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Excerpt I

Chapter One

32-year-old woman seeks roommate for gorgeous, sunny, East Village one-bedroom. Ideal candidate: 30-something male, considerate, honest, laid-back. Smart, funny, creative, financially stable, sweet, good in bed. Roommate must display a passion for movies, books, and food, must be able to handle his booze and ready for a serious relationship. Good with hands a plus. No vegetarians, commitment-phobes, or Republicans need reply. Dog lovers only. Above all, must make said 32-year-old female’s heart race—wildly. Anyone fitting this description, call Jacquie. ASAP.

“Hey. It’s me. Would you please let me know if you’re coming tonight?” I hang up with a clank and eye the corner of my computer screen. 5:00. “Fuck!” I say more loudly than I’d intended and everyone in the room audibly stops working and turns their heads in my direction. “What?!” I ask. (Read More...)

Excerpt II

My cab pulls up to the corner of Elizabeth and Spring in NoLita, brakes screeching to a halt in front of a bland beige building with a rust-colored door. This is a nice neighborhood, expensive with new overpriced boutiques and trendy bars popping up everyday to replace the old ones that are forced to close their doors, victims of the ever-increasing rents. I’m undaunted by the appearance of the building, aware that hidden treasures often lurk behind unsightly facades. I buzz and climb a dingy, poorly-lit staircase with two-toned walls that are peeling and crumbling. The top half was once off-white, but has been weathered into a rough shade of grime and the forest-green bottom half looks as if a feral cat comes out every night after the inhabitants’ bedtime to claw at it rabidly. I’ve learned not to judge an apartment by its stairway, any more than the edifice’s exterior: At least downtown, nine out of ten hallways feature scuff marks, stairs beaten by decades of overuse and cheesy, misguided paintjobs by management too tight-fisted to do it right. (Read More...)

Excerpt III

Ever since I was old enough to envy the girls making out with dreamy-looking men in the moonlight on Love Boat and Happy Days, I’ve lulled myself to sleep with fairy tale love stories I make up in my head. They go something like this: On a perfectly glorious sunny day, I am strolling alone down an East Village street (in Central park, through Soho), dressed in something flattering in red (pink, yellow), maybe with polka dots. This guy—say, Cute Café Boy—is walking his Golden Retriever (mutt, beagle), sort of running, laughing, playing tug-of-war, not looking where he’s going, and he crashes right into me. He looks up, stunned, apologetic—“I’m sorry, are you okay?” His voice is raspy, masculine, full of emotion. When I look into his electric blue (brown, green) eyes, the attraction is instant and mutual. (Read More...)

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