In a Tower

In a tower, self feels she is in a tower. The radio hums a meaningless drone, Heloise sleeps on her little pillow. Far below is the hum of traffic and the occasional siren. The schoolchildren in the classroom in the next building are silent today.

Yesterday, dinner with a cousin on East 40th street. The subway train from Bleecker to Grand Central had a functioning airconditioner, thank God. The crowds spilled out on 42nd Street, self’s feet ached from all the walking.

But it has not rained! Not since the night of her arrival. Everyone talks about it, though: they all say it rained terribly last week, or a few days ago, or even just before self arrived. Thunderstorms! Lightning! It all sounds terribly dramatic and exciting.

From California drift echoes: Son is always out! But that’s what young men do, isn’t it? They go out. Hubby is always at work. But we’re lucky, aren’t we? That he has work?

Self reads yesterday’s New York Times. Ex-tennis champion Yannick Noah apparently now has a thriving musical career (and, judging from the evidence of the accompanying picture, still looks good). M says that “August: Ossage County” is a really good play.

Self hasn’t even called her niece and her nephews, all of whom are home from their various colleges. Her daily route has taken her from West End to the Village and back again. The Upper East Side might as well be on another planet.

For now, this apartment on West End Avenue, with Heloise the dachshund resting on a pillow beside her, is home.

Here’s something interesting self found in yesterday’s New York Times Science section. It has to do with food cravings, a topic always of immense interest to self. The title is “How the Food Makers Captured Our Brains” :

As head of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. David A. Kessler served two presidents and battled Congress and Big Tobacco. But the Harvard-educated pediatrician discovered he was helpless against the forces of chocolate chip cookies.

In an experiment of one, Dr. Kessler tested his willpower by buying two gooey chocolate chip cookies that he didn’t plan to eat. At home, he found himself staring at the cookies, and even distracted by memories of the chocolate chunks and doughy peaks as he left the room. He left the house, and the cookies remained uneaten. Feeling triumphant, he stopped for coffee, saw cookies on the counter and gobbled one down.

“Why does that chocolate chip cookie have such power over me?” Dr. Kessler asked in an interview. “Is it the cookie, the representation of the cookie in my brain?”

Et tu, Dr. Kessler?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

4 Comments

  1. June 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Are you on a writing retreat? I wasn’t paying attention to your reason for going to NYC. Do you want to go to the vigil for iran tomorrow night at Union Square? My lovely older daughter will be there. Might be something to remember and write about…your beautiful impressions and all that….

  2. June 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Yes, I decided to gift myself to my very own writing retreat! And my lovely friend Minette generously opened her apartment to me!

    Your older daughter is here? I have been so out of it, I haven’t been paying attention to the news (except for reading old New York Times). I probably should stay home and write! But it will be on the TV? I can watch it.

  3. June 24, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Hee hee hee. I predict Dr. Kessler finds that “resistance is futile”.
    I’m too busy physically restraining myself against a whole catalog of favorite food to ponder over the impulse itself!

    Your tower sounds beguiling, a very good gift.
    I, too, would like my very own Fortress of Solitude.

    Sincerely,
    Waiting w/ bated breath to read the sure-to-be-phenomenal results

  4. June 25, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Oh what a wonderful thing! A self made writing retreat!

    I was wrong about the time. It’s tonight!

    Next time…..wishing you many productive pages!


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