The Kamran’s Last Week in NYC edition:
• Tuesday, we went to dinner at Louro, which is owned by a chef friend of ours and can be summed up in three words: asparagus ice cream:
• Wednesday, we went to Soba Totto for their lunch special that includes a rice dish, a bowl of hot or cold soba, pickles, and salad. The food is deliiiiicious, but the best part is seeing how the different people around you eat their soba. There are the people who use their spoon to gather some broth and then use their chopsticks to add some noodles to the spoon. There are the people who eat some noodles and then slurp some broth. And then there are these young Asian dudes in crisp black suits who don’t talk for an entire hour while they bury their heads in their bowls.
• Thursday, we went to Mission Chinese Food. It’s originally from San Francisco but opened here a few months ago to long lines and hugely hyped reviews. IT IS AMAZING. Wait for my review.
• I have no idea what we did Friday night–probably watched “Shark Tank”, knowing us–but I can tell you that we ate Cambodian sandwiches from Num Pang. They were out of the corn-on-the-cob we like with the spicy mayo and the coconut and, you know, lightly apologized for it. They probably didn’t realize that was MY LAST TIME EATING THAT CORN EVER. Unless I take a half-an-hour subway ride. For corn.
• Saturday afternoon, we met our friends Anthony, Jeff, Nik, and Marko at a sushi buffet called IchiUmi for Kamran’s farewell lunch. (My roommate, Jack, was out of town. I know you’re all in love with him and would have noticed his conspicuous absence.) We ate something like 240 plates of food. Everything tasted better than ever, as everything had all month long. Kamran tried on Anthony’s sunglasses to prepare him for his new life in sunnier climates:
I had asked Jeff to help me move my things from Kamran’s apartment to mine, partly because he’s strong and partly because he’s nice and mostly because he has a car. But over the course of the lunch, everyone else was somehow convinced to help me out (well, except for Marko, who was getting ready to defend his dissertation and thought getting a PhD was more important than schlepping my underwear across town), so I suddenly had a gaggle of movers and Anthony’s car, too. And thank god, because what I thought were a few boxes turned out to be several boxes, a dresser, a nightstand, two ottomans, and a zillion bags stuffed with shoes and toiletries at the last minute. We hadn’t told the building about my move in the hope of avoiding having to get permission from anyone and to avoid the $50/hour fee they charge to use the freight elevator and just walk out the front doors with all of my stuff. But of course the doorman saw through us the moment we asked to borrow one of the rolling carts and told us we needed to use the freight. So we loaded everything onto the carts and rang the bell for the freight elevator, and the porter stepped off and said we had to write him a check for $50 before we could go any further. So Kamran paid $50 for a trip on an elevator for me. And what a ride it was.
Kamran rode with Anthony and Nik to give directions, and I rode with Jeff and was of course the one who got us lost. Never trust a person who drives a car twice a year. One of my biggest annoyances living here is cab drivers who ask me how to get to my apartment. Um, take the 4 train to Brooklyn? I wouldn’t be in a cab if I had a car, buddy! Now do your job. Anthony and Nik went to get coffee while they were waiting for Jeff and me to arrive, and then Kamran had to watch their illegally-parked car, and Jeff had to watch his illegally-parked car, so I was left to bring everything up to my apartment on my own. But of course the doorman at my building was kind and helpful, because it’s Brooklyn.
Anthony and Jeff left in their illegally-parked cars while Kamran and Nik came up to my apartment so we could order banh mi and watch the new Louis C.K. stand-up special and hang out on our roof deck
watching the sun set:
When we got back to Kamran’s apartment that night, it was so weird to look around and not see any of my stuff. When we first started dating, I would haul a bag of clothes from my apartment to his every time I stayed over. Eventually I was staying over so often that he bought me a dresser. And then I filled the dresser so full that I started stacking my clothes on a table beside it. And then another table next to that. And then a chair. I had my laptop there. The scrapbook I was working on. All of my camera gear. My birth certificate. That’s how moved-in I was. So it was strange to be at his apartment and have clothes for the next three days and nothing else. We watched movies and ate one of my favourite meals, the quesadilla enorme from Baby Bo’s Cantina:
• Sunday, we took a walk to Beekman, the secret park we discovered a couple of years ago and have been walking to all of the weekends. There are waterfront parks near me in Brooklyn–much bigger, nicer ones, actually–but this one was ours. I got pooped on by a bird as I was passing under a tree, which is the only thing that could’ve logically happened my last time there with Kamran:
• Monday morning, I took the bus from Kamran’s house to work for the last time. I got the most perfect seat in the front by the window and thought about how it was my last ride on the bus and was nostalgic for a moment until I remembered that I would be going home on the bus, too. So I stopped looking out the window and enjoying the sights of 2nd Avenue and read my book instead. But then Kamran asked me to meet him in the Flatiron after work so we could return his cable box together right off the 6 train, so I didn’t get to ride the bus home for the last time. I’m sure I’ll get over it. Someday.
His movers had come that afternoon and taken what seemed like almost everything away, but “almost everything” still left, like four hours of packing and cleaning for us. I took his plant, and he posed with the gigantic Scooby-Doo that took up half of his 275-square-foot apartment for seven years but that he wouldn’t throw out (nor give to Jeff, who really wanted it) because he swore he was going to someday mail it to the ex-girlfriend he had won it with in Atlantic City. YET ANOTHER UNKEPT PROMISE COURTESY OF KAMRAN. j/k, j/k.
The first pictures of Kamran I saw before our first date included Scoob creepily looking over his shoulder in his old Princeton apartment. But we still left him by the freight elevator to be tossed out with the day’s leftovers. JUST LIKE OUR LOVE.
We ordered our favourite Greek dinner from The Famous Chicken Place,
and had to, like, actually sit and talk to each other with the cable box already being gone. For the six and a half years we were together, his kitchen table was the same as his computer desk (studio living!), but with his computer gone, we talked about eating at the table for the first time ever. And then we ate on the couch like always. He texted the guy from his floor he’d made friends with to see if he wanted to say goodbye to us, and I was hoping to run into the girl I had casually talked to in the hallway for two years and had been meaning to become friends with but hadn’t, but the guy didn’t text back, and I didn’t run into the girl and didn’t even really know which apartment was hers, so that was that.
We made a trip to the lobby with as much as we could carry, and then I waited downstairs while he went up for another load, and then he waited downstairs while I went up for the last load. I took a picture of the apartment completely empty (I have to do a separate blog post on that because it’s so hilarious/sad) and a picture of the closed door for the last time, and you can faintly see the yellow stain on it that may or may not have been pee but that we didn’t clean off in all of those six and a half years,
and then we went to the doorman to leave our keys. He asked who they were being left for, and Kamran said, “Oh, um, the landlady, I guess. I’m moving out.” And the doorman was like, “Oh, really? Well, sad to see you go. Good luck with your new place!” And we were like, “Yeah, thanks for calling up to us every night when the delivery guy arrived with our dinner.” And that was to be the extent of our goodbye to the building.
It felt pretty strange to be leaving so unceremoniously after so much time there. I mean, it’s not like we were heavily involved in the goings-on of Tudor City–there were art shows and concerts in the park and building committees that we weren’t remotely a part of–but it’s also not like we didn’t know people there. People talked to us. People recognized us by our sweater vests (him) and our winter capes (me). People ran into us in the street and laughed about how funny it was to see each other in regular clothes outside of the building’s gym. We had wildly creative nicknames for people–The Tudor Lady (whose greyhound was named Tudor, after the neighborhood), The Crazy Lady (who stood outside with her mangy old bulldog and danced to music only she could hear)–and people would ask Kamran how his wife was and me how my husband was (awwwww (or barf, depending)). I kind of wanted some sort of send-off from Stacey with the red hair or the woman at the end of the hallway who always passed me in the morning in her yoga gear or even the asshole neighbor who would literally run into his apartment to avoid having to be polite to us if we nearly passed in the hall after he had taken his single empty can of Pepsi to the trash room. But no one was waiting for us with banners and balloons, so we silently carried our things to the curb and waited for a cab to take us to my apartment.
But then a moment later, the girl from the hallway came out to smoke, and we exchanged e-mail addresses. And then another moment after that, the guy Kamran had made friends with walked up, munching on a sandwich. We all stood around chatting and talking about future plans, and then the guy helped us load our stuff into the cab that pulled up. Well, first the cab driver said he wouldn’t take us and drove off. But then he stopped down the block, reversed, and popped his trunk open. CAB DRIVERS. We finally got to my apartment close to midnight. I think it was Kamran’s, like, fifth time there.
• Tuesday, Kamran came to work to say goodbye to all of my co-workers who actually like him better than me, and then we went back to my apartment to do laundry and eat one last banh mi. When we sat down to eat, I accidentally knocked his bubble tea to the ground, and it went eeeeeverywhere. Kamran, who used to act like I was the least-responsible person in the world whenever I spilled anything at his apartment, calmed me down and did all of the work of cleaning it up. And then we shared my bubble tea while watching “Deadliest Catch”, which we started watching together a few years ago and seemed appropriately epic for our end times. We cried and cried and then went to bed and cried and then held hands and cried and I told him not to say anything nice to me the next morning so I wouldn’t cry before work.
• Wednesday, I left for work knowing that I’d come home to an empty apartment. I hugged Kamran and closed my eyes for a second to enjoy it but then was like, “Shit! Shit! Don’t cry!” So I stopped thinking about it, kissed him, and left. It sucked.