Saturday, July 31, 2010

i had a dream that i stood beneath an orange sky

in no particular order my week in words
i housed two bagels, two slices of pizza, 4 glasses of wine, a handful of pretzels and a boloco bowl in one day.  i haven’t eaten like that since i was a sophomore in college.  i figured if I was going to overdo it, i might as well make it a total wash.  Buh.
an old man smoking an “old man pipe” at 8am tucked away between two buildings somewhere in chinatown.  i could only see his pipe and the twisting veil of smoke dancing upwards, smelling of almond extract and coconuts.  he smiled as i passed and all the laugh lines in his face crinkled deep.  i like to think he decided to be happy in life.  
old chinese women chuttering their sandaled feet along the wet streets with bags laden with fresh fruit from the street vendors.  matted black hair, thinned blouses, wide and hardened faces etched out with years, bleating orders to their grandchildren which i imagine may have translated into something like, “Help me with these! Carry something!  Stay off the street!”
young pig carcasses thrown over the shoulders of strapping boys off truck beds and into restaurants; indifferent, carried as easily as though it were a laundry bag,  a hike pack, a kid sister who fell asleep on the couch - anything but the obviousness that they were, in fact, pale pink pigs.
Bleak House marathon on my couch late into the night.  Too late into the night - almost not getting up in the morning.  i  absorbed the storyline; i followed Mr. Jarndyce’s broken heart into his office and Esther Summerson’s into the fields in my dreams.  i found myself using quotes from the 8-episode mini-series like, “Oh, Lord, the wind's in the East....”  I would make fun of my parents for watching these Masterpiece movies when i was in school.  I am now that girl:)
Picnic dinner on the Esplanade dock with a dear, dear friend, watching the sun set over MIT, listening to Berkeley College students practice their music in groups, sticking our legs over the edge and watching the Charles host white tipped sailboats edging along the chipped blue waters.  Talking for hours, and enjoying hearing about each other’s lives.  Good friends are great gifts.
And finally, last night, a much needed haircut.  Two hours in the chair with my old hairdresser whom I’ve not seen since I left this city almost a year ago.  Alex and I had much to catch up on, including the birth of his first son, Benjamin.  My hair went from summer dreads/scarecrow-ness, to awesome again.  This is why I love Alex - despite how long I sit in that chair:)  Since I was the last appointment of the night, the staff had ordered pizza and bought some wine and invited me to stay a while.  So there we were, 10 people on an amazing deck staring up at the chillier summer night skies, laughing and talking about how good life is.  I had a moment where I couldn’t believe I was there, accepted into the fold that night.  It was nice.
Looking back over this last week, at strangers I’ll never see again, at rekindled relationships I’m glad to have back, at pigs thrown over the shoulder, at docks with people on them that play notes and share stories with each other that float on and out to the river and the wind-filled sails of the sunfish at dusk; at early morning pipe smoke and the laugh lines of a man who may be far wiser than I; at the drama, and the steady undercurrent of life and living.  I am happy to be here.  and anything that's hard is given to picking up bright spots that steady us on.  this was one of those weeks and i guess it feels good.  i know it does:)

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