My previous post was about having cooties. This one’s about recovery. It was nothing serious, but I’m still certainly under the weather. Today was the first time I felt motivated to clean my apartment and go for a walk in my neighborhood. It was just the kind of look I liked outside, but colder than I’d thought.
I only just know how to make quinoa for dinner, so while I waited for my quinoa to finish cooking, I thought I’d post the pictures from my walk that I took with my new smartphone that I bought to replace my old-school Nokia. Really, the pictures don’t look much better than those sad ones I used to post with my low-tech phone.
But I like the sidewalk panel one because it reminds me of Gregory Crewdson. You can google image his work with light and panels and that sort of thing. I have a lot of nerve even uttering his name in the same paragraph including a description of a picture I took with a camera phone — haha! Oh, and I do like the one with the frozen river. The first one in the third row I took because I was actually trying capture this tall, thin man walking in front of me — I liked the imagery of his figure on that block — he walked fast and I couldn’t really get him. Don’t pay any mind to the stupid plastic bag in one of my photos of the trees in the park.
And of course since I’m not on Facebook anymore (for now anyway) I had to include selfies — where else am I gonna post selfies now? There’s one happy and one sad, to represent me with cooties and without.
I apologize but boredom brings out my vanities. So, in the end, I do feel better, and I did manage to burn my quinoa. By the way it’s 3am, and I should be crawling into bed soon. Goodnight…
Dear diseased neighbor with bloated belly,
How dare you! So you feel it’s okay to say that my stomach looks like yours? You goddamned wench. I have uterine fibroids. Thanks for reminding me that I’m accursed! Yes, I have issue with the fact that I do situps every other day but still appear to have a pot belly at times. It sucks that this has happened in the last couple of years when I had been able to have pride in a flat stomach into my middle forties, glad to have at least had that, if not big titties — no I don’t really want big titties — but anyway — HOW DARE YOU! And learn how to air smooch. When we greet each other, you needn’t plant slobbery diseased lips on the side of my face — ungh! — just threw up in my mouth.
Dear homeless drunken neighbor in wheelchair,
Aw, thanks for offering me Chinese food this evening. But how the fuck you can afford to offer me dinner when you’re homeless is beyond me. I dunno but it was a sweet gesture nonetheless. During my winter hiatus, don’t forget that offer please, as I may be broke and have to take you up on it. We’ll have a very “scenic” dinner in the park, overlooking the Hudson River.
Dear other homeless neighbor,
Sorry I said bad things about you and your wife in another post that I wrote about the homeless people in this neighborhood. I’ll eat those words — I swear. I come home every day to you sitting by the park playing chess tournaments with locals. I suck ass in chess and think that you could teach me lots. Mr. Homeless Man, can I please play with you? I promise I have no qualms about touching communal chess pieces. You’re obviously a respected member of the community and I should kick myself for being such a dick — or shall I say — such a twat.
I’m so so sorry. Had I known you would be going around offering free pussy to average looking men, I would have coached you better. I hope you’re living a happy life now, and that all that had occurred between us is behind you. I love you. P.S. Please stop dying your hair orange just so that you don’t look like me anymore. It makes you look, crack-whorish.
Yours, all y’all,
An overcast day only hinting of sun suits my mood. I like taking walks in it. When dusty clouds tinged with peach, pink, turquoise and orange hover, my thoughts are romantic. Pathetically I imagine living in that old gothic building jutting over the Hudson, or have a cotton-headed fantasy about the preference bestowed upon me by the universe, wherein hordes of lovely people who like my books buttress my existence with praise and favor in all manner, form and “activity.”
The texture of clouds and colors on these days are the canvas for the depths of my thoughts and for the melancholy hue of self-indulgence. I’m not afraid to allow myself to be seen, to reveal myself in this atmosphere, and can discuss with myself, out loud – if walking on a quiet road — how to handle an ongoing conflict with the obese service worker, or the blatant truth about the direction of my life, or the spiritual benefit of never blaming anyone other than myself.
Centuries old artists capture the beauty of the powdery, melancholy sky as a palette against the flora or peasant’s valley. As a transporting exercise in recreation, I imagine the woods across the street against a pastel textured, dark-hued sky a hundred and fifty years past.
I prefer this to the harassment and shock of a sheer blue day. The demand, the brightness shining on every flaw of my life are too much for me to endure at times. The intrusion is audacious — it embodies the collective idea that it’s the perfection of days and that I should be impelled to romp about in it to serve my health.
What crap is this? The sun burning my eyes, my chest clenched with the weight of all this expectation. Bah. My name is Sandee, and I’m not a great fan of the overbearing sun.
I’ve been taking a new way home from work to avoid riding the bus with zombies masquerading as people. As soon as you turn away they smack their fists in their hands and point at me. They peel the latex ‘people’ skin from their face to show me decaying flesh then stick it back on before anyone else sees them. Sometimes the bus is filled with them because they know this is my usual route.
So this is my new route home.
It’s the back roads of Riverdale in the Bronx. There are others walking here but it’s rather quiet. Since there are mansions on one side and a few houses speckled on the other by the river, I might be saved by a compassionate homeowner if one of those stinking dead bastards comes.
I imagine this road in the fall when the leaves turn Halloweeny and the moon is huge and orange with the wicked witch flying through it on her broom, and I get all oogie.
That white speck is a zombie but I’m behind the tree.
This walking path is like a country road with the woods and the river. The people who live here don’t make the path less twiggy and gnarly because they don’t want riff raff like me too comfortable on it.
The road leads back to a luxury apartment area winding east. At the end where the road curves back is a quaint old apartment complex, units crookedly piled on top of one another on a natural terrace jutting out over the river. Each unit has an iron terrace and the roofs are rust colored, corrugated. There’s ivy crawling all over the buildings. There’s a serene view of the river and the palisades. Woods are across the street. Next to that is a prewar building, rather average but attractive, resembling the kind in my neighborhood. It also juts out over the river. It’s strange to see a building like that in a privileged position.
I’m going to live there. That’s also why I walk this route, to get used to it when I have to come home this way, zombies or not.
But now, for my trip home from work this way, after a mile and a half, I get on a bus that zombies refuse to ride. They don’t know where I live and they’re not blog readers. A few are starting to get on Facebook, but I blocked them. Trying to avoid them is exhausting but I don’t want to become a zombie anytime soon, so it’s what I accept. They want to eat my superior brain and I can’t do anything about that.
Crap quality pictures, but you get the gist.
When the rain stopped yesterday, I walked to Inwood Park. It’s on the northernmost tip of Manhattan at the border of the Hudson. With my air conditioner off and windows open, I heard cars racing, horns beeping, and groups of people talking. I had to get out. My walk was for mental health.
It was breezy and not hot, and occasionally overcast, which made the greenery in the park stand out. The views include cliffs that border the river. On Halloween, Haunted Inwood takes place in the forest. Actors in costume lead you through the woods for ghostly tales. There are caves up there with streams of trickling water. The hike is complete with fog machines, graveyards and monsters peering from behind trees. The organization turns the nature center into a haunted house.
I sat on a bench, looking across the river. Not far from there is a view of a huge rock in The Bronx. In 1952 a Columbia University student began painting a large C on that rock. The job was finished by members of Columbia’s row team later. Columbia’s row team docks their boats at their row house near Inwood Park. The C rock is part of the legend of this area. Boys climb up the hill to the top of that rock and dive into the river over and over. Once I sat for a while and watched them from across the river.
After sitting in that one area, I walked around the bend to a large Chinese cherry tree with drooping branches enveloping a small bench like a curtain. It was perfect to keep the sun out so I sat for a while watching geese in the river a few feet away. Though the bench was perfect for lovers, that idea was an intrusion on my meditation. In the park you don’t hear city noises, only an occasional plane or the horn of the Metro North Train going through the Marble Hill Station.
I took the long way out, at the border of the cliffs around the soccer field. A group of troopers waved as they passed in a car on the way to the hills. I took a tour once with one of the troopers. I walked this way to look at the inscription on the rock marking the beginning of three different paths into the woods. The plaque says it’s where Peter Minuit bought Manhattan from Native Americans for trinkets and beads worth 60 guilders. This area was also an encampment for Hessian Soldiers during the revolutionary war.
I continued out along the edge of the soccer field, watching a man clean up after his dog on the litter free path. I had faith that he would. Minutes after I got home, it rained.
Grandma Hattie finally got her eye classes from the optician at the Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale. She lives here. I went with her today for her exercise class on the terrace overlooking the Hudson River. Debbie would lead the class in exercises today. We walked to the terrace through the hall in a procession of oldsters, some in wheelchairs, others pushing walkers, and the others walking slow as hell. Grandma Hattie was behind me. “Your hair looks terrible,” she said. “Well your wig looks terrible!” I said it loudly because she needs a hearing aid but won’t wear one. She’s stubborn sometimes I think just to exercise her right, even when it doesn’t make any sense. My grandma and I have a history of bickering, but I love being around her. I see her once a week during good times.
I know the exercise teacher Debbie outside of the Hebrew Home because she visited where I work often. I work at a botanical garden also overlooking the Hudson only a half a mile away from the Hebrew Home.
After Debbie and the nurse’s aids sat all of the oldsters out on the terrace, she started her old people work-out routine. They stay in the chair the whole time. She did arms, neck, hips, legs, waist, and head things. I did them to encourage my g’ma to do them because she had said “I don’t feel like doing no exercising.” But sometimes all you need is a little push, I say. My Grandma Hattie was on the left and there was another old lady Hattie on my right it turns out. My Grandma Hattie is 90 years old. She sat with her hand under her chin for the first round of exercises but warmed up slowly and began doing them. It was warm today, an unnatural 85 degrees. I didn’t like it.
I did the exercises with the oldsters and was worried because I began to tire out. I was relieved when the good-natured exercise teacher Debbie said that she was wearing herself out as well. She huffed out in exhaustion after reps of leg lifts from her chair. I jog and work out, but I’m mentally wearing myself out which helps in weakening my stamina – those exercises went on for a half an hour and damn if I wasn’t through! I wonder if it can count as a legitimate workout for me today…