Locked up in my home for the last several weeks, I am missing the banal ecstasies of waking up next to the person I care about. Touch is impossible at the moment, as is casual conversation and the simple pleasure of being in a room together, quietly enjoying their company. Romance is replaced by the dull ache of missing someone: their bed, body, and self. Touch and companionship are gentle necessities, often forgotten or neglected until everyone in the world is feeling forgotten and neglected, and then we’re reminded how much we need each other.
Mrs. Rudikoff had an unsettled and frightened look on her face when she left our apartment in Spanish Harlem that evening. She also appeared to be full of judgment; mostly towards how my brothers laughed instead of how they should have taken pity on her when she said she felt attacked. Also, she probably was judgmental because she knew when she would tell her daughter that there were 40 tiny mice running on the floor in the Manhattan complex her daughter would scream.
Lecce is a walled baroque city in the bootheel of Italy. I’ve decided to stay here alone for three weeks of break before returning to school. My travels and daily ambulation are for the high purpose of reading, writing, and drawing all that is around and within me, which, if I meditate enough, will be nothing. I write to stop writing.
As they sipped the tea they decided to trust their guts, and let each other know when they were not comfortable. The liquid poured into their stomachs, sedating the unnecessary anger, and relieving a bit of the weight off the world. Maybe that would help. If only a little. Until then, together they would live, create, twirl, and scream. And realize that the world is finite, and tea gets cold. So it is better to sip slowly and gently. They turned to each other, flecks of light in each other’s eyes, and smiled.
A man stands in a train station. He wears a wide-brimmed hat and a long black coat; his hair—what little peeks out from beneath his hat; one suspects he is thinning—is dark, streaked with gray, and unkempt. It runs down the back of his neck, and even out over the collar of his shirt. His face is lined with age, but there is little hair on his cheeks: his grooming is impeccable. He stands within the sight of a great standing clock, but he does not look at it.
I know we were married, but that day itself has gone from me, recently. I had it until yesterday, or the day before. It was not a space I immediately noticed. I ran through my life, wondering what was missing, and noted at length that that day was gone. Sometimes it seems there is order to the washing away of my mind, but in truth it is sporadic. I hear a baby cry. I remember the birth of my daughter, all at once, her red face.
This was when I was never sure what I was doing. I had decided that the way for me to be happiest was to not think too hard about anything as long as it felt right. It was a time when I was a heathen and I was happy with how I had justified it.
We meet early in the morning. I roll in on my bike with breakfast for Danny. He looks sleepy but greets me with a warm smile, and I know we are both exhausted but excited. We unroll some canvases, tape them onto the Ikea painting frames belonging to the café, and hang them up.