Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
It’s days like this—whistling of wind, stirring of leaves, sun so bright and warm but autumn obviously fallen—that I don’t want to be anywhere but where I am. I find myself curling around a big cup of coffee and a good book (Phil Graham’s How to Read an Unwritten Language) on the couch, and running a book back to the library (Stephen Marche’s Shining at the Bottom of the Sea), and my dog barking eagerly for me to emerge from the library so we can continue our walk, and the satisfying crunching of the leafy piles as she plunges into them, and noticing the man in his sharp suit, the old woman loaded down with groceries in her little blue cart, the young woman with a doublewide stroller veering her precious babies away from me and my dog, and then stumbling across a treasure trove of books out on a neighbor’s stoop, free for the taking.
Honestly, I have met an embarrassingly few neighbors since we moved here in March. Oh, sure, there are plenty I recognize and say hello to in the foyer, or hold the elevator door for, or who comment on Nahe. There are even a few I’ve come to adore. There is the young mother with her gorgeous new baby, who every time I see her (and I see her a lot) is looking at that baby with such astonishment and joy, like she had no idea what love was before this moment and is pleasantly surprised by it. Every time I see her, she makes me beam, really idiotically, like that expression “grinning from ear to ear,” well, that’s what her joy and love do to me. She turns entire moods around for me. There is a tall, slender, older man, slightly stooped, as if apologizing for his extreme height, although it could be just the consequence of age, the way gravity weighs heavier as the years go by. There is the lady with the other Jack Russell of the building who we avoid just as she avoids us—but in sympathetic conspiracy. There are others who live around abouts— in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, or BedStuy—who we’ve met during offleash hours at Fort Greene Park. You can learn a lot about a person just by knowing he or she is the type who gets up by 7:30-8am to take the dog to the park.
But by met, I mean someone whose name I know. Someone who I’d have over to dinner. Someone who I’d exchange the telling of my life for theirs. That kind of thing. I don’t think we’ve “met” anyone in that way, not yet—except for one, who I already knew before I moved to the neighborhood, so I feel like that's cheating.
I have high hopes, though. If my neighbors are the kind of people who freely give for the taking all of the following books—The Bigger the Better the Tighter the Sweater, anything by Margaret Atwood, The End of Mr. Y, Best American Short Stories 2006 and 2007, Hotel Honolulu, McEwan’s Saturday, The History of Love, Eat Pray Love, Towelhead, Kaye Gibbons’s A Virtuous Woman, The Inheritance of Loss, The Bird Artist, Running with Scissors, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, and The Reader—I feel like there is great potential for friendship.
Perhaps in 2010 we will become more neighborly. Possible future resolution?
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
OK. SCARY. I just realized that, as much as I identify with being from Hawai‘i, I have now—at age 29.5 and counting—spent nearly an equivalent time living on the mainland as “home.”
age 0-2: Sacramento
age 2-18: Honolulu
age 18-25: New York
age 25-27: Pacifica/Burlingame
age 27-29.5: New York
EQUALS16 years at home, and 13.5 years not at home.