Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Very between things today. Feeling under the weather, quite ill actually, physically out of sorts, and there's a mysterious red welt on my arm. I wonder if I'm having a recurrence of Lyme disease. And yet the welt seems to be fading as quickly as it appeared, so perhaps it's a different kind of insect bite. But when did I get stung? I wasn't aware. Surely not at the beach on Sunday, when I was wearing a sweater.

Write from where you are. At the moment, up in the aerie in clear late afternoon light. Elvis Presley is belting it out on the stereo (KZE) downstairs. My fingers are typing. I have an icefilled glass of rose, readers on my nose. I think of my grandmother, many many years ago, in her beautiful attic apartment at my cousins' house in a leafy Jersey suburb. Once in a while I'd spend a weekend or a week there and if I wasn't in one of the twin beds at opposite walls in my cousin M's room (we'd keep each other up telling stories, giving each other pop quizzes, whatever - talking, talking, talking until one of us drifted off) I'd creep up the steep, narrow, carpeted stairs to the magical aerie, my grandmother's room. Or maybe - more likely - I'd bound up there in the morning, and in my insouciant, insensitive exuberance probably thought nothing of getting her up sooner than she would have liked. I'd crawl into her narrow bed with her (my grandfather had died of cancer after a long convalescence on the twin bed at the opposite wall - hardly more than cots, both those beds, as I perhaps faultily recall).

My grandmother wanted to sleep more and I liked to lie against her, but I was 6 or 8 or 10 - I was awake and rarin' to go. My grandmother, perhaps in her late 50's or 60s at that point, would groan awake, and slowly sit up, eyes closed, moaning to herself, wszystko mi boli, wszystko mi boli. Everything hurts, everything hurts - and I can well believe (now) that every muscle every cell in her body was in pain. But I couldn't relate at all then, to her pain - I felt fine. I believe I wanted to relate though - but just couldn't. (My mother asked me once when I was a girl - don't you need slippers, don't your feet hurt without them? Why no Ma, not at all. Now, forty-plus years later I can't go without well-cushioned shoes on my feet in the house.)

My grandmother had enormous breasts and (as a little girl I sat by her on her cot as she woke, vanished to the little bath, and emerged washed to pull on her clothes) I was fascinated by both her pendulous breasts (on such a petite body) and the machinery of her brassiere. I am fairly large-breasted myself, though not as large as her. I am braless at the moment, sitting up here in the beautiful light as I type. Oh but it's chilly - so no more nudity for me til next summer - at the moment I've got on two t-shirts, and a cashmere sweater set - all pink, the layers all mixed up.

The other in-between thing is that I'd like to go to the talk in Amherst tomorrow but am not sure I'll be able to. All sorts of things - will I have the car, will there be money for gas, will D come along, will I go myself - it's a long drive - could I do it? I picture the chapel at Amherst where the talk will take place and imagine that it will cozily remind me of my college days on a beautiful campus. I don't know if it will happen - I will be surprised if it does - or doesn't.

Someone's shooting a rifle in the distance; closer by - on the downstairs stereo - jazz piano and trumpet on KZE. Strange trio!

The images are from D's and my beach walk at Jacob Riis Park on Sunday, on which we found a few conch and other shells, which I've since put on display on the little wall fountain in the solarium.

Kisses, all. Hope all's well. Love you.

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