I know that I'm not leaving NYC for good, but you guys know how melodramatic I am, and I think this is a perfect time to write about... my first year in NYC, which really revolves around my relaish with Ryan Hontz, one of my favorite human beings on the planet. (some of you may know him as Lolly, of the Lollipops)
Ryan and I moved to New York City together in September 2006. I'm sorry, let me go back a little further. Ryan Hontz fell in love with me from the audience of our community theater production of Into the Woods, because of my dashing rendition of Little Red Riding Hood. From there, he found a way to my Justin Timberlake party (yes, the only music I played was Justin Timberlake. worst slash best part host ever?) which I hosted at my mom's house when she was out of town. I was such a rebel in college. Not. Ok anyways. I don't know how it happened, but Ryan and I became friends. And I could not get enough of him.
Here's Ryan and I, so young and fresh faced, still living in Bloomington, Indiana.
Ok. So one day, we decided to move to New York City together. Not to take cred, but I think it was my idea. We planned our weekend to go to NYC, and find our apartment. The day we were supposed to go, all these bad omens started occurring.
1. Our fight got canceled. (it was immediately rescheduled).
2. On our way to the airport, we saw a truck in front of us that had Ryan's initials on it. When Ryan pulled out his new camera to take a picture of it, we saw that the screen of his new camera was mysteriously broken.
Well folks, those were our 2 omens.
"Ry, something's really not right here."
My favorite part about the trip to the airport is that we were running very, very late. However, we refused to let that stop us from slipping onto an exit during our one hour drive to Indianapolis airport to get Subway footlongs. Flash forward to us getting back in the car- OMG if we miss our flight, it's a SIGN. No, it's not a sign, you guys are just pigs.
Well we made our flight. Ok so keep in mind, that in our heads, we had ignored all these "don't go to NYC" signs and we were playing with fire. Any disaster that might occur, was now on us. That said, after the airplane took off, something broke in the airplane's ____ ? and all of a sudden, steam starts pouring into the flight. I'm not talking little bits of steam. I'm talking I could barely see Ryan sitting next to me. Suddenly I barely understood the difference between smoke and steam. IT LOOKS THE SAME, EVERYONE. So Ryan and I knew that this was the end for us. How could we have just ignored the bread truck sign?
Here's a picture of what we thought was the last day of our lives.
It's a blur. But at one point in our apartment search, we were somewhere in Brooklyn, in the back of a hot van, driven by a Hasidic Jew, aka "King David". Ryan and I were sweating profusely (it was a thousand degrees in NYC), and Ryan noted immediately that the car smelled like a petting zoo. Of course, from that moment on, I was laughing uncontrollably. And Could Not Stop. On top of that, the zipper of my dress JUST KEPT UNZIPPING. So we're in the back of this weird boiling van, we have no idea where we are or where we're going. The van is bumping around the street, I am off my head laughing to the point of tears (and/or peeing) and poor Ryan has to keep zipping my dress up, all the while talking to the broker/agent/driver/"king david" about what we're looking for. It was a situation. And Ryan was a hero.
After seeing a couple of apartments, Ryan and I found a great one.
"What do you mean it's a studio?" Asked my sister when I proudly came home from our successful hunt.
"Sis. I really think Ryan and I can do this. "
That's when my sister made some undeniable points and I called Ryan, upset. We were both mad at my sister. Because deep down, we knew she was right- it's weird to share a bed when you're not a couple. (Ryan, this is ironic considering what happened in our apartment for months, which I'll leave out to protect the innocent. The innocent being you. and our third room mate. Desperate times.)
Long story short, we signed a different lease about 2 hours before our flight back home to Indiana. For a small and wonderful apartment on East 10th Street. We moved to New York shortly after, and were room mates for two years.
The morning after our first night as room mates, we got a complaint (the first of thousands) from our neighbor David, saying that we were extremely loud. In addition, he accused one of us of walking around with a "HEAVY FOOT".
"How strange!" Ryan apologized, as my cowboy boots stood right there on the floor next to the door.
David heard EVERYTHING that happened in my room, because both his and my bedroom faced the airshaft (I lost a rock paper scissors to Ryan somewhere along the way). I had no privacy. During one of David's complaints to Ryan, I think he even referenced something I had said IN a phone conversation I was quietly having the night before. I say "David's complaints to Ryan", because everytime someone knocked on our door, I would run and hide in Ryan's bedroom, and would make Ryan answer. Cause the only person that knocked on our door, was David. Again, Ryan= hero, Galia= zero
Sometimes I would lay in bed, thinking about David laying in bed, wondering if he was uncomfortable with the fact that we were both listening to the pigeons vigorously making love.
Ryan and I had the best time together. "Who needs boyfrends?" We'd ask, wildly chomping our (second) dinner, in bed, drunk, and watching Season 17 of Lost.
Some people accused Ryan and I of having an enabling/weird/unhealthy relationship.
Maybe we did.
Depends what you call unhealthy.
Wait, here's one of our favorite stories. One day we were in Ryan's bed (where i was allowed to talk, laugh, breathe freely) and we were going through pictures on his computer, when we come across a picture that he thought nothing of, and kept scrolling.
"Who is that?!" I said, like a desperate teen, thinking Ryan has a hot friend from college that I didn't know about. (please note that both Ryan and I are born again virgins at this point- not by choice. )
Ryan looks confused, and starts scrolling back to see who I could be talking about, in my sex voice.
Turns out it was this picture.
It was embarassing. Not as embarrassing as when, years later, Ryan found that that very picture of him had mysteriously appeared on MY computer.
Ok. I could go on forever about our ridiculous intro to facing this city together. Ryan was my NYC angel, and the reason I didn't completely crumble under sadness, unemployment, (or a two week stint at a coat factory), mortifying job interviews (Ryan you know which one i'm talking about-two words- tinted lotion), bad choices (Ryan you know the few I'm talking about), open mic nights, missing home, all of it. The laughter and closeness in our household got me through the horrors of leaving Bloomington, where my heart was, and walking into a very lonely city where everything seemed so dirty and harsh. I love NYC so much. But without Ryan, I am not sure I would have made it past that first year.
Ry, I love you SO MUCH
I am so incredibly proud and happy to announce that Ryan is now engaged to Scott Silvestro who I love so fucking dearly. And guess what. I'm officiating their wedding. So when Ryan's at the altar, guess who will be standing right beside him? ME. (just like I used to imagine when I'd stare at the "straight ryan" picture on my computer.) But in seriousness guys, officiating their wedding is an honor that I can't quite explain, and it's not one that I've felt before. Whenever I think about it, I am filled with joy, gratefulness, and such hard core love. Ryan and Scottie's wedding in September is my ETA of coming back from Dublin, which oddly enough, I'm realizing at this moment, takes me full circle, back to NYC, back to Ryan, exactly 7 years from when I moved to NYC. It's a sign.
A sign that also makes me feel that Ryan and I couldn't have been that unhealthy for each other.
I mean, just cause we love fake pregnancy holiday photo shoots..