Friday, September 8, 2006

Across the Hall

You’re not supposed to know your neighbors in the City. That’s the rule, I’ve heard. They should be strangers— an across the hall, up the stairs, down the corridor annoyance that is tolerated, not embraced. But it was Easter and I saw that someone new had moved across the hall so I deposited a pot of tulips and a plate of brownies at the doorstep. Trying out my latest, most politically correct character, my note wished the stranger(s), “Happy Easter/Spring/ Holy holiday of your choice. Whatever your religious beliefs, I hope that you like chocolate! Welcome to the building!”
Now, 4 years later, I doubt I would ever do such a thing. Leave food, flowers and my china plate on some unknown’s welcome mat? It’s like an offering to the gods but extended toward mere mortals—so much time, kindness and thought expended… But, I didn’t know any better back then because I was so, so green.
There were two of them that moved in—an Irish Catholic and a Sephardic Persian.  How did they pair up? How did an actress from Long Island and an Iranian émigré in finance meet and move into my corner of SoHo? I’d ask them dozens of times to tell me their story. This is one of life’s most interesting riddles, you see: the process of meeting your other half, coming together, making something whole.
Our time to talk and drink was after her auditions…

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