Archive | City Matters

Love in the Time of COVID-19

I had this really beautiful Wednesday where I saw long-lost friends everywhere—some on purpose, some roaming around the neighborhood, even a few from whom I’d been estranged for what reads now as absolutely small potatoes. Case in point: K, the Legend, and I had a perfectly cordial coffee at Oslo–something I couldn’t have imagined three months ago. Three weeks ago.

Overall the vibe was so terrifyingly end-of-the world, like everyone was making peace and exchanging IRL love before the COVID-19 anvil could come down for good. Even the pretty mild sunshine reminded me of the absolutely perfect weather of the morning of 9-11-01, right before the towers fell and people I loved died along with a trust I hadn’t known I’d taken for granted.

By Thursday, the vibe had changed enormously. In crowded grocery and drug store aisles, shoppers anxiously stuffed nonperishables into newly (and ironically) non-plastic bags. Some wore gloves, masks, hunched shoulders. Others stalked about in shorts and tee shirts, plenty of flesh exposed and eyes plenty guarded. By 8:30am lines were endless–snaking around city blocks, up and down stairwells. At Whole Foods I raised my eyebrows at a woman who looked more like me than anyone I’d ever met–long, broad bones; wide slash of a mouth; green eyes defined by bemusement and half-brows. It turned out she also was of Polish descent, only her family had come over in the 1990s, not the 1930s. Continue Reading →

The Church of Gentle Luxury

I’m sitting with Grace by the window in a treasure trove of sunlight and clouds–of white fur and pleather cubes, and a sapphire velvet chaise lounge draped with blue-flowered and animal-printed pillows and throws. Joni is spilling over both of us and I’m trying to figure out which of us—me, Grace, maybe even Joni–fashioned this little alcove. The question fills me with more pleasure than the morning already has. Which is a lot, actually.

It sounds ridiculous, suggesting my cat arranged fabrics and furniture to create this robin’s egg dreamscape by the window. Can’t you see her dragging everything in her cunning little teeth? But if she didn’t actively arrange this child’s dream turned inside out, she certainly inspired it with her perfectly composed paws, her caramel stripes and gleaming eyes. With how she absorbs and exudes beauty.

God I love her. I have zero idea how I’d do intuition work or anything else without her practicalmagic, anything without her reikitty paws-on healing.
Continue Reading →

All Around These Troubled Waters

I am sitting in the dining area at Fairway—a sort of greenhouse overlooking the Red Hook harbor—and I am trying not to cry. Correction: I am crying, but quietly, the way grown New Yorkers process very private emotions in the very public spaces where we spend most of our days.

I am feeling like yesterday’s lunch, which is ironic because I just polished off an enormous breakfast.

All around me waves are rising like Joni’s cold blue steel. It makes me feel held, these busy waters mirroring Joni. It also makes me feel lonely because only the world at large, strangers to whom I feel close, hold me right now.

This is Pisces season at its hardest.

Which is true, but also a cop-out, because this is just a hard time all around. This is Democrats-feasting-on-each-other-while-evil-oligarch-runs-us-into-the-ground time. This is virus time, frighteningly warm-winter time.

February’s last gasp is brutal. So is that of patriarchy.

And, yeah, I’m talking about the white supremacist capitalistic cockocratic dinosaurs poisoning our government, environment, media, fun. This is the longest dying gasp in history, and it’s killing us all.

All around my sorrow swims fury in these gloriously choppy waters. A fury on behalf of menopausal, perimenopausal, reproductive-age–damn it, all people who identify in any way as women. Also a fury toward the women who’ve swallowed so much shit they now feed it to others.

The fury I feel every time Warren’s “electability” is debated by the same couchside demographers who look the other way as her white male contenders scowl, browbeat, lie, fumigate, generally behave unlikeably. Just the body language of the debates makes me apoplectic. (It also rings more than a few bells in my professional life.)

The fury I felt last month when the architect next door fixed my armoire for a pound of flesh– swigging my wine for two hours while complaining about the wife he’d just left, bragging about the blue pills he takes to fuck women half our age. (It goes without saying his very decent ex is our age.)

Waggling his eyebrows as he said, “You must have been hot when you were young.” Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy