I'm having a wonderful time in New York City with Mister Stevens and our longtime friend Elspeth, who dropped in on her way from England to Trinidad, and who looks like a million dollars. Last night the three of us walked around Harlem to get ingredients for the fish pie Elspeth made for dinner (too good for leftovers), Elspeth and I eating patties, and it was just like fifteen-plus years ago, when we used to day trip Ann Arbor because there was more fun to be had than in Toledo.
As we were going around, ordering basa at the fish market and red wine at the wine store -- even though Elspeth admonished us that white goes with fish -- I felt myself in a place of ease and comfort, present in a way I haven't been. I've been sitting in my house in Houston, doing what my friend V calls ruminating, flipping the same What am I gonna do's? and Why haven't I been able to kill these tired old thoughts? over and over, and it's so soothing to come where everything feels alright. Walking along is just walking along. Talking is just talking. The people to whom we tip our hats along the way just that. No import.
There is so much to be said for knowing people forever. Old friends help me locate the open space, the space that eludes me when I'm alone. What's really lovely is that with them that space is always there, always welcoming me home.