The Weeklies: May 12 - 18
As I write this, I am sitting in the apartment window it is a perfect day: sunny, breezy, a clear 72 degrees. I looked back at my calendar, at a week that started out completely different than it ended. Early last week it rained and the temperature dropped. I was busy and stressed until Thursday, when coincidentally, the sun came.
That Thursday I had plans to meet a friend for dinner and a dance performance. She's a member of one of the local young patron's groups, and this was one of their exclusive events. We had dinner at Jack's Wife Freda in Soho, an old winter haunt of mine that is even more inviting in the spring. We sat outside and had watermelon margaritas. Babies, dogs, and shoppers passed us by and I just sighed and gave my heart over to New York as I do everyday.
I was tipsy by the time we got to the venue, a big multipurpose theater in the round with a bunch of Paul Taylor dancers warming up. They performed a few things I'd seen before and a few things completely new to me, broken up by interviews with dancers and the new artistic director. I thought it was a good idea to have a glass of wine there, too, but was tipsy on my train ride home. A feeling I generally hate.
Friday was another beautiful day. I'd made plans with another friend to have dinner at Cafe Cluny. I got off the subway and strolled past the brownstones of West 12th. I told the host at the restaurant that I'd rather wait outside for my table. I took one of the benches and people-watched. I was wearing my favorite hot-pink silk Equipment shirt (with my monogram) but in New York it is so easy to feel ugly. Especially in the fashionable districts. We got a window table and ordered the prix fixe menu. Two glasses of Sancerre and two yellowtail hamachi appetizers; she had the salmon and I had the chicken; we both got profiteroles for dessert. We gabbed about the usual: work, relationships, summer. I left feeling quite whole.
Alistair left for a work trip on Saturday. We got to enjoy a quick lunch together and dessert on the stoop. When I saw him disappearing down the street with his luggage I wanted to cry.
That evening I paced across the rug in the living room through a dense cloud of my thoughts. Do you ever feel as though you are just...waiting? Like you are paused watching something far away grow close, but you can't tell if it's good or bad, and you can only stand and wait? Like you're listening to your own breath, trying to adjust your gaze just to see what will come? What is that thing? What is that feeling? I am afraid of something that might not exist and an anxiety that I can't nail down. If I can get a moment to calm myself, through music and podcasts and writing, then sometimes I say, what if it's anticipation in disguise?
The art I consumed on Saturday and Sunday, coincidentally featured characters dealing with such questions. I devoured season two of "Fleabag" and found myself crying. On Sunday I watched "Mrs. Dalloway" and was completely taken with her character, the way she thought about her life and the way she reflected on her decisions. I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read any Woolf, but I've got to now.
I know, I never write about Sundays. But I feel that today was important to the overall week. As I edit this, its 9:48 in the evening. I'm sipping a glass of wine that may have gone bad. I'm listening to soft music, wearing comfortable clothes. I wish I could write that Saturday's fever was rare and long gone, but it isn't. I still feel nervous. I still feel like I'm waiting on something.