Oh man that was close! I just nose-dived into the bedroom to put on a few stitches of clothes, tee shirt & panties. I was sitting here buck naked starting to type to you, when I glanced out the window and saw that across the way there are men working on the brownstone roof! They were concentrating on their tasks, not on me, thank goodness - and maybe they can't see in - but who knows. I'm not trying to flash anyone (save for you of course), unlike what I read just this morning on the NYRB blog, about pedestrians on the High Line being "nonplussed" by exhibitionist displays by guests at a hotel "which straddles the walkway near the park's southern terminus." Well I never. I'm meeting a friend for lunch in midtown next week. Maybe I'll see for myself.
Darling, how are you? I hope you are well & happy - here are kisses for you - sweet ones, from me. I had a very nice day, I'm enjoying my Brooklyn stay. I'm especially enjoying walking around the neighborhoods, seeing everyone out & about - so vibrant & active. I walked up to the Heights this morning to the bank, looking for all the world like a woman headed to work. But I wasn't, I was just Dora Maar (so I felt in my kneelength skirt and pinch-pleated top) running an errand, sailing up Clinton Street and down Court, checking everything out, part of the scene herself. Stopped into a shop where over the years I've bought most of my bras, got measured, tried on a few, liked one style that fit but they didn't have the color I like ("sugar" - that is, a pale cream) - so the clerk wrote down the info and I'll order it from home. Which I'll feel secure about doing now that I've actually tried it on. Returned to the apartment, noshed a bit more, on a thin slice of grilled salmon - I've been having little snacks throughout the day from the various dishes I brought down. Then I had a beautiful session with you filled with sweet thoughts, silent til the end when I vocalized and externalized at the prolonged moment of your maximal internalization - best feedback loop ever - all in my mind - yours too? - oh heaven!
Then I got up, put on my swimsuit, and a blouse & jeans over that, grabbed my padlock & a small towel, went out the door and down the steps, out into the neighborhood again, this time heading south, to the Red Hook pool. I have been swimming there most every summer (any chance I get) for many years now. It is a magnificent civilized structure, I just love it. It is immense - I'm guessing the size of a football field. And the water is cool and clear and blue. And people are civilized - lap swimmers of all ages shapes & sizes and swimming abilities share lanes, and somehow everyone manages, wordlessly for the most part, cordially. I'm a very slow swimmer, I do a self-taught crawl. I marvel at how amphibian other swimmers are - veritably darting through the water, eyes closed, head submerged except to expertly come up for air - full speed ahead, cutting through water as if it's air. I do my crawl, and I'm glad to be able to do that much (my mother, for example, had some pathological issue with water - I don't know what it was about - but she absolutely refused to ever set foot in a body of water - pool, beach, lake - other than baths in the bathtub - and now, see, I can't stand baths - I'd much rather go swimming - and then take a shower with beautiful fragrant soap).
Which is just what I did when I returned from the pool - and washed my hair for the first time in several days (I don't wish to overwash it, and I've been putting it off, anticipating a shampoo to get chlorine out of my hair).
I toweled myself off and combed out my hair and in just that midday session at the pool my tan has evened out a bit (now I have scooped swimsuit lines instead of tee-shirt demarcations on my upper arms) and I swear my hair is lighter - well, it was very bright at that glorious sunfilled pool - a David Hockney Los Angeleian watery oasis - wreathed by, in the distance, raised Gowanus Highway - as I did my slow swimmed lenghts I could see the cars & trucks stream in that circle of hell silently by.
And had to cross beneath selfsame incredibly pounding noisy thrumming adrenaline-inducing horribleness of not only the highway above (at that point, from a pedestrian's point of view, innocuous except for the deep dark concrete pitted abandon-ye-hope that is amplified beneath an elevated expressway (once years ago, while I lived here, a tractor trailer actually flipped right off the expressway onto the roadbed below - the roadbed at which I now stood at a light, with trepid or intrepid others, to cross. Because that roadbed itself is a crazy inhospitable highway of lethally speeding cars, instantly atomizing oversize long-distance hauls...
(You once told me you had driven around those very parts - looking for a church - )
I've lost my thread a bit, trying to describe the abject horribleness of that under-Gowanus crossing, under which nonetheless many pedestrians - human beings young & old - cross, all the time. (By the way, I'm familiar with the history, in urban planning terms - the Gowanus Expressway is thanks to Robert Moses.)
But I made it through the light (heart pounding) and within instants, a matter of a few dozen footfalls, one is carried up Clinton Street yet again, leafy, genial, lovely, human-scaled, pleasant neighborhood.... so so lovely. One of my first impressions - no more than a minute or two from crossing beneath the hostile behemoth - was encountering a young man, clearly employed in a dogwalking service, half a dozen dogs on as many leashes in his tow, cute sweet dogs (breeds?) that looked up at me like sweet young children - and the guy was about to pick up another dog, that was barking with great joy & anticipation behind a street-level door, so excited about the prospect of joining its friends on the lovely sociable walk around the neighborhood on this beautiful day.
That was sweet - and then radar goes up again - it is a beautiful neighborhood that I had crossed into - but ahead of me on the sidewalk I saw a young man reeling, walking very spasmodicaly, randomly, too slowly. I thought at first perhaps he was developmentally disabled - but then realized, with a bit of adrenaline alarm - that the guy was on some very heavy-duty, doubtless illegal drug. I didn't want to know, and to be honest, as slow-mo as his movements weaving up the sidewalk (a zombie, the living dead, I thought to myself as I marched across the street and as quickly as I could past him). White guy, young, looks fit enough, where I am is mostly a very affluent neighborhood. The guy looked like he might possibly, at one time anyway, had had the benefit of a mother, of parents. What if your mother were to see you now? I thought. The boy - young bearded man, shuffling along in - what a heroin drowse -
I'm going on about this because it was an incongruous sight.
At other points in my walk during the day I caught glimpses of individuals - with whom for some reason I had crossed paths - and now here I was, stylish young hip Dora Maar - glimpsing them once again - only they're so much older! Same face, same lanky build - but, OMG, who is that, when did he decide to go gray? Or another guy today - I know him from someplace - I noticed him, he noticed me - he was clutching his cellphone as I sailed past --
Anyway, darling - such was my day - all these impressions
what's the beautiful Polish word - my dearest dearest love, I love the Polish language I have such an appreciation for it - so the word that I'm about to put down here - I hear the Polish in my mind's ear - pronounced vra-zhe-nya...
but I don't know how to spell it
no big finish - it's just been a nice day
also - as an aside - it's a little different for me blogging from this computer- the typeface as I type is smaller, and I'm half-blind even with readers
what I'm saying is - I typed here
but cannot even attempt really to try to polish it
so here it is
So, I enjoyed having that glass of sherry at the tapas bar with you