Thursday, November 03, 2005

cleaning house

Happy Thursday! In New York, we are at the slip-end of an Indian summer that has people spilling out of sidewalk cafes and walking around with pedicured (or, in my case, obvsiouly not pedicured) feet in flip-flops. I'm still sleeping with my bedroom window open and it is too chilly for iced tea but it's the perfect sort of weather for drinking your coffee outside on a bench in the sunshine. On Halloween three days ago, Robert and I met up with Suzie and ate oysters at Jack's Oyster Bar, tucked into a red vinyl booth in a little room with striped red and white wallpaper. When we'd finished, I looked up a few feet to the window but all I could see was the dark sky and the branches of a tree -- and it was just eerie and empty enough to make me turn back to Rob and Suzie and say, "Soon it will be Christmastime." Like it hadn't even occurred to me before.

At NYU, when Franny and I lived together on Broome Street, she always used to say, "The fall semester sucks. It just always sucks. And the spring is so much better." And then she would make a bong out of a plastic Coke bottle and we would get high and take turns listening to Method Man (hers) and the Cowboy Junkies (mine) while we talked about the two boyfriends of hers who had died and also about my Richard (who, you know, wasn't really mine at all, unless I can claim possession of the way he disappeared and never called only to show up once in a while and say, "Sarah, you're an angel. I'm not good enough for you. Let's have sex. Turn around.")

Hmmm. This is the last fall semester I will ever have and I'm spending it the way I've spent every other: I'm dicking around eating apples, reading Elle and Vanity Fair (what's up with Woody Allen admitting that his feeling towards Soon Yi are perfectly paternal??) while I practice the Chinese splits. Well, no, come to the think of it, I've never been able to do the splits before now although the feeling of procrastination is imminently familiar to me, an old friend, and she's here now, in the kitchen, reminding me of the twenty-page conference paper I need to write for my literature class, the thesis revisions that need attention, the emails I have to write right now. This is part of why I spent the last two hours on my knees cleaning my entire apartment with warm soapy water, Fantastik, Pledge, and Comet. The other reason is that this morning I came home with a cup of Macadamia Nut coffee and found Robert naked in the bathtub, looking up at me with pleading eyes and saying, "I'm just trying to feel clean." I looked right back at him and said, "You know we have a vacuum cleaner." And he just looked at me, blinking, until his phone rang and he was off the domestic hook. Moments before sitting down here to pay attention to you, I was cleaning the succulent on the radiator in the living room and thinking, "I've never actually dusted a potted plant."

Last night we went to Suzie's apartment in Park Slope with two bottles of wine and some water for her Celebrate Heartbreak dinner party. She cooked the most delicious pork with sausage and dried apricots and Phoebe brought her French bulldog, Guinness, and also some squash soup with ginger creme fraiche. And I loved being a room with three of the people I care about most. Suzie is, hands-down, the most gifted storyteller I know and after dinner, Robert was lying down on the couch next to Guinness, and Suzie was telling us about Mother's Day and we were all laughing, except for Guinness, who spent most of the night with his tongue sticking out at everyone.


Anonymous suz said...

sarita, i'm, like, so flattered. thank you...and, more importantly, "turn around"????? i love it. thank god he was never your richard.

10:34 AM  

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