Do you believe in what you feel?
Today was my first day off in…a while. And I didn’t realize how much I needed it until last night. When I was leaving work, I remembered a project I’d forgotten to finish that was due today. Kicking myself, I packed up my folders and computer and took them home with me, figuring I’d use the first half of my day off to finish them up. But on the long subway ride home, I got grumpier and grumpier about it and finally decided to just get it done. I sent the files just after midnight, which was immensely satisfying.
I had intended to do a giant walk today, but Mother Nature and her minion Tropical Storm Andrea had other plans. It’s been raining torrentially since before dawn. I slept a whole hour later than usual on account of the darkness.
I had breakfast at a diner near AJ’s school with his music teacher, who, it turns out, is from Chicago. She has a kid AJ’s age, and is a singer. Not only that, but we worked for the same summer stock company in college, a few years apart. It was an easy and interesting conversation and it was nice to talk about familiar things. While we were sitting there, someone came up and said hello to me and it took me a minute before I figured out who it was — one of my fellow Toymakers — because I am so completely unaccustomed to running into people I know. I was slightly bewildered by seeing her out of context and I fear I was not as friendly as I could have been, a deer caught in the headlights.
After leaping the river running down 9th street and trudging home under my umbrella, I had a sudden burst of energy and ran around cleaning the apartment, calling the repairman for the washing machine that broke last weekend (He came in — I’m not even kidding — 20 minutes and had the thing fixed within a half an hour of my phone call. I find this amazing.), and hauling all the laundry we haven’t been able to do to the cleaner’s down on the corner. I paid bills, wrote a birthday card to a friend, made a hair appointment for tomorrow, and plunged back into the deluge.
This time I headed down the street to a nail salon Cranky recommended for a pedicure. This was my best day off idea, because the people there were incredibly nice and to come in off the wet and chilly street and sit in a comfy chair with your feet soaking in warm water was very relaxing. I sat next to a mother and her daughter, who is apparently going to a dance tonight, as when I came in, they were huddled together in front of the wall of polishes discussing which would best match her dress. Next to them were a couple of drag queens, who knew everyone and seemed to be having a marvelous time. I sat with my kindle and had my feet massaged and then warmed them up with the dryer. An hour later, I was back on the street in Mr. Spy’s slightly too large flip-flops, which made entertaining squishing noises as I walked. My newly moisturized and now sopping wet feet kept sliding out the back of them as I attempted to go back up the hill, a hazard I had not considered.
I came home and decided to make my one of my favorite comfort food recipes: soba noodles with tofu and vegetables and a dressing made of soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and almond butter. I took my time grating the ginger and chopping the garlic extra fine, something I rarely have the time or the patience to do. I ate a plate of it with a side of sugar snap peas from last week’s farmer’s market while reading all the newspapers I hadn’t gotten around to reading this week.
I curled up in bed with my laptop to do a little writing until AJ got home from school and then headed to the post office to mail a package and a letter. I recently discovered a post office only a couple of blocks from home but in a direction I don’t often think to go. It’s just over the border into the next neighborhood and feels much more like a small town — the staff were friendly and kind and the other customers all knew each other. Despite the rain, I took a detour on the way back to walk by an antique shop Mr. Spy and I had stumbled on a few weeks ago that sells old posters and maps from school houses, antique marbles, and other interesting and pretty things. They were closed, but I peered in the windows and admired their flowers before turning the corner and heading back to the park, which was empty, even of pigeons. On one of the stoops opposite the park, a boy — maybe ten — stood with his baseball glove on one hand, swinging a wooden bat and looking hopefully toward the park. The ball fields look more like ponds — I fear the end of our baseball season has been rained out. But he stood there, looking convinced that if he only waited, surely the rain would let up. I wonder if he’s still there.
And through all this, I have had a single song — I don’t even know where or when I last heard it — stuck in my head, from the moment I woke up. A good song for a rainy day and a trip to the post office and newly silvered toes.