Friday, April 8, 2011

Cool gray afternoon, bulbs - scylla, hyacinth, daffodils shoots - are springing up here and there amidst the detritus of last year's untidied spent perennials. How are you, my love? I hope everything is well with you. I'm doing fine. Mellow day today, sewing the apron for my Brooklyn friends. For my next project I'm contemplating making sturdy tote bags for the supermarket, but beautiful ones, made from those exquisite remnants.

Do you like to go out on Friday nights? I never did back when I was working, I'd be much too exhausted after the work week and relieved simply to be home. But now that I am home all the time, the thought of going out is very appealing. It's 5:42 now, and I am just so glad that I am not on a jammed F train, or waiting for an F train, or worse, coming through GCT via MetroNorth at the end of the day to take the Lexington Avenue line down to Borough Hall. God I hated that commute from the Bronx, the two years I worked there. (I didn't always take pricey MetroNorth, a lot of times I took the subway all the way.) Two worst years of my adult life, I think. (I pause to think.) Yeah - definitely.

Actually, coming through Grand Central was nice, I have always loved arriving there, that is, stepping into the lofty cavernous canopied magical marbled space, the din & confusion & sepia light of the vast public hall. I have always loved it, and I'm old enough to remember its earlier down at the heels incarnation, when huge Kodachrome banners near ceiling level drew the eye, and the ladies room was filled, it seemed to very young me, with "bag ladies." These were women who now - that is, in the 1960s - were elderly and homeless, and had formed, it seemed, a community of their own, they had come up during the Great Depression I guess. No (doing the math) they weren't children then, they were young women, perhaps with husbands and families, perhaps without. Perhaps they had, as adults, lost everything during the Great Depression. And here they were inhabiting the chill tomblike ladies-only space. They were quite haunting, those gentle old women on their own, gazing, some of them, into my young uncomprehending eyes.

That's actually a nice, if slightly (from my point of view) romanticized memory of the place. I also remember passing by, time after time within the terminal, a Hoffritz shop window display. Now that I really didn't understand - still don't - the scissors, knives and other steel implements looked so utterly dangerous, decontextualized from any benevolent civilian use. Who was buying these things? And for what purpose? Or perhaps this array of lethal weaponry was meant to aggressively if subtly frighten arriving suburban commuters and - later, offpeak - housewives in town for a day.

My darling, where was I? Oh yes, possibly going out this evening. We're having leftovers here - sesame chicken, mashed potatoes, plus freshly steamed carrots & asparagus. I could really go for - oh let's see, I don't know, a lovely seafood pasta perhaps, in a lovely neighborhood restaurant that unfortunately no longer exists. Oh never mind. Darling, what I'm really in the mood for is simply to be with you. Perhaps at this very hour we'll cook something up for ourselves - seafood pasta even perhaps - and we'll compare notes from our delightful day (because we've been together, Peter Pan & Wendy, on vacation you & I), and we'll listen to the Brooklyn birds twitter, and peer down into the garden, and perhaps a squirrel will run up the fire escape to check us out, that is if we have the windows open, which it's possible we might because I heard that up here, 100-plus miles north of the city, it's supposed to be in the eighties this Monday, let alone the following Friday.

Darling, I'm just really looking forward to hanging out with you, letting our hair down, our hearts out, the light in, like that.

By the way, I have it in mind to make actual mazurek to bring down (along with a few other delicacies to tide us over before we have to venture outside to forage in the neighborhood - oh delightful task! - for meals). I was going to make a peach-almond-frangipane tart as a variation. Which I did, experimentally. And concluded - you know, it's like DNA - same main ingredients, but no, it isn't mazurek, it's peach tart. And mazurek it will have to be. I do hope you like it, that you're not more of a babka person. Well, I suppose details such as that are bound to get sorted out...

with highly anticipated XOXO
yours, Belle

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