I went outside

I went outside. The air was warmer than I had expected. The sweater I pulled from the armoire was not the v neck I had intended, but a turtleneck. Thin enough, roomy enough, albeit cashmere. This damn sweater. I’ve had it for years. It was a peace offering of sorts. A piece for peace picked out at Barney’s by a man who loved music and finger fidgeting but never knew what to do with kids. I’m sure the box had a pink bow on it and I’m sure the box said, “Barney’s”. The sweater does. It was served up with champagne, all around. The effort this man made was so painful to me. I always pitied him. Imagine how sad a person would have to be, I thought, to not like children. I figured the life was all squeezed out of him. But boy did he have brains. Thought brains. Emotional ones, not so much.

The air was warmer than I expected. My clogs made a good, woody sound clomping down the street, making me tall. That much closer to the Amazon living inside of me. The clicking clacking of the clogs. Clogs always make me feel like I’m sitting at a potter’s wheel with a bandana on my hair. In a turtleneck.

I walked into the store and I was amazed to finally be buying only the one thing I expressly went there to get. Broccoli rabe. I checked myself out and I was honest with the machine. I punched in Broccoli rabe and not Broccoli and it told me to put my rapini in the bag. Rapini.*

Back outside, another block down to the second market, straining my brain to remember each thing I had planned to get. They always have good bananas. Bananas bandanas. Yellow is generally not my color. I tend to work best in navy, dark brown, grey, black and pink. Red is a good one for me too, however attention getting. I often wonder what looks better: a blonde in red or a brunette in blue? And what about the reverse?

Just outside the market, near the pizza/video store place that I always think I’ll join because it’s so much better than getting your movies on line and it’s the kind of place whose mission statement includes having bizarro films like the Elizabeth Taylor one I watched the other night. Well, just outside that market there was a tree planted and its trunk was wrapped in little red Christmas lights. But today they were little red jazz up the tree for Spring lights. And in the flower bed was a spectacular display that I swear looked like some one had planted it that day! (That day being today). Spindly tall yellow flowers and little bushes of lavender colored flowers. Sweet Williams perhaps? There were some wily red tulips too. Excellent composition. Wabi sabi all the way. It made me burst inside and it healed a little bit of something in me, just in that instant.

Rapini, bananas, bagel and salad greens in tow**…I proceeded homeward. The original plan was to stop and get tilapia and coleslaw, but so and so had gotten chicken soup and chicken soup was trumping the appeal of tilapia. What did I want? What did I want? Such a simple question and sometimes so difficult to discern the answer. I called the corner restaurant to inquire what their soup was. Chicken Orzo. It was settled then. But as I neared the tilapia place, I faltered. What did I want? What did I want? I had this whole plan and it was unraveling because someone else’s appetite entered my brain and it started to feel like mine too.

I passed the place with tilapia. Mama’s. I passed Mama’s and I stopped on the corner and I thought about it and I thought about how fucked up and disgusting chicken farms are. And I thought, “Ah, fuck it!” and then I thought about self betrayal. I thought about sitting in my apartment, chewing the chicken. I thought about the restaurant. I thought, “this place probably gets the lowest of the low.” I thought maybe Mama’s does too. After all, when a place uses good clean, moral stuff, they advertise it! That’s how you justify the price! Well, I went back to Mama’s. No more cole slaw. And as I stared down at the available sides, screwing up my face and contemplating abandonment of the plan once again, the guy behind the counter with the mustache said, “Wow. You really look like you’re going somewhere. I mean you really look like your about to do something big, or like you’ve just come from doing something really big. The look you’ve got going on!”

Little did he know. Then I thought, well maybe I’m going to make some great art tonight. Maybe in my army jacket and my aviator glasses, maybe I’m going to go on a great mental safari or direct a great imaginary film!

I got the tilapia and I gave him a tip and I enjoyed having made such an impression at the very moment I was feeling the least impressive.

*Leaving the grocery store I got a note and it said I was beautiful and my whole body got softer and I let out a sigh and it was like roses. Bitter rapini. Sweet sweetness.

**While shopping for bananas and bagels and greens, I debated whether or not “fuckin'” looked just too vulgar in a text. I deleted it and then put it back in, because, without it, the joke didn’t work. I also wondered if I could have a full blown, knock down, drag out, shaming, judging and accusing fight with my inner man, at least? I wondered if that would be allowed. Cause it’s a real no-no to do that with your outer people. Anyway, I imaginary strangled the bugger.




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