The Weeklies: July 7 - 13
Monday I attended one of Alistair's work events in a townhouse on the Upper West Side. We spent some time mingling in the living room (a chocolate lab sniffing under my skirt) then went out to the balcony overlooking so many other houses, fire escapes, kitchen windows and other people's gardens and above us, a little square of sky.
On Tuesday night I left work and raced home to change into something Bushwick-worthy (for the non-New Yorkers, Bushwick is a Brooklyn neighborhood filled with hipsters). My old colleague was performing at a bar. I put on something that made me look like I wasn't trying and walked to the bus at sunset. In the grass the fireflies were starting up. I was alone, so it was so ideal. I stopped as much as I could to catch them but then one caught me. It landed on my shoulder then lifted up before me, lighting itself ethereally.
I took the B38 bus. I have been so deep in my head lately, that I actually appreciate my train rides and bus rides because they give me time to shut off, to let go of my buoy and sink into pleasurable day dreams and fancies -- alighting into reality on a smooth sidewalk or platform.
My other colleagues were at the venue. I had a gin and tonic made of gin and soda water but I was too afraid to ask for another. I met a girl who told me she had a crush on her roommate.
"Should I make a move?"
"Definitely," I told her. A few people who heard me laughed at how quickly I answered. We talked about different approaches she could try. She told me all the "signs" he'd left, or that she thought he'd left.
Ah, nuance. I used to think it sexy, but now I'm more the type to force a conclusion. I'm starting to fear death and all the questions that go into the box with you when you die. I decided that I'd like to know everything: everyone who secretly hated me or loved me, and all the horrible opinions of the world that people keep inside them.
Wednesday afternoon my cousin texted and asked if I was free. The apartment was in good shape, we had just bought peonies and hydrangeas, so I invited her over for a last-minute dinner. I threw together a pasta dish and we giggled on the sofa till Alistair arrived from a meeting with ice cream and cookies.
On Friday I took my weekender bag to work with a smile. I would be indulging in my favorite guilty pleasure: The Hamptons. Alistair's friends invited us to stay at their place in Shelter Island for the weekend (it's the same massive estate we stayed in last yearwith two wings, a pool, tennis court and separate cottage house). I'd had enough of rental cars so we took the Hampton Jitney. I gazed out the window and dug into a book. We rode the ferry in the dark, same as I had a long time ago, back then I was afraid, but now it feels powerful to be propelled across the water with the moon lighting the way to the other side.
We had a glorious weekend. Our friends grilled outdoors. We swam a bunch and walked the hills and ate on a pier at Marie Eiffiel. Saturday night we went to the beach to watch the Bastille Day fireworks (a day early).
We returned back to Manhattan Sunday night.
"It's nice to be back in New York," Alistair said. I, too, appreciated the feeling. The city felt dense and I responded by compressing into smaller version of myself -- spooling up my worries, tightening, becoming less of an obstacle in the city of obstacles -- just in time for Monday.