essays

New York Transplant Comes Out as Hopeless Romantic

Raise your hand if you’ve settled for significantly less than you deserve or hid the fact that you are actually a romantic person because the New York dating scene is trash…

warped5.jpg

Damn, who hurt y’all?

Lol, jk. The image above is an actual photo of Trader Joe’s on a Sunday, aka. The Brooklyn Hunger Games. On Valentines Day, Trader Joe’s had a contest where, if you wrote them a love letter, they would pick the best ones to publish in the Fearless Flyer (their very prestigious weekly ad cycle) and you could win a $50 gift card. I entered a poem and I did not win. But I took that poem home, workshopped it, got drunk with it, and it took a left turn and got a little too deep. Sharing this with all of you is a major public display of vulnerability, which I’m not 100% comfortable with, but I hope it’ll make me stronger & make you laugh in the process.

(also really, that image above is from Warped Tour lol)

9e8cd5a0-4872-4e01-9f5e-578b7bdddfa4.jpg
cad4b2fa-276d-4211-8905-6c2da1182499.jpg

Sundays

Nobody touched me between Monday and Saturday
Except maybe some woman
who accidentally touched my boob on the train the other day
or an old man
who I helped cross the street in Chinatown on Tuesday

Nobody talked to me about anything real
Except maybe my florist who asks,
”Who are you buying flowers for?”
I lie and say they’re for my mom
but really, I just buy them for myself when I feel alone

Nobody touched me between Monday and Saturday
because my body is not a temple
but a slippery
grisly
rugged
shape-shifting terrain
that lil dudes from tinder can’t quite figure out

And I’m honestly 20% gay
but I’m so afraid of disappointing women that I’ll never make moves

I know it’s a bad idea to go to Trader Joe’s on a Sunday
but nobody has touched me
or talked to me
about anything real all week
and standing in line for 20 minutes
to buy organic pomegranate seeds
seems close enough

I like watching people read the nutritional facts
on the back of chocolate-covered pretzels
I like to watch people hold hands
I think about how much bigger the bigger hand is than the smaller one
and if the palms get sweaty
They seem like they would never recover
if their hands parted
and if they lost each other to the Sunday crowd

I still don’t know the difference
between baby kale
and tuscan kale
and organic kale
When I ask an employee, she says,
”I don’t know either, honey, but we’ll find out.
We’re in this together.”
and that might be the realest shit anyone has said to me all week

I like knowing that my ginger tea is always going to be in the same aisle
and I like knowing that lots of other people
also eat avocados

I like getting in an Uber Pool with other people
who also have reusable Trader Joe’s bags
and only live two blocks away from me

Between Monday & Saturday,
I am so desperate for intimacy
I miss being in love and being loved
and being held like someone would never recover if they lost me
I want to fall asleep on someone’s shoulder
in an Uber ride home
full of grocery bags
instead of taking an Uber Pool
with perfect strangers

I want to push my shopping cart
through the familiar terrain
of my lover’s body
I dream of the day I’m allowed to fail
and for my partner to tell me,
”I don’t know either honey, but we’ll find out.
We’re in this together.”

beatriz kaye