my friend lesley is a cherry-blossom junkie who haunts the brooklyn botanic garden each spring, and i met her out there early yesterday afternoon to stroll around the cotton-candy lawns and dodge people taking photos of their children and instagram spouses. she rode her bike out to east river park to walk with me a few months ago, and that was one of like four times i've seen a friend in person since last spring; no one was vaccinated then, so we strolled a responsible distance from one another and talked about how neither of us wanted to fuck around with writing a book. this time we could have played twister if we'd felt like it, and i'd imagined what it would be like to hug her—i haven't hugged anyone other than joe in so long, and i was pretty bad at it pre-pandemic—but i also knew it wouldn't come up if i didn't bring it up. she's not a hugger, though she would certainly have indulged me if i'd asked her (when i met my friend abbe's boyfriend at her birthday picnic i actually said "may i embrace you?" like a total creeper), but i...didn't. it was enough to take our sunglasses on and off and squint against the gusts of grit and blossoms kicking up across the grass and lend her a book about cremation. i wanted the normal things, not hugging for the sake of hugging.

i ran into my ancient neighbor jerry, a long-retired cop whose wife died early in the pandemic, when i was walking across the bridge to east river park a couple of days ago. he looked down at my arm: "how many TA-ttoos you got?" i told him i have eight, but most of them are on my back, and he lit up and gave me a massive high-five. then he apologized, said he'd gotten his two shots and had been swabbed with the thing, but it was fine, fine, i haven't spontaneously high-fived anyone since long before we started haven't-sincing.

after lesley and i parted i wandered around the brooklyn museum gift shop. took the train back up to the union square greenmarket, bought all the ramps the chefs aren't using. wandered downtown to my bookstore, currently a pop-up wedding boutique, and tried on a bunch of tiaras. walked home.

1 comment:

furiousmuse said...

friend, when i see you next, i will ask for hugs from you. please also warn the missus.