As I climbed under my duvet just shy of 2am on Tuesday morning, I realized that out of the last twelve nights, I'd spent exactly one in my own bed. That sounds rather scandalous and exciting, until I clarify that most of them have been spent in other people's spare bedrooms. Wait, that still sounds kind of scandalous and exciting. Huh, except maybe not so scandalous. Or exciting.
I spent the first three days of last week in New York, staying with my brother Tom. My brother Tom is the only person I know in New York with a spare bedroom, and if you live in New York—or, indeed, any large city—I fully expect your eyebrows to be way up into your hairline right now, because what? A spare bedroom in New York? You thought those were mythical, right? Like unicorns and gremlins and a line at the DMV that's shorter than fourteen people.
But no, Tom has a spare bedroom, and this is because Tom is one of those chosen lucky chancers, the kind of person who gets upgraded on a whim at the airport because he remembered to brush his hair that morning. Tom loses his passport and gets it returned to him from the back of a cab in Queens the next day. Tom once had to go on a business trip to report back on the safety and security of two dozen luxury hotel rooms.
So this means Tom is a very good person to know in New York, because Tom has this spare bedroom. The reason he has this spare bedroom is that his roommate got transferred back to London a few weeks after they'd signed the lease and moved in together. The roommate's company felt so bad about transferring the roommate back to London after he'd just signed a lease in New York City that they decided to pay the roommate's rent for him so that he didn't screw Tom over. What? How does this even happen? And why hasn't Tom bought, like, fifty lottery tickets already?
The apartment was a bit of a bachelor pad, as you might imagine, and I was slightly worried about the sheets in the roommate's room, where I would be sleeping. Specifically, I was worred about the freshness of them. Could I be sure of when they'd last been changed? Tom is a 29-year-old single man living alone in an apartment whose refrigerator contains seltzer water, half a granola bar, and a bottle of ketchup from the Clinton administration ("that's full!" he told me proudly as I surveyed its bare shelves.) What are the odds the sheets on his spare bed were going to be clean?
Well, I have to give credit where credit is due, because the sheets were indeed clean. I prodded in the most polite way I could think to do it—"so, when did the guy who was staying here before me leave? Oh, yesterday? And, hey, no reason here, just spitballing, do you have a washing machine in this place, or....?"—and Tom, having known me for 29 years, just looked over at me and said "Holly. Come on. I put fresh sheets on your bed." To which the only response, of course, was to laugh gaily and say "Well, duh! I know you did! I never doubted that for a second."
(Whatever. I doubted that for many seconds. Mainly while I was wondering how close your laundromat was, whether it might still be open at midnight, and if they'd take credit cards.)
I have much to tell you about everything we ate in New York—if there is another thing Tom knows about me it is that I like to plan my visits to cities around the food I can stuff into my mouth while I'm there—and also about the little side trip Sean and I took to Maine (more eating) after spending Thanksgiving with his parents in Connecticut (yet more eating), but I'll save that for next time, I think. Right now, I need to go and look at a bunch of kale until my clothes fit again. That's how that works, right?