Back from the city, ensconced at home, happy to be back but tired, allergies maybe. I didn't have as good a time as usual in Brooklyn. I felt constrained, the apartment small, too small for the two of us, what to blog, and when. We went for a long walk on the beach and picked up small, beautiful conch shells, each different from the last, with fibonacci swirls, ruffles and stripes, variegated as the zinnias at the farm. We argued over money: going out for lobster rolls meant walnuts or feta at Sahadi's - but not both - without even getting into goat cheese. But all was not lost, he tries, he does, he got me La Vielle Ferme and there was enough for my favorite camembert and on the drive back when I lamented that we were returning to the country without bread he veered off the West Side Highway and hightailed it to Balthazaar (engine threatening to overheat - the car, like us, doesn't like stop/go city driving) where there was ciabatta to be had so I got one sliced to freeze, and another whole, and two tiny sample slices of chocolate bread, one which I ate on the spot and the other that melted in my fingers as I returned to Prince Street and handed it to him through the car window. Last night he invited me to sleep in the bed again, not that I ever told you not to he said. So I did, and dreamt some, of people in Oxford sweatshirts, Americans I think, and an old man who looked like Peter O'Toole who insisted on making love to me outdoors on the grass by a long banquet table, lots of people around. I said it isn't right, and he said it doesn't matter, he was quite insistent and it didn't seem as though (as in Puttenham) anybody minded and it did feel good. In Brooklyn, with all the fretting over money, wherefore almonds or olives, baba ghannoush or chorizo, herbes de provence or the Henry Hudson Bridge ($3.00), I burst into tears at the sink, remembering two photos that now aligned in my mind. One, from a couple of years ago when my old paramour and I first started corresponding - he'd sent me a recent image of himself standing next to a woman at some book-signing. To my horror and dismay - and I'm not such a prude - they're both beaming straight at the camera (the woman a bit maniacally, he rather drily) and clearly visible in his trousers he's utterly tumescent - towards the woman. The other day on our friends' high-speed Mac I googled my brother, which I haven't done in a while. There were numerous images of him and his new wife at various social events - photos taken by a celebrity-circuit photographer who roams the scene and sells to les nouveaux riches images of themselves. In one thumbnail taken at a toney party the couple poses for the camera and it's clear from the drape of his sportsjacket that my brother is at that moment flagrantly aroused by his leggy, long-haired mermaid-like wife. (Such suggestive images, in questionable taste, seem like overt and bidden signs of arrogance (schoolboyish - but the opposite of the schoolboy's predicament in which an unbidden public erection is a distressing exigency at that age to flush crimson about) - are they a new-social-code subgenre in the sport of vanity photographers and their ever-preening prey?)
At the time old paramour sent me the photo I cropped out the woman and everything below his shoulders so that all that remained, decorously and in a way I could handle, was an innocent headshot. Why would I want to see her, and especially his arousal that wasn't for me? (As I wrote to him at the time: "... that woman and whoever took the picture are gone!").
And so yesterday as I sobbed foolishly at the sink I thought of these two ridiculous photographs - and thought - where's the man straining uncontrollably for me? Figuratively I mean. No - literally. Though the photos I can do without.
Kisses all, I promise to be more good - later.