Tag: new york city

to love inappropriately, to be ambitious, to simply want more.

J. and I walk to the edge of Chinatown and back. Our bellies are full from wine and pasta. It’s nighttime; the city stinks of summer, and we revel in it. I can’t stop thinking about how it’s already the end of summer. How will we survive the next winter? I am never ready for the cold. J. says, “Honestly, I think the worst thing is feeling lonely while you’re in a relationship.”

I nod, watching the headlights paint the corners of Bowery as the cars turn.

***

A tall guy with yellow lens sunglasses appeared next to me. The sun had already set. Do you dance? he asked, leading me towards the less crowded interior of the pier.

I liked that he modified the way he led turns to account for the wooden slats of the piers underneath my shoes. Turn AND turn AND turn. The pauses were one thing, and more so, the attention to and anticipation of the pauses made the thing.

***

I ran three miles along the river’s edge. On Being’s meditative cadence chanted at me, and Krista brings up Rabindranath Tagore’s quote: “We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us.”

***

I’m responding to K. about the things we talked about last night. “I’m too sensitive. Maybe I want too much. I should be okay with things as they are. I just need to stop bringing things up.”

“Don’t let yourself be gaslit,” K. warns.

The theme of hunger is everywhere.

In the New York Times today: Who’s Afraid of Claire Messud?

‘‘Women aren’t supposed to want stuff,’’ she said. ‘‘They’re not supposed to have high emotions.’’ Recently she went to a party where all the women were skinny and all the men were overweight. ‘‘For the men, it’s perfectly acceptable to be a person of appetites,’’ she said. ‘‘You’re in midlife, you’re at the peak of your professional moment.’’ Again, she slipped into character. ‘‘ ‘Pour me a glass of wine and give me a steak!’ ’’ The women, by contrast, were nibbling crackers and drinking seltzer. ‘‘There should be no shame in appetite,’’ she said, her voice rising. ‘‘There should be no shame in anger. There should be no shame in love. There should be no shame in wanting things.’’

‘‘If it’s unseemly and possibly dangerous for a man to be angry,’’ she said, ‘‘it’s totally unacceptable for a woman to be angry.’’

[Ferrante’s] work quietly seethes at the idea that a woman needs to be ‘‘likable’’ — or that a man should be the judge of her likability. More than that, it offers a space for women to be, as she puts it, ‘‘appetitive’’: to love inappropriately, to be ambitious, to simply want more.

mercury in retrograde

“That which is and that which cannot be are both outside the realm of becoming,” writes Simone Weil.

We are sitting outdoors in the quickly waning summer heat. The candles keep blowing out. I want to get up and dance but everyone else around me is sitting down, so I try to forget that I want to get up and dance. This is how I’ve felt most of my life.

The thing about this time away from you is summed up by a line in my book: “I want to be somewhere more beautiful, I think, and also, everything is right.”

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Mozart on the tape-recorder

last days of august. and my heart knows it. it’s on a high for what comes next. always reaching for what’s next. haughtily, even.

this morning i was half asleep, watching the road without tenderness. hands on a steering wheel. your closed eyes in the rearview mirror. later, your hand shooting out to hold me close when the car swerved.

last night i was planetary, orbital, insatiable. everything in slow motion, foreign despite its familiarity.

this evening, i was wide awake. watching the moon while walking aimlessly on 61st street after drinks and dumplings, texting you lines from poems, forgetting to look up to see if i was at the right stop.

looking for something protective, firm, resolute; that never came. this feeling reminded me of you. the point is always to be reaching but never arrived, you taught me. and if the void was there yet there existed no words to describe it, perhaps we could make it disappear.

Across a city from you, I’m with you
just as an August night
moony, inlet-warm, seabathed, I watched you sleep,
the scrubbed, sheenless wood of the dressing-table
cluttered with our brushes, books, vials in the moonlight—
or a salt-mist orchard, lying at your side
watching red sunset through the screendoor of the cabin,
G minor Mozart on the tape-recorder,
falling asleep to the music of the sea.
This island of Manhattan is wide enough
for both of us, and narrow:
I can hear your breath tonight, I know how your face
lies upturned, the halflight tracing
your generous, delicate mouth
where grief and laughter sleep together.