During the 20th century, circa 1988, within the seedy margins of New York’s Lower East Side, cable lines were being laid for the first time in New York City. After a turbulent fling with Tom that ending badly in March of that year, resulting in his permanent withdrawal to Massachusetts, by December Time Warner was ready to dig up the neighborhood.

A mutual friend Jason asked if I would accept having his phone line transferred to my home phone (no cell phones), since we learned cable work meant lines would be down for weeks. The only call that entire two weeks for Jason was from Tom, who I hadn’t spoken to in ten months, wanting to come down and Christmas shop that weekend. Tongue-tied, rattled.

Flustered again that very Saturday, with filthy hair, I crashed into Tom and Jason while turning the corner on First Avenue. Awkward, tattered.

Later that evening ever persistent Jason called and called. “Put on a dress and come uptown, Foley’s having his annual holiday black tie.” “But I’m exhausted from the holidays already,” I said “and A Very Brady Christmas is premiering tonight!” Being 25, I caved, bought a poinsettia and headed north. Tom was there, oh how great he looked, I caved again. We safely rebounded below 23rd Street before midnight and sealed the deal with a kiss at the Paul Newman bar.

Twenty three years have hastily passed, though I still cave when my husband turns the corner or wears a black tie. Allison Savicz and Tom Daly Chapel Hill