If my mother asks why I left the Bernini, tell her the noise gave me a migraine and I needed to get enough sleep for the Wythemans’ brunch tomorrow.
If you ask me why I left the Bernini, I would tell you that the black ties and floor-length dresses crowded closer and closer around me until the smell of champagne suffocated me in a pink-bubble sea of lights.
Had I seen you before I left I would have made sure my white-gloved fingers slipped through yours. I would have turned to look back at you fleetingly before the doormen shut the golden doors on the scene.
A clink of crystal glasses, a pearly peal of laughter. And I ran.
Everything hit me at once. The muggy night that kissed my bare shoulders wetly. The buildings, lost in shadow. The summer green ethereal and dark, like a Burne-Jones painting I’d seen at the Met.
And then there was the sky, a darkness that filled the space between dreams. A black slowly fading into midnight blue—the faintest hint of morning.
I found myself at the Central Park Lake, in a field overlooking the old buildings of the Upper West Side. The warm lights rippled onto the water. I slipped off my black Jimmy Choos and tossed them to the side.
I lay down on the grass and thought of you till the sun rose.