Sunday, August 28, 2011

I lie back on the bedsheets, knees up, skirt bunched around my hips, and stare at the ceiling, silent fan going round and round, deco-patterned lines of the white tin ceiling crisscrossing. I think of you, and enjoy the sound of gusts of wind, remnants of the storm, rushing, swooshing through the trees. Gray clouds roil, but their force is spent, there's not even rain in them, or any threat. And occasionally, for the first time, at the end of the day, the sun makes an appearance, blasts a hole in the gray torpor and shines madly platinum behind a misty scrim, surrounded as in a romanticized painting, with pure white billowing clouds against robin's egg blue. For one glorious moment anyway, for a few minutes, as I stood at the top floor brownstone window and looked out over the garden and at the sky to the west, seeing the sun make its dramatic heroic appearance after the furious whirlwind storm.

Hi sweetheart, the hurricane is long over, since around noon, and though it woke me before dawn with the sound of fiercely lashing rain, that may have been the worst of it right then - the cat I'm caring for miaowed a speech to let me know she didn't approve of the noise - and I reassured her in upbeat cooing tones effective for cross-species communication - "aaawwh, it's just a big bad ole storm."

So at six in the morning, or maybe by this time it was seven, still dark out, due to the storm, I, clad in teeshirt and panties for decency, strolled around the apartment with a glass of iced coffee, going through a few minor tasks, feeding the cat, changing her water. The phone rang, annoyingly, a couple of times, and I thought, I'm not going to answer it, unless it's my friends and I hear their familiar voices asking me to pick up. I'm not going to answer the phone to let their worried other friends know that B'klyn is just fine - but that their friends are away. Anyway - calculations such as that. I looked out the window at the storm, it didn't seem so bad, yes it was raining and trees were moving - but I didn't see anything severe. Of course the back gardens are enclosed, fenced & private green spaces ringed and walled by a square block of 1880's-built solid attached brownstones. Sheltered, in other words.

The phone stopped ringing, and then I thought I heard faint knocking, which I disregarded, til I heard it again. And it was my (now) downstairs neighbor, who in the fifteen years we lived here lived in the apartment above ours, precipitously near tears because she was getting a massive leak in her bedroom from the storm. I invited her in, and showed her that I wasn't experiencing anything of the sort, this apartment (the top floor, above hers) spared, windows closed - all very peaceful. Strange how leaks work, very occult & mysterious, that they'll bypass a whole floor. I have no explanation for it, though I felt very sympathetic towards her. She was feeling quite beleaguered.

Well, I'm awfully glad I had some clothes on. My neighbor was decorously dressed in a floral bathrobe, and I'm standing around chatting with her in my braless tee and panties. And it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to be standing around chatting with her in the crepuscular light, wearing not much. I didn't think much of it until a little later, when it occurred to me that she might have been a little taken aback that I was so casually in such minimal dress. In truth, I wasn't fully awake yet, and I hadn't given it thought, and I'm so used from living upstate to taking great liberties with the desporting of clothes, that I didn't think twice. The woman who stopped by is much older than me, getting on in years. I suppose I should be thankful (or should I?) that it was her, and not the neighbor below hers, who occupies the apartment that D & I had lived in. Now he - that fellow, he's a guy, he's cute and charming, and he knows it. Would I have been like, oh yeah, come in, see for yourself, no leaks here - and he might have recognized, as I led him into the bedroom ("show me where the leak is") the plugged in pink flashing-light little object for what it was, and then I would have been like, oh shit, I'm not properly dressed.

While the storm raged I just relaxed and drank iced coffee and breakfasted on delicious bagel, salmon & cream cheese and a small glass of juice, and spent the morning reading more of 1.0's book, which I'm greatly enjoying. I marvel at the pellucid prose - and not one typo or misprint yet - because I'm reading every word - have to (skimming doesn't work with this material) - so the book was obviously very carefully gone over - it's seamless, honestly. I've emailed him to let him know how much I'm enjoying it.

Eventually the storm passed and by early afternoon I felt restless and it seemed safe enough to go out. The neighborhood(s) are quite sheltered, plus upland - they're not named Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights for nothing. The sidewalks and roadbeds were covered with a lot of leaf litter, fallen twigs, and smaller & larger branches, but on my walk - all the way up to the Promenade overlooking lower Manhattan - I didn't see any major damage (one collapsed awning or facade of a small building maybe, but not even a whole downed tree). Oddly, after all that rain, in places the sidewalks weren't even wet - did the winds have such a drying effect?

Anyway - so yeah, storm over, I'm glad, it did cause me a bit of involuntary anxiety in anticipating it, but it's over, and I'm over it, and I took a very refreshing nap after my walk, which had a restorative effect, I had felt very tired having gotten up before six.

And that's it, not feeling very poetic or especially creative tonight. I lean back in this office chair and put my hands behind my head. I stare out the top of the window to my right: gray sky. The ceiling fan overhead clacks a bit. The glass-shaded bankers lamp sitting on a shelf to the right of the computer glows green. I feel a bit achey. Dinner will be leftover roast chicken and a steamed ear of corn. I doubt the pool will be open tomorrow. I need new bras. Nothing grabbing me at the museums, or movies. I like it here. But I wish for your company. Here comes another gust of wind. I like the anchor on WPIX news, Jim somebody. Smart, witty, irreverent - I'd date him in a heartbeat. My type. I formed an instant Hurricane-Irene microcrush - when I burst out laughing at his reaction to the reportage of one of the correspondents out in the field. The reporter was at Battery Park City, clutching her thin rain slicker about her as the winds blew, and she had interviewed a diehard resident who was refusing, her and her little dogs, to leave their 33rd floor River Terrace Apartment, the woman had attitude, she's not worried for herself, and not for her dogs either, she gives them valium, and she won't be any kind of risk for first-responders because if need be she'll go down with the storm would never dream of summoning them and besides she knows them all and was through 9/11, and all that, and even though BPC may be under three feet of water with no power - the woman gave the camera the silent facial equivalent of a shrug and Bronx raspberry.

So the in-the-field piece ends, and it's back to this witty offbeat shirtsleeved anchor, who says, with an ironic note of humorous incredulity - "the takeaway line from all that, for me? the woman gives her dogs valium."

Reader, I googled him.

Anyway, he's married, children, blah blah blah.

Ah well. Ha!

xoxo darling

sorry for the imperfections in this post - no disclaimer, they weren't, as in a hand-crafted object, intended - I'm too tired to polish at the moment - minor edits, if any, perhaps in the morning - or perhaps never

love, Belle

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