My dear love, up in the tiny study, minimally dressed, though on this day with the city bracing for a hurricane, my privacy is unlikely to be breached by the appearance of men on a roof across the street.
The storm hasn't arrived yet. I hear varied accounts, depending on which news station I've tuned into on the hi-def TV, but I think the winds are supposed to start around 8 p.m., with the storm raging in the wee hours, 2 a.m. and after, and in full force tomorrow morning. Something like that. I suppose in the back of my mind I'm a tiny bit nervous about it, mainly from absorbing so much hype at this point, and also because I'm by myself. I don't think I've ever been through a storm of this magnitude on my own - always D was there, or in childhood, my family. But how alone can I feel, in this city of millions? And I'm in a familiar neighborhood, even if I don't know any of the neighbors, except by sight. So we're all in it, alone, together.
It was oppressively humid today, a steambath. I did a half-hearted abbreviated workout to a Barefoot Contessa episode, one I hadn't seen before, that featured glimpses of the beautiful Mariska Hargitay, who wore the most amazing midnight-dark cocktail dress, with a sleeveless swimsuit plunge-neck top, that sheathed tightly over her hips & thighs and stopped at the knee, her form contained in sumptuous ink sateen cut on the bias and molded precisely with geometrically-sewn darts, akin to riveted metal sheets on a yacht, that hugged the hull of her sculpted curves.
Stunning. Why am I writing about her? I cannot remotely compare! But seeing her fit, full figure, delightful smiling face and manner, graceful toned physique - well, really, I should have been motivated to work out harder, and lay off the camembert and the Ronnybrook toasted hazelnut ice cream. And the pesto. And pasta. And rose.
So in an effort to do something other than gain weight sitting around the apartment waiting for the storm to hit (oh, and very enjoyably and profitably reading 1.0's book - mental activity, at least - and some 'action' too, at a later point) I went for a couple of walks around the neighborhood, checking out the scene in desultory fashion.
(It's been drizzling most of the day, but just now I hear the rain picking up a bit, coming down harder, audibly...)
It was remarkable to me (thinking of the collective super-brain) how nearly every single snippet of conversation I overheard as I walked along the bustling village-like streets, everyone out & about, walking dogs, pushing strollers, clutching cellphones, etc., etc. -- all the talk was of the impending hurricane. Which is pretty amazing. Everyone here is consumed with it, by necessity - it's affecting everyone's daily lives, perhaps especially with the shutting down of mass transit as of noon today. But I also found it extraordinary that - speaking for myself - I hadn't even been remotely aware of the coming storm til late Wednesday afternoon - and I presume most New Yorkers hadn't either, much before that time - and here it is - a topic spread like wildfire, the #1 meme. So - news travels.
I wish I'd written down snippets I'd heard, logged them. On Atlantic Avenue I passed a guy on his cellphone -- "... and I heard...," he was saying - I perked up my ears - "that they're going to be shutting off power in those areas." Oh!
Perhaps the sweetest moment I witnessed, was in front of a large doorman apartment building near the foot of Montague Street (near the Promenade). An older gentleman was parting with his friend in front of the building. He said, as he put his arms around her, "Don't let the wind come & take you away." And she, grayhaired, not frail but a little fragile, responded, "What do I do if it starts to?" A poetic moment, between two friends, lovely to observe. I don't know how or if her friend responded - the moment, a few footfalls on my part, had passed.
I noticed another phenomenon on my travels - a sudden new fashion (so it seemed to me), as evidenced on quite a number of women that I passed - of wearing boots, a little taller than mid-calf. Most appeared to be rain galoshes, made of rubber or plastic. Some seemed more high-end English, into which jeans were neatly tucked; others inexpensive knockoffs, paired with a miniskirt or dress. Some were very plain, as for mucking about one's garden or farmyard, others cheerfully colored & patterned. The latter I saw both on young women, and on little girls. Today was a very warm, humid summer day, and though it drizzled it wasn't raining very hard. I myself was enjoying wearing a minimum of clothing, bare legs and sandaled feet. All these women wearing boots. Boots don't seem to me to be a comfortable choice on such a day, but all these women sporting them seemed comfortable enough, oblivious to the footwear that they had elected to put on for their ongoing parade of a weekend rainy day in Cobble Hill and the Heights. Could the sporting of these boots have been a hurricane-related footwear statement? But news of this hurricane has been so recent - how could this fashion meme have begun and taken hold so quickly?
I remain puzzled, a bit, though I haven't googled to get to the bottom of it. Maybe it's been a fashion trend for a while, and I only just today happened to become aware of it.
And that's it for now, my dearest, nothing more to report. Perhaps, assuming the power is still on, I'll post in the morning, to let you know of conditions here. I don't know what the storm will bring, but I have lined up a NY Sunday breakfast for myself - I bought a poppyseed bagel and a tiny container of scallion cream cheese, which I'll have with a bit of the grilled salmon I brought down with me. And since it seems certain that I will be apartment-bound the morning at least, into early afternoon, I will try very hard to redouble my efforts towards a vigorous workout. I cook & eat like Ina, but I've got an inner Mariska too - that I try try try to make outer...
Darling, here comes the rain in earnest now. Not wind yet though. Still, I ought to shut the windows.
All my love, dearest Branwell,
putting my arms around you
very many kisses
more kisses, my love
& that whole bit about Mariska's dress
I can't tell you how long I played around with elements of that description
a kind of poetic game
It's going to be a long night here, Branwell,
would you like to play Scrabble, my love?
best tile letters ever