Friday, April 29, 2005

New York interlude: highlights

My man Jason, color specialist, the guy who can tell by just looking at me the shade of hair I had as a five year old (“it is the peak of hair color for everyone; after that it’s downhill all the way”), the guy whom I trust so much with hues and tones that I listen even when he tells me which nail polish to buy for summer sandal weather, was chatty today. He isn’t always, but today we were both in the mood.

One topic was my hair: is it time to go sophisticated (rather than fun)? I mean, I am 52 and I am heading for Paris next week. Is this the day to do the blunt little number that is so tres gentil that gentlemen start buying you un petit verre du vin?

Oh I was tempted. Really tempted. But I said to him: next time. Even though my next Jason moment will be after Paris and the only petit anything that anyone in Madison will buy me will be a spotted cow – how sophisticated is that, damn it: can I buy you a spotted cow? Much less deserving of a special hair trim.

Still, the Jason halo held. It’s as if I were with a golden spoon rather than just a few five-year-old-like golden strands. My evening flight to Chicago left 15 minutes early and I was on it, the Puck’s sandwich at O’Hare was superb, and the bar lady took one look at my hair and asked for an ID before serving me wine (honest! her eyes bypassed the entirety: I am certain that the only thing she even glanced at was my hair). Obviously she was momentarily thrown off. Had she not looked beyond the scalp, I would have been denied my glass of Chardonnay.

I’m in New York now, in a contemplative mood. It’s quiet, no one’s around. I am tempted to spend the rest of the evening sitting in front of the mirror, thinking five year old thoughts. I do not much remember what I did or thought as a five year old, living in Warsaw, looking out at the ridiculously noisy tram station just outside my window. But I sure had the hair color of all colors, if Jason has it right. Life was simple, but oh so golden.


I do not often link back to Ocean posts when I make references to them (horribly unnice of me but there you have it) and so it took me a year to notice that my links have not been working. Possibly ever. So that, when, say, an author of another blog found a fetching photo of himself on Ocean and wanted to draw the attention of the world to his stellar good looks, he found that all he got for his efforts was a link to whatever latest Ocean post was on display. It is a problem when you think you’re linking to this, and instead get this.

Thanks, Tom, for fixing the broken link. Now, if you want this, you’ll get this, not, say, this.

Oh the flowers I have planted here: by the hundreds! The hours I have worked here: by the thousands! Now it's time for someone else to step in.

It’s good to move out of ruts and move ruts out of your space. When you need help, why stick with the ordinary sources of support when you can reach into fresh pools of extraordinary people?

That was my reasoning when I handed over my yard to a nine-year old. He will make sure no one sprays poison on my weeds (he is quite the econut). He will every once in a while take a sharp blade to the one or two strands of grass that make it through the dandelion patch. He will be the caretaker, the observer, the hawk.

Why him? Oh, maybe I see myself being nine again, loving the yard in my grandparents’ house. I see myself tending flowers there, next to my grandfather’s, picking cherries and fraises de bois, I see myself buying an American skateboard (remember those?) and taking it for the summer to that Polish village, only to find that it does not work where there is no pavement!

I see myself not weighed down by burdensome decisions that have to be made later in life, like forty-three years later. I see myself smiling with friendship toward people I meet – even older neighbors, age meaning nothing, friendship meaning doing things for someone and then dousing them with a water pistol.

So he gets my vote of confidence. And if he and his pals find cool ways to play here while he’s in charge, how wonderful that would be. Yards and houses should not stand empty, not when there are so many out there who would know how to care for them and how to enjoy them.
inch by inch, row by row: Posted by Hello