When April ends, it’s the vertical sky that brings me joy. I have been craving banana ice-cream with sprinkles atop it. I have been staring lustily at cigarettes held between lips. After all summer’s here. Well, almost.
L takes me to Jackson Heights and it’s surreal to be in a place so Indian (but unfortunately Indian insofar as it resembles the station parts of Mumbai, the ones I didn’t miss at all, although the food is an entirely different story) in this blistering cold. I had ventured into summer and have to spend the rest of the day (and the morning after) collecting pieces of charitable clothing from my friends. A scarf, a jacket, tights. But it’s hugging L’s cats (who are soft and fat and lovely dollops of delight) that finally brings me warmth. And later, it’s the burning sage. I am trying to come up with an incantation to invoke spiritual awareness, but all my mind wishes for is True Love, capitalized, singular, and dismissed if it’s anything less. My thoughts are beginning to amuse me now. Less a person and more a Disney Princess caricature. But maybe the sage is making me wiser, for soon, I start letting go of this childish covetousness. There’s nothing to wish for beyond courage and strength. I cleanse my spirit and everything is like honey, full of golden weight.
I spend most of Sunday in the library, with traces of external existences for tea (a perfectly brewed Kyoto Cherry Rose) and coffee (an intensely cinnamon-y Cappuccino) and am especially glad of my second outing because I stumble upon Louisa May Alcott’s old abode.
I am so excited when I learn this fact, already dreaming of her looking at the space I currently inhabit from across the street, as she sits at her desk before the second story window of 130 MacDougal Street, penning the last paragraph of the loveliest book (the only book to have a dedicated post in this blog). I feel like I am having difficulty expressing to anyone just how much this means to me. I am still giddy with joy when a sweet old lady stops by my table and offers the same piece of information. Do you know who lived in that brownstone? Yes, yes! Now I do! After more than a year of walking on MacDougal Street, I am aware that the author of my favorite childhood novel, Little Women, lived in the building that houses NYU’s law school. When I recount the encounter, M laughs, old ladies.
Later, we are engaged in deep intellectual activity, playing Lego Harry Potter on PS4. He is Hagrid and I am Harry. He is strong and capable and destroying Diagon Alley with his umbrella wand. I am magic-less and clueless and following him around as galleons rain on us. Even when we progress to the next level, and I’ve moved on to being Hermione, I find myself accidentally jumping right off the castle walls, falling to swift, unexpected demise. (There’s something to be said about the similar spatial transition involved in falling and flying. In both, I am adrift, free, finally and only.) Death seems to lack any meaning in the game for there are no consequences and I am always back, unhurt and continuing right where I had left off.