I Will Come Back from the Sea Whole

I will come back from the sea whole. (Now is not the moment for revision, but I’ll always make time for delusion.)

JP and I went to see An American in Paris. How to express dancing in words? He said the show uses dancing the way others use music. My limited vocabulary of music. I consult online. I think the section I like is the swells and flats of the “Andante ma con ritmo deciso.”

(Up swim days when Bob was obsessed with “Rhapsody in Blue.” I had a recording on cassette.)

The guncles wandered Brooklyn with the twins. Kevin interviewed the people we passed, asking about the neighborhood, contemplating a move. We walked Montague, the Promenade, and quiet pockets around Willow Place. Erin and Andrea used to live somewhere not far from a street called Pineapple, but I didn’t see it. We walked up Atlantic, past the old sail makers building, stopped at the usual bar, only this time with babies. I drank an IPA that tasted like coffee. We walked eastward into the heart, walked to friends in Fort Greene. Carlin told us of the family trip to England. They all eventually wearied of evensong. (Such a good word, though.) I talked to her brother about how the whole idea is to illustrate how deadlines are useful. Cousins visited. Squirrels darted across pipes. The boys got tired.

Back at home, Mike, JP, and I tried to calm them. I laughed when we sang Britney Spears (“It’s weird singing this to a baby!”) and “Careless Whispers” and they stared in silent wonder/confusion/alarm. I smiled thinking of all the parents trying to figure this shit out. They played with their toys: the owl, the hedgehog, the whale.

The city is empty of its people on Labor Day. I headed down Lexington and paused in the shade around Gramercy. I walked through the Farmers’ Market in Union Square. Cartons brimmed with heirloom tomatoes. (I search online and find another good word: nightshade.) I browsed in the Strand. I pulled Mary Oliver off the shelf and read “Starfish.” (“…while the sea poured its harsh song through the sluices/while I waited for the gritty lightning of their touch…”) I found she lives in Provincetown; maybe we’ll see her. I realized I got the detail about the bread wrong the other day. It does not matter. I bought the decaf espresso for my father.

Words cradled me to sleep? I persist in wishing to know all the names of trees. I make no ground towards accomplishing this goal. My thinking was just write double the words to account for the missed day. This is proving difficult. Sad: one day can’t fill enough words. However, it encourages me to jot down notes. More observant/open to the world?

JP packed up his office and, lacking a grandpa cart, brought it home in suitcases. Books are stacked about the place. He skimmed papers, sorting for filing or throwing away.

I searched for stamps, always forgetting where I last put them, certain the last time I would have told myself, “Here, this will make them so much easier to grab when I need them.”

I weigh registering for another race. One comes up that starts and ends at the pier by my grandparents’ old apartment. It’s been a big summer for me and that pier: I saw it every time we rode the ferry to Jacob Reis. The race is at the right time if I start training now, but it has two out-and-back loops, making it sound unquestionably terrible.

We want to organize our lives. We want to discard all the things. We want to donate the clothes and vacuum the floors. We want to update the software (Jesus Christ). We want to attack the checklist. We want to write better about food, nature, and dancing.

We received the change of address. We drank the smoked carrot margarita. We wondered how our new old friend is faring.

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