Thank God. He was 22 years older than I and completely inappropriate--he never would have fit in down on the farm. Somehow, though, it's always the inappropriate ones that capture your heart...
So, it’s your birthday… no, wait, it’s our birthday. What do we do? Oh, E, what do we do? We have books unwritten, articles unfinished, very important conversations that haven’t been dissected or transcribed and all of those editors and agents on our tails. The prose and the witty, clipped sentences are, you know, always there—metaphors, onomatopoeia, dialogue and all that. It’s just that when the tips touch the keys and the screen is white and vast and empty they don’t come out as easily as they used to.
The 6th is for us. We eat cake and drink champagne and live on sweetness and memories for a day. Maybe longer. I smile and look up at the Spanish blue skies and pull your wool winter coat a little closer to your cold little body and remind you to think of the good bits because that’s all you can do on a day like this in a city like New York.
We take a walk—Bedford, Charles, West 10th and all the rest of the nice ones— and don’t think to complain about anything. Ladders and fire-escapes on the buildings’ facades cross and run together like honeysuckle vines on a garden trellis. With you next to me and me next to you and a brisk wind off the Hudson and the smell of warm butter and eggs from the corner bakery, everything is just so. We’re content and, for once, quiet.
Quietly we dream.
Your eyes shift from me to the golden-hued windows of the brownstones and to the earnest shadows of cooks and nannies that stand over sinks and wipe the noses of precious, young children. Mother is upstairs sliding lacquered bangles onto her thin, tanned wrists. Daddy will eventually come home to a roasted piece of meat, Scotch and a family that smells of lilac and vanilla. A doll’s house for millionaires. We both think, “one day, one day” and only hope that part of the dream will come true.
The daylight hours have been nice—really, the walk couldn’t have been any lovelier nor our reveries—so we turn around before anything changes. Our minds have captured the right bits of naked, December tree limb, proud front stoops garlanded with pine, our birthday cake adorned with a perfect, red poinsettia. Everything isn’t just so; everything is extraordinary.