Monday, May 25, 2015

Dad Jokes

"You guys know Beacon?" The old man asks as he leans over our table from the sidewalk outside the patio.

"This place used to be a barbecue place before it was a dim-sum place," he says after we explain we're just visiting. "They called it 'The Piggy Bank,' because it used to be a bank, before that."

His wife nods happily beside him as he talks, and she laughs as he repeats, "Piggy Bank."

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pete Seeger Park

The train lets us off right on the shores of the Hudson River, and after we stare at the light glittering on the water for a while, we end up walking over to the park we see a little further upstream. I have my eye on this one particular bench tucked up in the shade of a giant oak overlooking a small inlet full of honking geese and complaining seagulls.

The sign at the entrance informs us we're entering Pete Seeger Park, and we drag our bags over to the bench to wait for our friend to come and pick us up. Across the inlet, a bulldozer scrapes a tiny peninsula to make ready for some development or other, and the roar of its motor drifts over the water to us, while we watch the geese decide en masse to launch their squabbling mass from the water into a cloudless blue sky.


As I'm about to take leave after our lunch together, Terrence leans in conspiratorially. "I wrote a joke for when I get together with my friends," he says. "How many New Yorkers does it take to change a light bulb?"

When I say I don't know, he says, "'Well, the next two weeks are shot because of work, and then I'm out of town for the weekend, so you want to try for the first week of next month?'"

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Something Shifted

He seems normal enough, nice even, chatting with the woman after she refuses the seat he kindly offered.

But when she opines that she's been sitting down all day, and that it's nice to "be on her feet," he lets out a forced, braying laugh.

"Yeah, and I'm just tryin' to get on my feet," he says, his entire demeanor changing. "Tryin'a get on my feet, tryin'a getton mafeet, get on ma feet, get on ma feet," he repeats in a sing-song voice, giggling uncontrollably.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Morale Officer

Katie has given up sugar, or sweeteners of any kind really, for the next couple of weeks in hopes of detoxing somewhat, and so I have appointed myself Morale Officer for the interim while she goes through her self-created dark night of the soul.

When I come in after working out and meditating, she's lying on the bed, curled around what I can only assume is a hollow spot in the center of her being. "I want bread," she moans when I ask her what she wants for dinner.

"Well, I'm afraid I can't really support that decision," I say gently.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Trying our Best

"So I told her," says Katie of our friend whose boyfriend is currently going through a divorce, "I said, give me a call if you want to talk, because I know how stressful it can be."

"You know, I never really acknowledged while I was doing my divorce thing, but I imagine it was pretty stressful for you, too, and I was too busy dealing with my own stuff." I say, leaning back against the headboard of our bed. "So good job on that."

"You know," Katie says, "I think we all did pretty well."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Food of the Gods

After we've run the cold-brew chocolate through the strainer, what's left is a fragrant golden brown liquid. Katie takes a long sip, and I follow suit, letting it roll around on my tongue - what chocolate tastes like at its heart: bitter and sweet and floral.

The theobromine in it settles right at my heart chakra, a cold fire that singes away my excess thoughts, leaving me dispassionately observing the world. Outside, the sky above is flat gray tinged orange by the streetlights, and I take my time walking the dog, strolling the sidewalks and watching the cars pass and fade, pass and fade.