
Listen, I have to go. I still have a chance to catch Big. Oh, Jesus! Here comes Raquel Welch.
- What? - She’ll tell you. I'm late. She'll tell you.
- Why are you wearing that wig? - Because my hair under it looks like shit!
- Miranda has a son. - Just what the world needs, another man.
- Come on, let's go see the baby! - Wait. Okay.
- All right. - Wait.
No. It’s not even 5:00. What is this? ‘‘If I ever feel lonely... ''
It was official. A new season had begun. Maybe our mistakes are what make our fate. Without them, what would shape our lives? Perhaps, if we never veered off course, we wouldn't fall in love, or have babies, or be who we are. After all, seasons change, so do cities. People come into your life and people go. But it's comforting to know the ones you love are always in your heart, and if you're very lucky, a plane ride away.