Monday, October 02, 2006
I've tried to be all coolly poetic, or casually insightful, or blithely and nonchalantly clever, but all I seem to be able to come up with is:
OHMYGOD! WASN'T IT GREAT! WASN'T IT THE AWESOME-EST! WASN'T IT THE MOST FUN! THE MOST EXCITING! THE MOST FABULOUS! THE MOST WONDERFUL! THE MOST DELICIOUS!
And I'm like - jeez, it was just a few hours in the city with some people. Stop it already. And quit yelling - you're not in New York City anymore.
But I can't stop. I'm jumping up and down in my heart, still. I'm like a puppy, just licking the face of that day, overcome with giddy joy, unable to contain myself, unable to let it just pass into memory, like normal people.
But too much of the experience is still bouncing around my head, exclamation points careening around looking for words to attach themselves to.
Getting dressed, getting undressed, getting dressed, choosing, discarding, reconsidering...casual-yet-fun, fun-but-not-costumey, relaxed-yet-stylish, oh-fuck-it-it's-clean-just-do-the-best-you-can...the anticipation, the delicious pins-and-needles waiting. Kristin arrives, breathless, dressed the same as me. funny.
The race to the train. Everything accelerated.
The blundering through Grand Central, looking for the damn clock. there are a hundred clocks in Grand Central Station, each one with people under it, waiting for someone, searching the crowd, fumbling with cell phones. Us and our bright ideas...
Oh wait - that's Belle there. The hair. If we were playing a video game, they'd have changed color and started blinking. Over here!
And here we go - The people! The things! The sparkly lampposts, all artistic and colorful! The taxis! The trains! The food! The books!
The subway drummer who made my hips twitch -
"do only tourists dance to subway music?" I ask, embarrassed but unable to restrain myself.
"Yes," Belledame said.
So I did my job, and BD helped me out, and we rocked it 'til the train came.
The workers who were paving the road we had to cross. We weren't sure we should step in their fresh pavement - would we track little clean footprints over the fresh tar?
The teeny little toy store with all the fun toys and trinkets and odds and ends - the little tin pins of flying insects, the oldfashioned glass marbles gleaming and winking, the big blue ones with the maps of the world on.
The Ukrainian home cookin' at Veselka, the Ukrainian diner. The sharing of lunch with people who I'm sure have been my friends always - I just was a little late meeting them.
The conversation that wraps around us and through us and carries us around like a great net.
The miles and miles of books at The Strand - my Mecca, my Emerald City, my Lourdes - browsing the sidewalk sale in the moody drizzle. By the time I got to the third floor I was dizzy and confused and disoriented, so overwhelmed by it all. But it was okay 'cause my friends were there.
That lady whose hair was a work of art, a bleached-blonde abstract sculpture anchored to her head by hairspray and hope.
The Cafe of Five Desserts for Four People - we fought the good fight, through Vesuvius Cake and Carrot Cake, through Chocolate Mousse Cake and Opera Cake and Tarte de Bois, but ultimately we surrendered and retreated, forks down in defeat, vanquished but satisfied.
The Sex Museum. Not what you'd think. Exactly what you'd think. more later.
The first goodbye - the return to the subway and affectionate farewell to Robin, whose animals were hungry. mWAH!
The N train (?) to Grand Central and the little girl who was afraid of the subway. I felt her pain. Dude - underground trains belching noise and exhaust and teeming with strangers with slack eyes and strange smells - yeah, scary. Do we all still have private, inner tantrums as adults? Do we really grow out of that or do we just conceal it?
The next goodbye - Belle's great strong arms pulling me close - see you soon! very soon! love ya! Breezy, casual-sounding -- does she know what I mean? that I mean it?
Navigating the warren of Grand Central Station, feeling cool outside fresh air coming from somewhere, desperate for The Great Egress, surfacing at a kebab cart and surrendering to the tantalizing smells of...of...well, lets just get some...I'm sure they're delicious...
Says Kristin - "ew. pork."
Says me "oh, I'm sorry. are you sure? I think it's chicken..." but I'm dubious, frankly. it could be anything.
"ew. Pork. or something," she's certain.
Whatever it is, she is NOT down with the adventure meat. I'm okay with it.
The long ride home, the final goodbye. Thanks - catch ya! like I'm all casual, all cool, like I do this all the time, go to fabulous cities with my fabulous friends, like I haven't been starved for female friends for nearly a decade, like I know what to do with myself, where to put my hands, like it's a total usual thing to feel at home and comfortable and safe in this situation.
I'm not done, of course. there's more. but I have some more thinking to do.
and thank you for doing the blow by blow. the infamous cafe of Five Desserts for Four People!...
more soon. xox
you guys were the best ambassadors of New York, by the way.
Hospitable, friendly, accommodating, flexible, fun, made great suggestions - y'all should go into the tour business.
tour guide in two museums (pay started out crappy, got better fairly quickly)
Olan Mills photographer (exhausting but interesting)
clerk at halloween costume shop (temp but fun...got to wear masks behind the counter.)
If I could I'd get back into museum work. but that doesn't look like it's in the cards at the moment.
Maybe I need new cards! yeah!
But now I can. Thanks for commenting.
:) welcome to the world of blog, honey!
on the way home, we also saw some exquisite breakdancers and a fellow who had arranged the entire Beatles back catalogue for trombone. a little less exquisite...