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Tuesday 18 April 2017 started exactly the same as the others: awake at 6:30, then breakfast, then out to explore; but today was different to all the others, it’s a day that will never be repeated. Our 25th wedding anniversary. Special enough that we’re spending it together on the opposite side of the world, what more could you do? Go shopping!

Believe it or not, I was actually looking forward to this: I’d come to NY with an empty suitcase, the plan being I’d buy all of the clothes I’d need for the trip, then I’d be a year ahead when I get back home, fashionista that I am (not). But we began where I never thought I’d end: men’s fragrances. Not that I smell like ass normally, but now I smell like a fusion of spices, leather and florals, opening with notes of sage and lavender to reveal the sensuality of suede layered with geranium, warming to intense hints of creamy nutmeg mixed with incense for a base that’s both sweet and seductive. Holy Jesus! Next I’ll be growing a moustache, humming ‘Good morning Baltimore’ and wearing loafers.

I kid, of course (I don’t hum), but I did emerge after a few hair-raising moments with two pairs of jeans, shirts, sweater and a black hooded jacket that clawed back some heteronormative masculinity for me. Maybe it shows lack of imagination, but I still like being a boy. My wife also enjoys being a girl, and, fulfilling the stereotype, emerged from our assault on 5th Ave with a shopping bag hooked to each finger and a credit card at melting-point. Serendipitous purchases won the day: an unexpected yet perfect leather jacket from Saks, a hobo shoulder-bag from Shinola in Brooklyn, some perfume, some make-up, some tops. Maybe not enough to completely scratch the itch, but we gave it a good rub. There’s prescription medication for the rest.

We lunched at Cafe SFA where I had the corn and crab chowder, the NY strip steak, and a couple of cocktails. I wondered for a moment what the poor-people were doing, but then I looked down the street from my window high over 5th Ave and remembered. They’re working in the kitchens to cook my meal, wipe down my table, ride the evening train back home to Mott Haven. But I grew up in a place just as bad, with my wife supporting me every step out of that shithole. After 25 years, she deserves it, end of story. Of course, that wasn’t the end of our day, but that’s the end of my account of our day.

Have to leave some things to the imagination.

New York City – Day Three.