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The plan for lilac time

February 7, 2012

This doesn’t happen at home.

This doesn’t happen at home, but when I have a glass of wine in the New York apartment, when I’m sitting here all by myself listening to the radio, the radiator, the neighbors, the bar across the street, everything, I am in love with the world. In love.

I had a long and busy and interesting day. The work is hard, but I cannot put it down. I walk out at 7:00 with my assistant and say I can’t decide whether to take the subway or walk. “Walk that way,” she says with the wisdom that only someone in her twenties can have. “Your heart will tell you what to do.” It was a funny thing to say about something so mundane as the subway, but exactly right too, because that is what I am always listening for. My heart.

My heart tells me to keep going straight and not veer left to the subway station. I follow the green lights and they take me off of my usual route and into the heart of Chelsea where I see a million places I’d like to walk into, and find the owner and say, so how did you come here and why this place like this? Every doorway is a story and I feel almost like my cells are vibrating with all the history. And I feel layer upon layer of the things holding me in release and I think that I feel free. And I think that I haven’t felt free in a long time. And I think that feeling free is what I love about this place. I wonder if I am smiling. I feel like I am smiling, but that maybe I shouldn’t, as I walk by a man pulling down the corrugated iron gate in front of his flower shop.

There are a lot of flower shops in Chelsea.

There are also a lot of abandoned things. A pair of shoes. A book. A desk chair with the tags still on. Piles of boxes. Browned potted palms.

The moon is brighter than bright tonight, and there is a single star. I look up and for a minute, I miss the sky, that wide open sky that I see when I am home and I cross the street to walk in the cornfield toward the red barn by the highway. And for a moment, I can’t breathe, like the buildings are closing in on me. But then I catch sight of a small boy in a window in the building across the street, his face pressed up against the glass. And I think he is looking at the moon too. And I let out a long slow hiss of a breath and keep walking.

And now I am home with a glass of wine and I am in love with the world and with this city and with this neighborhood and this apartment (but not this chair — it is very uncomfortable). And I eat a slice of apple with cheese and wonder, with the next sip, will I love it all more or less?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. freshhell permalink
    February 8, 2012 10:29 am

    This made me smile.

  2. February 8, 2012 1:24 pm


  3. February 8, 2012 1:53 pm

    Lucky, lucky, lucky. And deservedly so.

  4. Elizabeth permalink
    February 8, 2012 4:14 pm

    I smiled too. Your blog is so sweet to me right now.

  5. February 8, 2012 6:57 pm

    I am amazed at how you can love a city. Oddly–and wonderfully–it’s like reading Harriet the Spy all over again. So foreign to my experience.

  6. annanotbob permalink
    February 8, 2012 7:54 pm


  7. February 8, 2012 9:30 pm

    This is beautiful.

  8. February 9, 2012 12:32 am

    I’m in love with the modern world.

    Hallelujah for nights like tonight, and for the part of you that lets you notice the wonderful details, make them part of you. Here’s to looking up at the same moon from different places. Here’s to loving the world!

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