I went for a jog in Riverside Park today. It's been days and then weeks and even, yes, a few months of indolence, ever since my beloved 37-year-old bike's pedals broke off and I landed first on a car and then bloody on the pavement and returned the damned antique deathtrap and became bikeless.
I went for a jog in Riverside Park today, my head aswirl with a million little things, and as I thudded my way north toward the tennis courts, a falling leaf hit my cheek. It caught briefly between my eye and glasses before it slipped away in a whiff of sycamore. That was the first contact I've had with sycamore since my backyard, where every year around this time, a strange double-trunked tree kept the lawn covered in spikey seedballs and wide dusty leaves. Then I looked up and saw thousands of fallen leaves, flattened on the muddy running paths, littering the grass, cluttering the gutters where the paths meet pavement, and dotting the air between the trees and grass as they transitioned from sky to mulch. And though the park is still a rich deep green underfoot and overhead, I realized that yes, fall is on its way. Ta-da. As if yesterday's cataclysmic thunderstorms hadn't already told that tale.
And time is passing. Today presents a momentous moment in that passage, because it was nearly 21 months ago that I drove away from my house in the Hollywood Hills for the last time. It's taken this long to settle, in both senses of the word, in/on an apartment in New York. And o, the circularity! Twelve blocks from my grandmother's old building, three blocks from my own first NYC apartment and two from the last place I lived while at college. And to get really maudlin and encyclopedic, about two miles from where I was born. Whillikers!
Why is today is a big day? Today, all my things will be delivered after 21 months in storage. And this pristine, booming space that I've considered more a locker than a home for seven weeks while I was traveling will suddenly be choked with all the artifacts of my life. All those things I left behind -- and some I even missed -- will be within striking distance once again. Blender. Art. Giant ceramic carp head. CDs. Coffee table. Bed. Octopus plate. Rugs. Full-size speakers. Bike. A dresser again, jesus christ, a dresser. It has been weird living without socks and drawers drawers this long.
Actually, it's been weird being transient this long. I'm looking forward to seeing the things from my old house transposed to my new one. I anticipate both a deliverance and a burden. And then, after the challenges of assembling the new mise en scene, a season of parties. Now that I practically breathe wine, I have an obligation to share it via festive occasions. And as a party-thrower who's been limited by location until now, I'm starting to feel very festive all over again.
The mover just called. They'll be here between noon and 5.