On the last day of my NY trip I’m tired. I’ve walked for miles over the past 4 days and I’m not sure I can do another day of that.
Through chat a friend tells me about a cruise around the city lasting 2 hours. It sounds like a nice occasion to see the city from another angle and relax.
I can see the pictures I will take; all just amazing.
I go on the company’s website and reserve a spot. It tells me to print the reservation before heading out. Dang, I didn’t bring a printer… That’s when doubt comes knocking on my door.
Why be stuck on a boat and risk feeling awkward? What about those NY Space Invaders I saw online, but that I still haven’t found for real? Ok, but what about the pictures I just saw? Cruise? Walk?
I contact the cruise company and ask whether a confirmation of my reservation on my phone will suffice…
I don’t get an answer until a couple of days after getting home.
I never take the cruise. Instead I go hunting for Space Invaders.
Ultimately the need to satisfy my urge to find NY Space Invaders is much bigger than relaxing, don’t ask. I google some possibly invaded addresses. In Paris I would call that cheating. I mark 4 of them on my phone and head out.
The Space Invaders become a lesson in determination. In following my heart and not giving up at the first set back (see: Space Invaders in New York), but this story is not about that, even though going after them is how I got to meet D’.
On my way from Bowery Street to West 14th Street I walk by Washington Square Park. I notice the chess players in the park. They spike enough of my curiosity to forget about the Space Invaders for a moment, to turn around and walk through the park to take some pictures.
I’ve only just entered the park when two guys come up to me. One of them asks me to play a game of chess with him. I don’t know how to play, and so I tell him.
I remember my granddad teaching my brother how to play, but I never learned.
He’ll teach me he says.
D’ is a bit of a shoddy looking guy and I will admit to feeling kind of intimidated by him and his mate. Quick reflection makes me realize that I don’t have all that much to lose if it’s money that he wants.
We sit down and D’ starts talking about all the different pieces. The moves they can make. All that mixed in with talk about life in Paris and life in New York. We talk about my life as a woman. D’ sure knows a thing or two about women. He immediately has me down for a woman that when she has a problem rather wants someone to listen then give advice or solve the problem for her.
We talk about how inequality still rules the world. This brings us back to the chess pieces. D’s idea is that the world should be like a game of chess where the queen is the most powerful piece. According to D’ the world wouldn’t be such a mess if women would have had a more prominent place in it from the beginning.
Besides a philosopher D’ turns out to be an excellent artist as well. He shows me pictures of statues and paintings he has made. One of his works represents the strong woman as he sees her. He tells me that he’s sure I’ll recognize myself in it.
He’s a charmer this D’, but I won’t deny that he makes me feel good about myself, about being a woman.
When he notices that I’m getting cold hands he gives me a bottle of lotion and tells me to rub it on. He tells me how important it is to take good care of your extremities. It’s where sensations enter your body…
His next remark makes me giggle. Again he’s right about me. Like I said D’ knows a thing or two about women.
D’s phone rings and he’s needed elsewhere. We exchange phone numbers, we hug and then he bikes off…
We never really get to play that game of chess, but as a queen I walk a little taller from here on out!