Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hello my dearest, back home in the aerie, settling back in, feeling a bit between two worlds at the moment, the Brooklyn apartment fresh in my mind, home here slightly strange: re-entry. Got in one last swim at the pool, then went out for lunch with D, a rare treat - lunch out, and a burger & fries to boot. I think it's been about a year since I've had a burger, maybe longer than that on fries. Or rather frites, skinny, crispy, salty, a tad greasy but deliciously so. Washed down with a Bloody Mary. After a week of eating mostly food that I had made and brought down with me I felt as though I'd been sprung from Food Prison. I'm not complaining, but I just felt this great sense of exhilaration - oh wow, this is different. It was nice sitting at the front of the cafe too, on this beautiful summer day, sun shining, by the wide doors open to the sidewalk, so there was always this flickering everchanging montage of people passing by in the background, that I could settle my gaze upon if there was a pause in conversation.

D filled me in on the extent of the devastation that has transpired upstate and in Vermont, the scale of which I hadn't quite grasped in NYC-centric NYC. Nothing at all seemed amiss on our side of the river, at least from the perspective of sailing up the Taconic, but many Catskills towns & villages that we've passed through at one time or another - sweet beautiful colorful historical main streets - such as Phoenicia - severely damaged. There's a bridge in Catskill (a small city across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge) that sits high above Catskill Creek. D tells me that the creek rose 40 feet - reaching the roadbed of the elevated bridge. That's hard for me to imagine, the creek has always seemed so safely and distantly far below when I've ever crossed over it. I asked D - why this devastation? what's the difference? I mean, storms pass through here all the time, many with very heavy downpours. 13 inches of rain in twelve hours, in a storm that wasn't localized but was so massive it inundated everything, and all the water ran down the mountains to the creeks & valleys and flooded everything, there were no secondary buffers to absorb some of the extra runoff. They're calling it the once-in-500 years storm here, as a metaphoric measure of its severity, but I wonder - is this the advent of the new normal, will such scales be reconfigured?

I do feel very fortunate that we live in a pocket that was spared. We're on a fairly high elevation (in an area full of creeks & ravines & ridges & hillsides) and the road we live on meanders its way down and follows a creekbed, a tributary to the Hudson - that part of our road is closed, maybe even still, due to severe flooding.

Anyway, that's that, I'll look at photos of the region tomorrow when I stop by the library in the afternoon. I might have glimpsed them in the Times online, but since now they require a paid subscription, I wasn't about to dip into my friends' cache of 20-per-month freebies.

One thing I'm really enjoying and noticing anew as I sit up here, pitch dark out already -- the nighttime ringing sounds of crickets and who knows what other insects that make a beautiful monochromatic twinkling concert in the evening - a lovely country sound.

I finished the final pages of 1.0's book just this morning - the perfect length read for my visit, as it turned out. I'm too tired to reflect on it now, but I enjoyed reading it, and will always associate memories of my trip with having read his book - which turned out to be the main cultural highlight, or source of intellectual stimulation, of my visit as it turned out - so I am grateful for that. It worked out nicely that way, even his mailing it to Brooklyn for me, due to the timing - it all fit in perfectly for me.

After such a heavy but delightful lunch, just a very light supper this evening, fresh guacamole picked up from a gourmet market around the corner from the apartment, and salsa with CSA tomato, onion, and jalapeno that D's making, I hear chopping sounds, running water, clinks of spoon or knife against bowl as he prepares it.

My dear, I look forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight, window reopened (closed days ago for the duration of the storm), listening to all sorts of nocturnal tintinnabulations, and falling asleep, in your arms, thinking of you.

Good night, dear love. I hope you've had a wonderful day and are enjoying a pleasant evening. Many kisses.

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