Sometimes all you have to do is step outside.

The clock ticks and we are hours away from the end of 2020. I am writing up the post, it was actually this one here, and I reflect a bit on it all. 2020 has been one crazy year for all of us and I think about my odd situation at work. Due to having no work-life balance and being so heavily invested in a few projects, I actually started to develop feelings for one of my coworkers even though she is decades older than me.

Needless to say, the relationship was somewhat toxic as she is condescending and rude towards me as well as inconsistent with what she says versus what she does. We have some big news coming up in the middle of January where she will have to give me a review on my work and I feel uneasy. The reality is, her field is very lucrative so if she decides to keep me on, I get a nicer paycheck. I guess I got too invested into her and trying to make the project work, definitely something that has been on my mind more than it should have.

Does she keep me on? Does she demand I get taken off given that we have butted heads on some things? I don’t know, but I know it ate up a lot of my thoughts over the break.

The same coworker has also been playing favorites with one guy, who I am pretty certain she wants to fuck, even though he has been doing low quality work. I notice his stuff does not get the same flak that mines does even though it is all so carefree. Meanwhile, her attitude towards him is all happy and excited compared to me. Things are not looking to promising for January from what I have gathered but I could be wrong.

To make matters even more miserable, the city itself implemented a newer wave of lockdowns which meant indoor dining is closed. The New Years was not that exciting but I knew I could not be locked up inside of my room with all of these stressful thoughts around work and feelings I was developing for a coworker.

So I go up to the rooftop, it was around 10:30 at night when I did this and it was quite a view. I stand around, it is quite cold but thankfully I had wore the right kind of jacket for the weather. About twenty minutes or so pass, usually I am the only one at my rooftop during the times that I do go out. I hear footsteps behind me, it is a cute blonde in a parka, I smile at her as she smiles back and walks around the rooftop taking photos.

We make some small talk, she is from Vermont and had recently moved to the city. Apparently, my building is loaded with such people but I am not even aware of it as of yet. The blonde and I chat about how Vermont is like as she gives me pointers on what to do when I am there. We have a pretty decent conversation, she was friendly, but she said she has to do something before she comes back.

Not long after, I am joined by three girls who are all roommates. One girl looks Latina, another a pale brunette with freckles, and one is this beautiful blonde. All of the girls seem excited and even brought a bottle of Champagne with them to celebrate the end of a controversial year. I look back and smile, the Latina smiles back.

“Allie, I don’t think we are having any fireworks tonight,” said the Latina.

“I know, they outlawed them,” replies the brunette.

“Like that ever stops people from doing fireworks right?” I reply, as the Latina smiles and brunette looks at me.

“I mean they are illegal now so I don’t think we are having any,” said the brunette.

“I say give it past midnight, we’ll have some for sure,” I respond.

“Oh I do not know,” says the blonde, in a heavy European accent.

“Let me guess, you’re from Sweden?” I ask, as she laughs.

“No no, Dutch,” she replies, laughing.

The conversation kind of died from there and I let it, no pressure on myself to get the digits. All three girls go back down but the Latina tells me they are coming back up. Meanwhile, the blonde from Vermont comes back and we start chatting again. We talk about what there is to love about NYC and I talk about how much diversity and variety the city has. As I am saying this, the blonde comes back up, her friends have yet to arrive.

“Like her for example, she is Dutch,” I said.

Somehow, this prompted the two blondes to chat with each other. Maybe it was a shitty game move by me but I was not thinking about it like that, I was just happy to talk to people and potentially meet new people. The two blondes are having a pretty nice go at it and soon her friends come up. I smile to see the good socializing going on, it felt so lively.

“Hey excuse me, can you please take photo?” asks the blonde, in her beautiful accent.

I try to take the photo but not even sure if the flash is working the way I want it to. What I do know is that the phone is new and after a couple shots at it, I fail. Luckily, the Vermont girl is an expert with the phone and comes right in the nick of time to save the day. As me and the girl from Vermont talk, we hear a noise.

“Party up, 2020 bout to end bitches!” says a blonde, coming through the door with two of her friends, another cute blonde and a flamboyant gay guy.

“Whoa neighbors, hello!” says the same blonde.

“Hello neighbor,” I say, in a dry boring voice.

“No no no, say it louder and say it like you are happy!” she replies.

“Hay neighbor!” I shout, as she laughs with her friend.

“Lauren, both Sally and Lindsey should be up in a few,” says the other blonde.

Sally and Lindsey did come, one was cute and another was just hot. Sally was the cute blonde and Lindsey, a sexy raven-haired beauty with blue eyes. Somehow, it all turns into a large group meetup where the three girls, me, the Vermont girl, and the new crew all start chatting. We come to find that there was a lot beer to be had which needed to be finished. The only men on the rooftop were me and Toby, the gay guy.

We told stories and being that I was probably the oldest guy in the group, I had stories to tell. As midnight came, the fireworks went off as blonde let out a loud exciting shout of excitement. We heard other neighbors in apartments nearby celebrating and shouting as well.

Just like that, it is like I was uplifted.

All those foggy thoughts of work and being so weighed down by it all, in that moment, it all left me. I was no longer thinking about work, in fact, it could all go to shit and I know I’d somehow recover. The situation felt like me somehow being lifted out of hell by Angel, in a figurative way of course. My mind was freed from the locks that were on it and it was no longer so pigeon-holed.

The situation, it was so sporadic and in the spur of the moment, no one would have guessed it would be playing out as it did. I thought I would go up to the rooftop, clear my head, and get the views but never did I think I would see so many of my neighbors. In hindsight, it made sense I did given the situation and the occasion.

A part of me always wanted this, the social aspect of life. I have lived in many apartments that house people in their twenties but never really got around to socializing and knowing my neighbors. In past cities I have been in, people just stuck with their college crews and ignored outsiders. Somehow, this fun social situation landed on my lap out of nowhere when really, I just needed to be on the rooftop to clear my head!

Back to the party.

I was probably like five drinks deep, almost all Bud Lights with one White Claw, and it was slowly hitting me. The drinks had hit the Dutch girl hard as she was laughing loudly and having herself a time. We drink some more and continue to share stories as one of the blondes, Lauren, has her arms on me. Somehow, whenever a girl touches the back of my neck or my shoulders, it gets me going.

Somehow, despite the exciting moment, my killer instinct was just not there. Old me before the lockdowns could have easily gone for the make out and close. I mean for fucks sake, they were my neighbors and logistics would be of no issue. At the same time, my mind was not focused on getting laid, I just wanted to be social and have a good time.

Not long after, I do grab the digits and we all follow each other on Instagram, I made a few peoples’ stories that night. Me, Lauren, and the Vermont girl have a nice chat throughout the night as we near 2 in the morning, it is bitter cold now. Lauren is flirty with me and I am flirty with her but I do not try anything, despite her living a couple floors up.

Then, we all slowly head back and go back to our apartments since quite frankly, it is so fucking cold.

I felt free, really free.

The feeling was so freeing for me mentally and emotionally. The coworker who was on my mind and the work situation, it all just kinda flushed out of my head. In my mind, I could see myself slowly being lifted out of my own mental turmoil by the situation as if it was an Angel. I could look down and seeing a shit show unfold but knowing that now, I was watching it from above.

I do not know what will happen when that day comes and how they will position me for future projects. A part of me does not even know how well I might click with my neighbors or sync up with them moving forward, hard to say. For all I know, we just pretend like we don’t know each other as happens occasionally in chance encounters or maybe they call me to more parties.

What I do know is that January, for better or worse, is going to have a lot of surprises in store. At the same time, 2021 could not have kicked off with a more promising omen.

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