Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hello dearest, up in the Brooklyn aerie, the last long day before the clocks change tonight. I am so delighted to be here, truly. I feel as though I've just alighted, very lightly packed, all connections going smoothly as could be. Already I've taken a walk around the neighborhood, stopped into a couple of favorite shops, former haunts - a wine shop where I bought a couple of bottles of Spanish rose; a spice shop where I bought small quantities of exquisitely fresh & flavorful spices, tarragon, oregano, nutmeg, peppercorns, etc. At each place I felt so instantly at home, and had very nice conversations with the proprietors, familiar faces from long long back now - let's see, I first used to go that spice & coffee bean shop in the mid-1980s, before I even met D. The proprietor and I have aged in tandem, over the past - I'm losing count - 25 years or so. I think he and I both have aged quite well, and that includes the wine shop guy, who gives me a bit of a break (as he always used to) as though I were still a regular customer. Honestly, it just made me feel so happy to have these warm little social encounters, just simple familiar-face friendliness, over the years.

It's the loveliest day imaginable, especially for early November. Sunny, on the cool side, but entirely tolerable - I was just in a few sweater layers - a black cashmere tee insurance for warmth. It's so warm in this apartment now I'm just in a light animal-print tee, and a pair of cool fatigue-green jeans that my house-swap friend left for me - she & I are the same size. Or that is, I'm the size now that she used to be - she's since dropped 35 pounds or more (I haven't seen her in ages).

Sweetheart, I wish you were here in Beautiful Brooklyn with me, you and I would have a very nice time. It is a true delight to shop on foot for one's provisions. I traveled light, just a change of clothes and a few toiletries, and also a doubled small paper Balthazaar's shopping bag of food - supplemental items such as avocado, apples, frozen pesto, a half-box of fettuccine, even a few leftover roasted beets and a couple of neighbor's chicken's eggs - just to get me started, and of course to save money.

So I had great fun walking up Court Street, checking out the shop windows, and the all the people parading up & down - what a delight - it's like a parade - only it's not a parade - it's just people enjoying street-level pedestrian activities in a lively street scene....

Darling, there was a reason I decided to pursue a degree in urban planning a long time ago -- my delight in quite everyday experiences to be had by simply stepping out into a human-scaled local environment such as this....

I love where I live now, upstate. It suits me very well. So it's not an either/or thing. I relish both.

I even had a nice encounter yesterday at the supermarket when I was buying flowers. I've lived there for six years or more now, and occasionally over the years have gone into this one, which tends to be a bit pricier than the one where I usually do my shopping. But this regional-chain market, I've found, has a better, fresher selection of cut flowers - which was my mission for going there yesterday afternoon. And a clerk who I've seen there from time to time over the years (as I've mostly not bought flowers, or bought them from the marked-down bins) gently approached me as I was considering a stand of variously colored bouquets of roses, that my purchasing them would mean some huge discount on some other necessary item (not exactly guns & roses - but pretty close). It was nice to have that little encounter with her, I suppose, or no - not really, it was just totally consumerist and inadequate.

And I hemmed & hawed over the flowers some more, weighing vases I needed to fill in what rooms in my house... and finally did, considering the clerk's math, purchase the roses. Which when I finished picking out my armload of bouquets, I rather theatrically paused in the main aisle and caught her eye and I waved at her the roses I'd bought, at her behest. And she beamed at me - she got the signal, beamed, and was thrilled.

It was just one of those nice little human moments, though I prefer for them to happen - well, not in a chain-market fronted by a huge asphalt parking lot.

Darling, oh darling. I'm wearing readers, but it's an unfamiliar computer, or it needs adjusting to. I wish - oh what do I wish? - I don't know what I wish. It's pretty nice even on this cerebral level. If we were to find ourselves together in person - I might quite likely be a bit stiff & reserved and tongue-tied in person.

After I alighted from the Amtrak train at Penn, and somehow found my way through the horrible dark dingy labyrynthine circle of hell that is that station... I managed to, at grade, come upon an MTA Metrocard machine & without too much trouble purchased $10 worth, and then climbed only a couple of flights of staircase to emerge into the daylight of Seventh Avenue where moments later (as I at whatever pace it took, I took) an M20 to Battery Park City pulled over and I alighted the bus and found a seat, and like a bag lady arranged my two bags about me (should I have been stranded at that instant, that's all I would have had on me!).

I sailed down Seventh Avenue then Hudson - or is it Varick? - you'd think I'd have it down by now, particularly traveling by bus, in a city I pride myself in thinking that I know

darling what I'm really trying to get at
and I'm fading
(I didn't sleep well last night at all)

alright, so here's sort of the 43rd street signpost for work crews
as this train approaches the station
I managed to see the minutest-ever assemblage of E.D. manuscripts
And I'm glad I did all that schlepping to see it
And I feel fascinated by her handwriting
Very strange - all slanted and loopy - spare and barely legible
spider thin ink
I've never seen handwriting like hers, ever
Was it typical, of her day?
no, I'm sure it wasn't
had she invented a form of print, or cursive?

Darling, now, down Sackett Street, down below
drivers speed

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