DAY 6, june 20 – black construction workers are building a big house right across the street from matt’s place. i’m sitting at the livingroom table writing early morning, then finish a joan didion novel and start on another book. matt takes me to sandwich bar for absolutely huge sandwiches + free coke, and he puts cocorosie on for breakfast, so i’m somehow on the Prague – TIFF (‘after hours’) loop again…again and again, those are the coolest things i’ve been, and maybe just because of the heartbreak within them. matt books my china bus and boston hostel for me, and i tell him my being autistic theory. he’s so amused by that, that he’ll keep calling me ‘autistic kid’ forever, i guess.
so afterwards all i do that day is go almost straight to williamsburg, where i roam around bedford street (in and out of shops, hipster-watching and bookstore envy and all) then i go and read in ‘el bait’ but not for very long because matt comes to meet me, and he’ll take me to this concert in this cool place, 10 dollars cover. i stop for a painful five minutes to reassess the state of my frayed budget. try not to make a big deal out of it, just because. but it’s there. but we agree that it’s not THAT important. but it’s a shadow on a lovely day. so we go to the concert to ‘monkey town’, where we sit on low couches arranged along the walls, with stuff projected on screens all over, and we have wine, and a girl comes and sings, and then we get to the bar where we keep having/splitting glasses of wine and beers. also, we talk about miranda july. again.
the night was all about what is essential to matt – it was about asking him questions. no one could have planned or envisioned it that way. patient, sarcastic, snarling (yes all at once somehow), with a lot of twists and pauses, and with rain when we got out to go back to brooklyn social, and a long walking phonecall. incidentally, or not, the end of my NY honeymoon, matt said that night that nowhere is home.
but people are shining points on our world maps.
and no i don’t think i’ve lost the love of my life. but it was a relief to say it.
DAY 7, june 21, Boston – hah. nothing much to say. arrived late, lost my watch somewhere on newbury street, it was very very hot, i went by the river, back bay- prudential-hynes-symphony area. all nice except i felt like a dummy deciphering the map, with no idea what is what. at fenway park they were just having a red sox game, and the celtics apparently had just won big very recently, so people must have thought my green dress was a costume 🙂 . talked to my hostel roommates a bit (an american girl , a taiwanese couple, later at breakfast couple of indians.
DAY 8, june 22, Boston – very very early start, subway day pass (that subway is a joke!! i totally enjoyed being bustled in and out of shuttles and redirected though), old town. market, harbor/waterfront, bits of freedom trail. in the afternoon, museum of fine arts, very nice (and free, ha! and everyone got a wonderful T-shirt saying „corporate culture” – i’m wearing it right now!! yes i’m cooped up in the basement so don’t worry.) then all i could think of was, do i want to go to harvard???
duuh. i did go. i guess anyone could have told you/me that i wouldn’t resist the idea. not very academic thoughts though: i was trying to figure out which building they used in ‘good will hunting’ for the girl’s dorm; also wanted to find harvard law school; there were groups of students and i kept wondering if it was research trip. also, at the h. bookstore i saw buttons with writers’ names. (but no miranda july, no; though not only classics – some very contemporary as well, i had heard of all of them – sigh of relief). it’s nice there, all spread out and…ceremonial – that’s the boston air. i did like it. also, at harvard station about 5 (white) women were having a bake sale for obama.
i’m transcribing something i wrote in boston commons that evening: „my purpose is never to take time off (off what??) to feel good about myself – it’s to take time to find new and marvelous ways in which i can be inadequate.”
DAY 9, june 23, back to brooklyn: i took and earlier bus than was supposed to (fung wah bus: on this day a woman was crushed to death as she was waiting to board a fung wah at the same place i had, in chinatown NY – but i only found out later) and arrived around 4, camped on the livingroom couch because mary was back home. at 5 matt woke up and came to talk and so we’re out in the backyard for a cigarette. („how was it?” – „i lost my wristwatch!” – „who cares?” – „exactly! it was good!” – „did you go to harvard?” – „yess!” – „i knew you would.”). so i’m appeased. i suddenly and overwhemingly feel super-fine. we go back to sleep til noon, and at some points i wake up, it rains with a vengeance, the workers across the street keep at laying the bricks though.
next, we have breakfast in red hook, at ‘baked’ (the best lemon scone in my life), then i wear my obama T to go up to columbia. i think what the hell, but i never expect the reaction that sweeps me through a whole whirlwindy afternoon. i’m thinking my face must communicate that something’s going on, how important my columbia pilgrimage is to me, and finding the hungarian pastry shop. i’ll question myself later as to why. (of course this is one thing i’ve imagined – and it didn’t correspond at all). everything is just quick. first i get stopped by this guy originally from ecuador who wants me to talk to his daughter on the phone. then lots of people are smiling at me (at the T-shirt, i know) and one 50-ish woman high-fives me in the street. i pass through the campus, but fear stopping, a minute even, i just can’t make it, so i just circle around amsterdam and phone matt every hour. i find the fountain, and the HPS, but there’s just not time for lingering, because we’re meeting ben at 7 in east village. i somehow still manage to tell about 3 people on the terrace, while i drink my coffee, the story of how my friend used to come here often while he was at columbia. (but he doesn’t want to anymore. and i see how that’s easy: upper east side and brooklyn are as apart as 2 different small countries.)
so yes, a long time on the subway, wishing i could have teleported myself and just stayed a bit more at the fountain. or on the library steps. actually wishing that sitting on the library steps didn’t feel illicit or ‘stalkative’. but oh well. these three women talk about obama’s giving up public financing right next to me, and about VP choices, i smile and one of them says „yes we’ve seen your shirt.”
with ben at ‘loreley’ and finally ‘good world’ again. everything becomes positive drinking, because ben (i.e. someone else) is around, and i’m going to let no guard slip, no matter how much i drink. and i manage to be proud of it. and i manage to understand and like „good world” better on a second look, although acquired tastes do take a lot more ‘acquiring’ that i’ve had the chance to have. also, ben and matt speak romanian for a while, and it makes me feel good. (me and matt speak some romanian routinely, or slip from one to the other, but it’s really efortless for me, so i don’t know how serious it feels. but i’m always amazed at how well they manage and how little they seem to have forgotten. )
DAY 10, june 24 – breakfast at brooklyn bread; last time ever that i see mary, and jeff (maybe not jeff, though). grieving. last time w4th and washington, bleecker, jones, 7th…doma…i wander around like a beaten dog. two girls in DNC shirts want to make me contribute to the obama campaign. it’s a hot hot day- then of course it rains, while i’m already in brooklyn, in prospect parc (lots of groups again, and a dog beach, and a woman with her easel, painting the lake). it stops as abruptly, so i walk down 9th, park slope i guess, and i’m back in red hook. not really sure what i’m doing. grieving is a good word. first the other side – brooklyn social, abilene, then fairway, waterfront, baked, the sandwich bar, coffey park,.and i’m back home to trying to not even look at bonz and trout much, to packing, while matt is ? working? talking a bit?. there must be a last day for everything. it was beautiful and didn’t hurt. then i’m suddenly on the cathay flight, surrounded by yelling 3 month-old asian kids. things never end, really.