It’s the last day of summer, unofficially at least, and only now have I tackled enough of the shadows looming over me to relax. That’s life, I suppose, and as much as I don’t mind work—as much as I love work, even—I’m aware a change of pace would do me well. My patience is worn to the bone; I can scarcely suffer anyone, let alone fools; and I’ve become a Grim Jim, a Prince Charmless, a true Pill-ar of the community. Still, it’s nothing a break wouldn’t cure, and when I pay off all my debts and refill my bank account, I plan to take one—a good one, a long one, a very, very quiet and briny one.
In the meantime I travel within my finely feathered city, orchestrating the sort of adventures that have been the mainstay of my existence here since I was but a lass. Yesterday I wandered through the flea market on 76th and Columbus, a neighborhood that typically gives me nose bleeds. There, among the throng of normcore nudniks and old ladies in purple hats, I excavated an art deco pocket watch, a spangled parrot brooch, and a tiny painting of sea and sky whose beauty was obfuscated by a homely brown frame. This morning I painted it white and cream while watching an old screwball comedy. (And after you shot your husband, how did you feel? I felt hungry!) Grace supervised, her tail twitching in my face. The neighborhood pigeon with a neon stripe yapped outside the window. And the wind blew in, setting aflutter the curtains I hung myself.
Small pleasures, all of them, but no less real for their scale and certainly no less mine. And thus this season comes to a bittersweet end. Here’s to a brilliant Fall for us all.
I’d say the greatest luxury of My Summer of Reckoning so far is the Midday Nap. I get up with the birds and the sun, do all the work that requires bona-fide brain power, expend my buckets of nervous energy at the gym, and then, around 2 or 3—right when the heat is at its stroppiest—I take an hour-long snooze. Once a cup of lavender-earl grey tea nudges me back to the land of the living, I’m markedly more relaxed and present with other humans for the rest of the evening. Pleasant, even. Granted, this is one boon of my intensely freelance life but I think everyone would benefit from a little catnap. Listen up, Amerika: It’s time to institute the siesta as a nationwide tradition.