Impressions of a City

Last night, there was the walk in Central Park in the rain, the man playing the bagpipes, and Anne Hathaway in the flesh, speaking in her gentlest voice and addressing the huddled audience to let them know she shared their disappointment that she would not be performing that night.

This morning, perusing the Wall Street Journal, self learns that there are exhibits of Giacometti, Cézanne, Delacroix, Lichtenstein, all within a few blocks of Mercer and Houston, where self is headed this morning. Somewhere is a dog named Heloise, making her silent presence felt throughout the apartment. Early this morning, self is almost sure Heloise crawled into bed next to her. When she awoke, at 10 a.m. (She’d fallen asleep at 3 or thereabouts) her right arm enclosed a hollow on the bed, which felt warm.

Her friend was already at yoga class. Children’s voices floated over from the next building, probably a school. The children recited in unison, and now and then a male voice, loud, would interrupt, give instruction. At one point, a whole chorus of dogs set to barking, and Heloise barked, too: bark, bark, bark. There is a whole world up here, on the 12th floor.

Friend showed self how to make coffee. The grounds were from a place called The Sensuous Bean. Self also had a scrumptious strawberry scone to go with the coffee. Her friend told her the scone came from a bakery on 73rd and Amsterdam.

How wonderful to live up so high, to be so removed from the busy, busy world below.

Luis Francia is reading at the Cornelia Street Café this Sunday, June 28:

29 Cornelia Street in the West Village
6 p.m. All are welcome.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Momentous, Stupendous

Oh dear blog readers, self has had a most momentous day, for this morning she was in Redwood City, and this evening she is on New York’s Upper West Side, and she has already spent several hours standing bedraggled in the rain in Central Park, awaiting a performance of “Twelfth Night.” Many many people were standing about, and there was a man in a kilt playing bagpipes at the last curve in the road just before the Delacorte Theatre (And — geez! It is just super-hot and muggy here in New York! And trash day is tomorrow so the sidewalks are real obstacle courses, with mountainous piles of garbage bags that totally dwarf passers-by!)

Even though the performance was rained out, self did get to see Anne Hathaway in the flesh, who came out to thank everyone for coming but who said that circumstances beyond her control actually prevented her from performing.

Self was with old high school chum Minette, who said that the guy standing next to Anne was cute. Unfortunately, self saw nothing of him except a rather shapely pair of legs in stockings or whatever you call those tight-fitting English pants that go into riding boots. Are those called leggings?

Anyhoo, it’s been a most stupendous, eventful day. Thank God self steeled herself from buying any fastfood in the airport in Minneapolis. That would have really made her feel awful. And all she had on the plane were three miniscule bags of roasted peanuts to go with the complimentary drinks. But self did get into an interesting conversation with the girl sitting next to her, who happened to be reading Ha Jin’s “War Trash,” and self was so nosy she actually leaned over and asked her, “Do you like that book?” Because, for the life of her, self couldn’t see the attraction of so many Amazon readers to this particular book, though it did have that by now almost de riguer detached, ironic, semi-documentary style of narration … OK, self, now you’ve totally lost yourself again in the thickets of a digression.

And the pilot, who perhaps was not as skilled as Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, had to make two passes at the runway. First self felt the plane descend, and then she popped two squares of peppermint sugar-free gum into her mouth, and then, just as she had practically chewed all the flavor out of the gum, the plane gave a great groan and she felt it ascending again, and then the captain went on the speaker to apologize and say that there had been a plane lined up in front of them, and the traffic control tower had thought there should be more separation between them for the landing, or whatever. Oh, what a relief! Self thought a Canada goose had gotten into one of the engines. But then self had to keep chewing that gum for 15 more minutes, because she didn’t feel like spitting it out and wasting two new squares.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

Iain Kelly

Fiction Writing

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