Odds and ends (and popcorn)
*When I first met Seth, I was the world traveler. I had been all over Europe and studied in Russian, and he had been out of the country exactly twice. We have reversed roles now, and he is quite the jet-setter. But even then, neither of us had ever been to New York City. Oh, we’d flown through it, and even driven through the Bronx on our way to Maine, but we’d never stepped foot in Manhatten. Seth had a conference there this weekend. He called me from Broadway and said, “I am standing in the most important city in the world. I can’t believe it took me 33 years to get here.”
*This week I saw a woman wearing a bubble-gum-pink headcovering. She was talking on her red cell phone, which she wedged into her scarf so she didn’t have to hold it. Who needs Bluetooth when you have a hijab?
*On Tuesday, an elderly couple sat in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. They just sat, staring blankly, for almost 20 minutes. Suddenly the man nodded toward a fish tank and said, “I don’t want to be a fish. You just sit there all day, not going anywhere.” A pause. Silence. Then his wife spoke. “Well, you sit around the house all day not going anywhere.”
*Thursday, while waiting for an oil change, a woman with a heavy accent (Russian? German? I’m usually so good at placing these things), walked in looking for help. A pile of mushy snow had slid off the roof of her car and wrenched her wiper blades. While we waited for the mechanic to appear, she pulled her enormous, fluffy white dog (a Golden Doodle, she said) from her car so Asher could pet him. When she drove away we waved goodbye to our new friend.
*I have spent the past four days like a fish, trying not to go anywhere. But I find there are so many places a mother must go: the book fair, piano lessons, the grocery store, the library, violin lessons, school meetings, the ice cream shop.
*Tonight, on Seth’s fourth day of being gone, we had broccoli, popcorn, and oatmeal chocolate chips cookies for dinner. Then, while the children played, I gifted myself a few minutes by the fire to read the opening pages of “March” by Geraldine Brooks. It is a luminescent and tragic book. Consider the following passage:
“The current spun him round, a full turn, his arms thrown upward with the abandon of a Gypsy dancer. The firing, high on the bluff, had loosed showers of foliage, so that he swirled in concert with sunshine-colored leaves. He was face to face with me again when the water sucked him under. A ribbon of scarlet unfurled to mark his going, widening out like a sash as the current carried him, down and away.”
The world is a gracious and fascinating place. I too, am glad I’m not a fish. Happy weekend friends.