Reading Old Journals

Seen Riding Over Sunnyside Yards in Late December
There were two men delivering oversized sandwiches on bikes that day, a convoy!
Reading old Journals/
Reminds me of the richness/
Of this life I live*/

Yesterday was a day of extremes. I will write only about the Surprise party that Chandler through for Linda.  Having friends in the house, especially the McPherson’s of Rhode Island and Albany Village fame reminded me of all of the good times I’ve had just sitting around chatting with friends.  Seeing Olga and Terrence, Sharon, Tony and Laura, Sean and Naemi, reminded me of how much we lose by not having friends visit.  It was like a perfect trip down memory lane. No, it was a look down a few different Memory Lanes, that gilded a today in the golden light that sunrise and sunset bring to our worlds every day (too belletristic).

We, as New Yorkers, don’t spend enough time just talking and hanging out.  The subtle pleasure of conversations with friends is often lost in the rush for more widely recognized diversions and performances: restaurant meals, fancy decorating, public performances and beautiful venues like museums and parks. Sitting and laughing with old friends, making new ones, or simply creating new connections with old friends, is like the potato salad at a fabulous barbecue, rarely raved over, but comforting and reassuring.

I have been reading old works over the last two mornings.  Yesterday I started to re-read my bike messenger mystery, of which there are about 30 pages (single spaced).  I think there is something there, but I have to print it out and re-read it.  When I was searching for something yesterday I came across “My Belletristic Bottom,” a fancified version of the events of 1986 in my life, written as a parody of Moby Dick.  It was only 12 pages long, double spaced and had some gems in the mud of my personal vision.  I’m glad I’ve never shared it with anyone.  But there were truths and beautiful turns of phrase (my favorite was a riff on Wilfred “Dulce et Decorum Est…” “An ecstasy of fumbling” describing the theft of a friends drugs from his messenger bag).

What I think I have learned, or am learning, is that I need to slow things down and revisit my past more thoughtfully, to truly appreciate my life today.


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