Sunday, June 04, 2006

Manhattan Rhapsody


Last night I had dinner in NYC with friends. Dinner was a wonderfully elaborate series of progressively more fabulous dishes cooked by a friend who is from Morocco and Israel. As I was driving some of the guests home I did a sort of thumbnail summary of some recent events in my life, all of which seemed to be (happily) moving me one step closer to being able to move to Arizona. As I dropped off my friend, Estelle, she said "Or, you could just decide to stay here, you know." She is dear. Very dear. But I think she is wrong.

Nonetheless her comment put me in a "New York State of Mind" as I headed home. As I drove from Greenwhich Village uptown, I drove by a number of 'familiar emotional landmarks' - the theatre that I saw a certain film with with Leonard. Leonard is a former lover now dead. Then I drove by the street that my beloved old high school buddy Martin used to live on, Cornelia Street - and then later, past the hospital (St Vincents) and the funeral home (Redden's) where he was after passing away from AIDS. I went by a restaurant that has been the scene of a very romantic meal, and one that had been the site of a break-up. I drove by a place I used to go to see performance art - and another where I used to buy freshly made canolis. I drove by a dozen or more places where I used to spend time with people who are either now dead or out of my life.

I saw streets I had strolled along with friends, wearing dazzlingly red high heels. I passed my favorite sushi restaurant, my favorite Spanish restaurant and my favorite place to buy home made raviolini. I drove by the insanely expensive boutique in which my former fashionista colleague, Mark, had persuaded me to buy a sweater that no one should ever try to afford in which I felt like a goddess.

I passed lots of places where I used to live my life's details. There were no recent memories of an enduring nature.

It is time to move on.

The city used to be such a source of nourishment, of activity and motion. Now, when I go there (as I no longer live there -- I live about 30 minutes away) I feel that it is a husk of memories that surrounds me, like the shell of a seed. It has become a reminder, no longer an invitation.

I love it and the people in it no less. But its music is now a serenade from the past.

5 Comments:

Blogger beth said...

Sounds like it's history already...one step closer to AZ....

4:05 PM  
Blogger Rainbow dreams said...

here's to a new chapter

5:47 PM  
Blogger The Harbour of Ourselves said...

'it has become a reminder, and no longer and invitation' - am gonna be chewing on that one for days my friend - another deep charge of the soul

7:45 AM  
Blogger Mata H said...

Thank you, folks..the pull of the west is strong. I have a variety of very real things to put to rest here first, but by this time next year I want to be in AZ. There is something about the desert.....

11:51 PM  
Blogger The Harbour of Ourselves said...

desert, wilderness, the edge, the abyss, the wild frontiers - the places where god moulded his prophets...

i yearn for those 'thin' places

4:13 AM  

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