Saturday, June 15, 2013


Door, Upper West Side

I have a new friend and I'm not telling her name but she is delightful and I am happy. This is a detail from her door. 

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My walk through the city tonight feels like a stroll through a movie set. Here, a cafe where every single person seated at the outdoor tables is wearing a blue shirt, hues ranging from sky to azure to midnight. There, a blonde family of five - impossibly attractive and dressed to the nines for a festive occasion - pose for a photo as a man who can best be described as an African-American Gabby Hayes crosses the frame, fur lumberjack hat squashed down onto his head, pushing his squeaky wheeled shopping cart filled with dingy stuffed animals and dented soda cans.

Yes, this is my city. We all come out of central casting.

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Sunday, for the first time in ages, I stopped at Zabar's to pick up some lox, and had forgotten the artistry of the slicers there. While the stuff we usually get from our local bagel place is serviceable, this was a revelation: fresh, delicious and so thin you could nearly, as the saying goes, read the newspaper through it.

While I was watching the counter man slice, before I could stop it, the thought popped into my head that I should bring Walter some Zabar's lox next time I go see him, as it always delighted him so when I would arrive bearing real New York City appetizing. And then the sadness rushed in, a now constant tide.

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Jacob has now woken up at 5:30 AM for more than a week.

This usually means that he is about to undergo a big leap in growth and understanding, his brain too excited to slumber past dawn.

It could however, just be an attempt to get uninterrupted screen time on his own terms, no brother to share and negotiate with.

Only time will tell.

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Today I sat in the "big yard" with Ethan after school, eating our ice creams in a shady spot and watching the kids swirl around us, playing their hearts out. We are both still easily tired, the legacy of the stomach bug that swept through our household earlier this week, taking us down like bowling pins, Ethan the first to go on Monday afternoon.

So instead of jumping up to join the fracas, he sits beside me, in the quiet watching, rests his head on my shoulder, waves back at his friend's younger siblings when they spot us and yell hello.

I look at the Kindergarteners among them, and then down at my nearly eleven year-old son, sifting through the years that brought him from that to this. I can't quite believe that he was ever that little. Or that his time here is soon to come to a close.

Six years spent in these red brick walls. Now less than two weeks until goodbye.

Tonight is the 5th grade dance. The girls will dress in taffeta and heels. The boys will need to be persuaded to wash their faces and put on clean t-shirts. They'll arrive in groups, still separate; the boys here, the girls there.

Growing up. But not quite grown. Ethan's heart is mine for yet a little bit longer.

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I need to change the name of my blog. My sandwich is open faced now. Open to the heavens. 

Although, needless to say, most days I am still quite squashed.

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I thought we were finally done with Thomas forever... until Jake stared obsessing over him again about three months ago.  Only now we have to discuss which season and which episode number and who the narrator is and what year it came out and is it a "classic" episode or a new one and does the narrator talk "Americanish" or "Englanish" and...  (I say bomb Sodor back to the stone ages & be done with it!)

Well, we did get a break from it for a while. Over the years, we have cycled through obsessions with Teletubbies, Batman, Bakugan, Blues Clues, Ben 10, Power Rangers, Sponge Bob, Dragonball Z Kai, Pingu, and - do NOT ask me why - old basketball games/teams. Specifically the 1974 Celtics for some reason - and we're New Yorkers! Some of these were a relief, while others made me long for the fat controller.

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It has been a month since my last post.

A month.

I never thought I would lose my voice for so long.

But the other losses have been adding up, cumulative, weighing me down. The words swirl in my head, coalesce into nothing more than little jagged fragments. A sentence here, a thought there, an amusing facebook update at most.

I write them down, thinking I will flesh them out into posts soon, but there they remain, dry bones waiting for life.

I am tired of waiting. Of silence.

So I scoop my shards up, spread open my hands just a bit, so that they may waft out between my fingers, sprinkle down onto this page, and leave them there, where they fall, willy-nilly.

Not quite a post, but not quite NOT one, either.

A start.

Clearing my throat.

More to follow.