It’s really nice to be free to hop on the train, head to New York City and be there before an hour is up. I love it. I love, also, being in the suburbs of Connecticut. I’m a little older now and the quiet streets and suburban attitudes work for me. Did I mention that I’m 50 years old?
I don’t seem able to get it clear with the subway. I can’t figure out public transport? When did that happen to me? I was always very savvy with public transport. I grew up on public transport in London, Paris and New York. OK, that sounds a lot more affected than I intend; but it’s true. I suspect that it’s a spiritual issue. I think the universe, or God, who runs the universe, is subtly hinting that I am old for the subway. I have done an impressive amount of time underground. I should leave the subterranean world to those who have not yet achieved the monumental feat of being alive, healthy, happy, sexy and 50 yrs old. In other words, I am one who is anointed and appointed to stick my hand high into the air, wave it so that the bling catches the light which causes a bright yellow cab to stop at my feet . I can climb into it, offer an address and then sit back, collect myself, and watch the buzz of the city from safe within. Thus it was ordered by those on high!
I bumped into The Stage Deli. I remember it from back way back in 1980 something. They do the most amazingly huge sandwiches. In fact the sandwiches are impossible. Two slices of ordinary rye bread with a filling that is four or five inches deep. How does anyone eat that? You can’t get your mouth around it. It’s fun to try, though, and well worth the effort. Deliciousness! I also had a Matzo Ball Soup.
I’ve heard of the matzo ball soup, but I’ve never known what it was. What’s a matzo ball? Now I know. It’s chicken broth with a big ball of dough in the middle of it. The dough is the matso ball. It’s made from matzo meal, which is flour, I guess. Look, it was alright. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it either. I’m glad I’ve experienced it. I remember a few years ago, when I was in America, seeing grits on a menu. I ordered the grits not knowing what grits are, but having heard them ordered in cowboy movies. ‘Gemme sum grits’, they would say in that gravelly untidy cowboy way. Grits is like baby food. It’s a kind of white watery porridgey thing. It has no taste at all. I didn’t understand it. I don’t like it.
Catherine, who is even older than I am, comes down stairs every morning and says something negative about the day, ahead of the day. I have never known anyone like her. If the sun is shining she will say, ‘Yes, but it’s cold’. If the weather is warm she goes on about global warming. If the sky is grey, she will say ‘It’s not a nice day today’. If it’s raining she calls it miserable. This morning I snapped. I mean, how does anyone do that before anyone has even had a cup of coffee? Today, for example, she came upon me enjoying the peace of the morning and a cup of divine coffee. She stood watching the window for a minute and said ‘It’s not a very nice day’. What is that? Is that a prediction? Is it a premonition? It’s a perfectly beautiful day. The sky is wall to wall gainesboro grey. You can see the luminescence of the sun as it tries to nudge its way through. The sun will win. It’ll be a sunny afternoon. It’s a lovely day. It’s cold so that it chills to the bone and the wind that was so icy yesterday is calmer today. I have given Catherine instruction that when she looks out of the window at the beginning of every day she must say loud and with purpose ‘It is a beautiful day’. And if she is going to pronounce on the weather she must only say that it’s a beautiful rainy day or grey day or dull day. Even if the Tsunami and Hurricane Irene decide to get it on over Connecticut, “It Is A Beautiful Day”. I mean, really!
I just heard on the BBC, which is on as I write, about a guy who had a face transplant. Really? A whole face? Yes. Imagine that. Imagine the possibilities. I’d like a leg transplant and a butt transplant. In fact, if someone could do me a body transplant I’d be highly delighted and willing to pay. I’d like one that looks as though it’s been doing yoga and pilates all of it’s life. I’d like one uncontaminated with wine (which one can hardly really call a contamination. It’s ambrosia, the food of the gods). I’d like one uncontaminated by excess. I’d also like one that enjoys being enjoyed. I read a rumour that people who are all that healthy aren’t very sexually orientated and are, therefore, missing out on one of the best things in life that are free. I don’t believe that. Isn’t that what women try to persuade each other when they are middle aged, out of shape, unhealthy, half drunk, hoarse from smoking and feeling jealous of the youthful, fresh, beautiful ones. I think the yoga/pilates chicks are getting much more action than the rest of them.
But this face transplant really is miraculous. I mean this is what cosmetic surgery is really about, isn’t it. It’s about this kind of restoration and the gift, to a man, of the ability to live his life. They say he can smell, and taste; something he has been unable to do for the past 15 years. Everything we all take for granted and he had lost. They made mention of the fact that he can now brush his teeth. What this morning seemed like one of life’s banalities suddenly seems to me to be a privilege and one I shall now treasure. I can brush my teeth.