Suzanne and Bob sit across the table from me in the cramped coffee shop booth – anywhere else they’d give you a few more inches, but this is
“Did you see the cable car that got stuck up there a few years ago?” I ask, out of the blue, suddenly remembering that story. “Yes,” they say. They’d been out late rehearsing, had stopped for pizza, heard about the stuck cable car that had been hanging suspended all day, and went to look. “Were the people waving?” I ask. “Were they looking out the windows? Was there like a whole crowd down here?” Suzanne and Bob point to where the car had been. “No,” says Suzanne. “They were pretty grim, pretty serious actually. They were being taken one by one with a crane by then.”
I had been the first one up. I’d gone out, borrowing a black polar fleece jacket that was hanging by the front door and an umbrella that opened at the touch of the button, the umbrella so clearly more expensive and much better made than the ones I usually end up with that I vow to only buy expensive umbrellas from now on. There is something so satisfying and strong about this umbrella. It feels almost permanent.
Yes, it is raining and it is cold and I walk back to the Starbucks we passed last night at about midnight, Fred and I walking across town from the theater where we have both been so deeply moved, and I so deeply inspired. We walked slowly last night, no schedule to keep and after the circus of Times Square the city quieted and it felt like we were going back in time. Up
We come to
“I love this city so much,” I say to Fred. It is not a new feeling, but it is new to feel it this acutely, like a lover that I can be afraid of losing.
The Starbucks we noted last night is still here in the morning, more or less where I remembered it, a relief because now Fred will be pleased. I stand in line and order and walk back with my cardboard tray with two cups and one croissant. I will have the leftover raisin nut loaf I brought from
While Fred bathes and enjoys his coffee I sit in the living room at the glass coffee table. Suzanne and Bob got in late. I don’t know what time. I didn’t hear them come in. I have no idea how long it will take them to wake and come down. I start to read the bright green brand new paperback I have noticed on the table, a play.
I am so comfortable here. I keep noticing that. I keep thinking of thirty years ago when I’d be with Jeffrey and two or three of his friends and I would be on edge every moment, always feeling that every word I said was the wrong one. I keep thinking how if then was now I wouldn’t be able to drink this tea and read this book and curl up in the big leather chair and get the afghan to make myself warmer. Somehow all these things are easy now. How hard it used to be to be with other people, harder still to sleep in their houses.