A bearded man can’t live off berries and leaves of the forest, alone. Hence, I was getting my carbohydrate fix at the local Latino diner. It a most wonderful place with a long counter top, telenovelas playing on the TV & salsa music whisking diner patrons to exotic locations.
In the midst of traditional Latin foods, such as Mofongo (fried plantans smashed with different fillers), beef stewed, empandas, Moros y Cristianos (black beans mixed with white rice), I ordered the spaghetti (granted I usually go for a more traditionally Cuban/Puerto Rican dish).
After indulging with a bit of guilt, I ordered a tres leches cake. Inevitably, I experienced food coma. Therefore, a long walk was needed. However, I longed for a bit more people traffic.
I took the C train to Columbus Circle, for an after dinner walk around Ninth Avenue. I love my walks around Hell’s Kitchen. It’s New York reigning gay-borhood. The tall buildings, eclectic restaurants, car horns, neighboring bright lights of Times Square and narrow sidewalks, feel quintessentially Manhattan.
As I cut off slow pedestrians on the northwest corner of 53& Ninth, I made eye contact with a cute guy with red hair. I kept on walking, but really wasn’t sure why he was starring my direction. While walking toward Eighth Ave, I happened to make eye contact with another guy. This time, it felt like attraction at first sight, but the shy part of me kept walking. Then, I strolled back towards Ninth Ave and surprise, more eye contact.
I wouldn’t say I was a Casanova or a pretty boy in any sense. However, I wondered, why out of all nights am I suddenly a Casanova? I touched my face and realized I was scruffy. “Oh yeah, I had let my beard grow,” said I. In a sense, I was rebelling against appearing overly well put together. However, guys were responding more to the “I don’t care kind of attitude.”
Since, I was still a singleton in New York, I decided to keep the beard. Armed with a slight beard, shoes, which need to be polished and a little tummy, I still went out and enjoyed life. Even, if I hadn’t caught any attention that night, I’d still proudly strut my stuff.