I went to NYC yesterday to look at a Birkin bag. I refused it, ultimately, but it was the end of a few months of flirting & moving forward in this amusing game of supplication & restraint with a local Karachiite vendor of something else. It was fun, but I didn't want a Birkin: I wanted to refuse a Birkin.
I'm sorry. You probably didn't realize I was quite so fucked-up.
The real reason I went to Manhattan was to see the Israeli. I mean, the bag opportunity has come & gone a few times this year & I just could not see getting away. Then it came up again & I had time to put an email out to the sweet Mrs Israeli to check & make sure it was ok with her if I stepped out with her man. It was -- both in the abstract & also our more present time -- but then I started to waver a little in my hermit's undertow before I had gotten around to making plans with my guy and then that James Taylor song (you already know) came on the radio & omg, book it.
Sal has to have his gall bladder out. Seriously, whatever. Let's all fall apart!
Between graciously refusing the bag, leaving my hostess with a fancy gift box of chocolate-dipped figs, and making my way to the 6 (just like J. Lo) to meet up with my guy, I went to Mass.
It started out simple, I was just making my way through Midtown on my regular route, and I stopped at St Francis because there was something I wanted to ask of Bernadette. I didn't light a candle because they are these silly, electric candles & I know the world is full of freaks, but I just can't.
We are donating to their roof project in our 2014 year-end donations. I mean, Mari doesn't know yet, but when all the development departments start calling & mailing next week with their year-end pushes, we are all over the roof at St Francis. He'll say, "Why are we doing this?" I'll explain to him how much time-killing spending has been stayed by the chapel all these years and this will be the first he has heard of such, ahahaha!
While I was lingering on the kneeler before the grotto at the Lourdes altar, the quiet announcement was made that the offering of the sacrament of reconciliation was open with two priests listening in two confessionals. Well, why didn't you say so?
Then before I was quite done with my penance, thinking I had to leave, I got a text that the Israeli had to postpone for a bit, and then Mass was starting, during which time I was able to complete my penance before the Eucharist, so shining with the fullest grace of absolution, I received communion for what may have been the first time since the sacrament of matrimony.
It was just a couple of months ago Kowalski "found out" I got married in the Church. I say "found out" because what he can't see better with that big old torch?
When I met up with the Israeli, on a cold, clear day, with my hat & gloves clutched sassily in my hand and my shearling coat hardly buttoned, he looked me over & took it all in -- my lack of shopping bags, the bare nails, and the still-neat hair -- before he said, "What did you do all this time, go to Mass somewhere?"
We went to a bar, like a hilariously-real bar. The kind of place that opens at 8 in the morning & does not have any food service. One rail, two pool tables in the back, 4 or 5 tall tables with two stools each lined against the wall parallel to the rail, a teevee tuned to NY1. Bartender who was a dead ringer for, and may well have been, a retired law enforcement officer, but I would have never dared get into his business. There are not enough eyelashes in the world. Plus, I was all-eyes for one guy, the whole case of him.
After an 87% analysis of his world & mine -- all four kids, the 37 years of marriage, three jobs -- two beers and one neat Stoli with two lime wedges, we went back out & he walked me over to the Brooklyn & downtown 6, him on the outside the whole way. (Best.)
I stopped at Grand Central to use the ladies' room & why not browse the shops.
I don't spend a lot of time at Grand Central, ever. While I was there yesterday, though, looking for the ladies' room, I was thinking of the whole Penn Station and MSG thing from this year & how I never realized they razed Penn Station to build MSG atop. I mean, it was just kind of in the back of my mind yesterday, along with a little internal grousing about how 32F is not cold so I must act accordingly.
When I came up into the iconic area of the Terminal, I thought, Omigosh, this would all be demolished but for Jackie Kennedy! Love her!
When I went up the steps to the East Balcony to take this photo I found out there is an Apple Store up there. So the sound you've been hearing night & day is Jacqueline Kennedy spinning in her grave. Also, probably why there has to be ISIS, too, I guess. You're welcome.
Ok, but in a kind of journalistic fairness (because there was still a J-School where I could take classes when I was in school), I will report that the store is pretty seamless & I was not sure that it was a store -- maybe it was some pop-up PS 1 exhibition or kooky kids come use technology while we break down barriers or some kind of internet cafe installation ... and then while I was taking it all in, a young white guy in a red shirt approached me & said, "Can I help you?"
I said, "No. I'm sorry, there didn't used to be an Apple store up here." I was only a little tiny bit withering & I judged from his reply & reaction that he gets that a lot + a lot worse, so ok.
After I paid too much for a salad -- although it was kind of stupidly good, I found out on the train home -- I got on the 7 (different from J.Lo), then the N to Penn Station. Upon arrival, I got my boots shined, browsed Duane Reade, then boarded the NE Regional 173 to travel back home.
En route last night, I considered that maybe in the final analysis taking a trip to Manhattan to see my oldest & best friend for elevenses was a little indulgent. I mean, the Birkin thing was window-dressing in a way. ("Are you talking about a purse?" is what the Israeli said. I told you it was embarassing! I said) It was a loss-leader to get me onto the island for a thing way more valuable, and that was good.
I thought about it for a while, the real time I'd spent traveling, how I had left after 9, I would be home before 6, and it was not much more than a workday. Also, I have spent entire days where my son acts out at 8am and then we are all held hostage by his nonsense until long into the night, or maybe the next day. So, whatever, plus who cares? I deserve it. Lean in!
Mari & I are taking a little trip over the river to see Bob Dylan this weekend. That might be cool. Je vous adore, so much xoxoxox