Spring is supposed to turn this week. Yet, I look out and I still see snowdrifts on the sidewalk. The weather is still freezing, my scarf , just worn, is slung visibly on a chair and my boots, still wet on the soles, are drying on the rug. I know it’s still winter and these conditions are not supposed to be unusual but the chilly weather and the snow have been more like the exceptions than the rule this season. The noreaster 2 days ago that dumped over 4 inches of snow on the city served as some sort of wintry interlude; a seasonal spell that cast a break from the rut of springlike weather coming too soon.

It seems that the recent weather has been sympathizing with my life, or vice-versa. It’s been exactly a week to the day (and a few days shy of the big noreaster) that I had my own winter interlude. What began as quite a spell has ended to be more like a curse.

I was hanging out with my good (gay) friend, Eric, the writer(who is not to be confused with my other friend, bi Eric), last Saturday night at Barrage, this bar in Hell’s Kitchen. We had just finished watching Talk Radio, Eric Bogosian’s play reincarnated on Broadway and topbilled by Live Schreiber (who gave a solid performance), and were catching up on each other’s lives when we bumped into Conrad, a 35-year-old software programmer, who was also there with a friend. Conrad is an Irish-German boy who grew up in Connecticut, went to Northwestern and now lives in Astoria. Eric and I were talking about getting glasses and there was Conrad, geekchic in his own (and recommending his optometrist). We ended up exchanging numbers and hanging out the following night. I had spent the whole day shopping for my chair and ottoman with Tim, and dinner with my aunts at a Chinese restaurant in Queens, when Conrad and I decided to catch the last showing at Angelika of The Namesake, Mira Nair’s faithful adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri’s novel. Tim and I had discussed about how we were not yet ready for monogamy but were content enough with each other to admit to not even look to date with anyone else anymore and, yet, that night, I found myself handholding with Conrad throughout the whole movie. We went to Mr. Black for a nightcap and, at 2 am, both headed back home to my apartment for what turned out to be a sleepless night. (We were in pjs and shirts when we lay in bed; we were both naked when we woke up.) I lent him my copy of The Namesake, then, walked him to his train back to Queens at 7 AM while I clung to my transit reading, Rupert Everett’s autobiography, as I boarded mine to work. I grappled with undefined relationship dilemmas (in between yield analysis reports and client conference calls) through the haze of caffeine, Catholic guilt and a cloud of sleeplessness all throughout Monday. If I knew then what I know now, then I would have simply spared myself the terrible hassle of having to deal with the unnamed conflicts. It turns out I didn’t even need to. I called Conrad on Wednesday to discuss my issues. It is now Sunday and he still hasn’t called back. After a whirlwind of a weekend, it turned out to be like any other no-strings-attached Manhunt hook-up; but with a movie and a sleep-over (and promises of watching a Puccini opera at the Met in April coupled with the loss of my Lahiri novel.)

It was so bizaare, like a dumping of snow last Friday after the temperature hit 69 degrees on Thursday. Totally unexpected and yet, the snow blanketing the city in white as if in a dreamy Christmas wonderland, welcome as it was happening. Now, there are only pools of melted snow clogging the streetcorners, murky and dirty. Snow has turned to slush which has turned to muck.

I don’t even know why these things happen. What I am left to see and hold (and maybe even try to begin to understand) is what had indeed happened and what lies in its aftermath. One thing I do know though is that sense of relief in realizing that time turning on its wheel will be moving me past this bleak winter episode and onto the bright clarity of spring shining in the foreground.

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