Sunday, May 10, 2009

Close Encounters of Another Kind

I've come to an uneasy truce with the revision of Angry Fat Girls. I do as much as feels fresh and right and then I either quit or do something else and go back to it later. Certain days, usually Wednesday through Friday, I may not write at all. I'm busier with dogs and tired in that interim so I try to do something to ease my life around writing then -- a load of laundry, chopping salad greens, paying bills, whatever.

Today was thirteen pages. I gave up when I saw my editor's long note about addressing something or another in an epilogue. Epilogue? You mean, I have to write more on this subject?

Dusk is late now, by New York standards (I miss the lingering dusk of the mountains), and I decided to walk Daisy down to the Remsen Street entrance to the Promenade to see if a fine patch of bearded iris was in bloom yet. They're just starting to come out & I'll go back this week to smell them. Each kind has a different, ineffable scent.

As we began to stroll down the Promenade, a young man asked me to take his picture against the skyline. I did and he told me how much he loved New York, as much as Venice, which he lives near. I told him about my first night in Venice when, jet lagged, I walked across the Academia bridge and saw a full moon rising from the lagoon beyond San Marco. He was off to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge so we walked together, talking of how nothing in Italy works (him) and how nothing in the U.S. works (me). Daisy stalked a chocolate Lab she'd never met and had a drink from the water fountain and we ended up walking up Cranberry Street to Clark where I pointed him on his way to a diner and Cadman Plaza where the Bridge path begins.

I realized at that moment that I could have taken him home with me.

We didn't exchange names.

I was wearing clean floppy clothes and must have been a Curiosity to him. His English was quite good ("one thousand and two hundred dollars") & he was cute. I find myself enormously relieved that we didn't tell each other even our first names, although another part of me thinks it would have been cool to hook up on Facebook. But somehow that long walk we naturally evolved into needs to be just what it was. Chatty, comfortable, a little intimate, natural. It was like the scent of a brick-colored bearded iris. Light & reminiscent of childhood & sunshine, a reminder that men don't have to be work & don't have to be wham-bam.

For whatever reason I feel like telling this story. I stepped out of my usual tense self & just was. It was a connection after a day of wrestling with points-of-view & crying through The Warden.

Remind me I'm capable of it from time to time.


April said...

You're waking up again ~ congratulations! What a lovely little piece of writing...

Anonymous said...

Patt J:
I love those serendipitous moments where we run into someone on the same path (no pun intended) and share a part of our lives.
I wish he had invited you to dine. He was probably thinking the same thing ...

Laura N said...

Loved this story. Beautifully written, beautiful encounter with another human soul.

Quilting Martha said...

Any day with Trollope is a good day, but this little adventure sounds like a topper.

Bea said...

A good thing to be a girl, abstinent, single and living in New York. Ain't spring marvelous.