You will be glad to know that I finally freed my laundry. For a mere $7 not only did I not have to do it myself, but it’s folded so incredibly flat that I seriously considered hauling the rest of my belongings down the street and begging the launderer to do my packing for me. Because it’s that time again. The day I clean the apartment and put my things away. Mr. Spy and AJ are picking me up at the airport — something that is usually not possible because of scheduling issues that are too boring to describe. So I’m looking forward to the trip more than usual. I’ve been here for a full week and strangely it doesn’t feel as long as it usually does, maybe because Mr. Spy and AJ were here at the beginning of and it now feels a little bit like they’re part of my life here too.
And here is what is happening today. My assistant was flashed on the way to work. It wasn’t the flashing that was so stunning to her as the fact that it happened one year almost to the day after the last time she was flashed in the same location. She remembers because it happened on her very first day of work. The woman who sits behind me found a largish beetle in her lunch salad, protruding from a piece of fresh mozzarella. After everyone had looked at it and determined that it was dead, the beetle was removed and my coworker continued eating her salad because there was nothing else to eat. These two events are, as far as I know, completely unrelated. Also, I went to a meeting with brownies, which is distinctly better than a meeting with no brownies.
Also entertaining me this week is a series of wrong numbers coming to my cell phone. I’ve been getting random texts for a girl named Emily for a while. She appears to be a student at a college downstate and I’m gradually piecing together a picture of her life. She sounds like a bit of a party girl, but she must be a little responsible because she has a job and is often asked to sub there for others. Or maybe she’s just broke, because she’s also applied for other jobs. I know this because occasionally I get messages from people who want to interview her. Still, there seems to be a lot of beer drinking and I imagine she has spent a little too much time in the tanning bed. Oh, Emily, you have so much to learn. Emily apparently has a friend who’s getting married soon and the bachelorette part is this coming weekend. I know this because people very much want to know if I’m coming, what I can do to help, if I approve of the strip club, and what size T-shirt I wear so we can all dress the same. My staff is encouraging me to attend the event. Strangely, I have absolutely no interest in doing so. Emily had better stay on my good side, though. I have the phone numbers of all her friends and employers.
And now I am listening to the radio. I can never remember the name of this station, but it’s a good one. In the last 30 minutes, they’ve played Richard Thompson, Kurt Weill, Belle and Sebastian, Sammy Gold, Paul Simon with kora player Yacouba Sissoko, the Buena Vista Social Club, and couple of bands I’ve never heard of. And there are no annoying beer ads. I’m having flashbacks to the summer I lived in Philadelphia, my first venture into a real apartment. That apartment was full of paintings too, because one of my roommates was a painter. I spent most evenings home alone because one of my roommates was working crazy hours as a med student and the other, the artist, worked the late shift at Tower Records and then went out afterwards. I was broke and it was hotter than hell that summer, so most evenings I came home from work, took a very hot bath, then lay on my bed in front of a fan in a tank top and boxer shorts trying not to sweat and listening to Penn’s radio station while reading whatever I could get my hands on. Aside from the wardrobe, that’s not unlike how I spend my evenings in New York. I suppose I should be more adventurous. But I like the feeling of coming off the bustling street into a quiet place where I can listen to music and write or fall into a good book. This place reminds me of who I am and where I’ve been.