The Letter

In Life on February 27, 2011 at 5:01 am

So I get home around 9 after singing and tutoring and eating brownies in a cone, and I approach my mailbox, lazily swinging keys.  I made friends with a fresh bill yesterday, so I’m not expecting anything now, yet the thought flickers: “I might have a letter,” and lo and behold I do.

The Letter

As I carry it upstairs, I am astounded how I knew, without knowing, what was waiting.  It wasn’t precognition; it was more like being in tune.  Just like when, striking two strings on a guitar, they offer perfect pitch, tonight, for a second, I am in tune.  I am in tune, having anticipated the future without anticipation, having aligned with what I didn’t know I knew was waiting in box #21.

Back to the letter in a second.  Let me explain why it’s so lovely it came today.

Today, I awoke in my Manhattan apartment and ate cereal and took the subway to 34th.  In a high-rise brown-brick, I joined the Greenwich Village Singers for our marathon rehearsal, offering high-F’s to gray walls.  I ate salad and returned home.

Dvorak's Mass in D

There, I hugged a roommate amidst her moving day, grabbed the brownies I’d prepared for my last day of tutoring and headed out the door.  The Bronx!  The station across from Yankee Stadium.  Past Posada and Jeter cut out in mighty swings.  To Kimberlyn’s house.  There’s the cracked grate outside her door, there are the naked babies and sticky hands and bathroom light left on.  There we laugh as always, and I mentally photograph her gap-tooth grin and long black hair.  I give her a book of poems, saying I expect to see hers there, soon.

Trading a few treats for Kimberlyn's sister's drawn and quartered SpongeBob seems fair to me.

To Claribel’s.  Past the men in doorways, the tomatoes in shopside crates, the block long construction and up stairs, whose corners shelter dust and crumpled bags.  Claribel and I discuss exponents, while her grandmother deposits a glass of juice by my side.  Claribel finishes a math test, and I wrap my scarf around her present.

“Out of gift wrap,” I say as she unwinds A Little History of the World.

“Remember when we started this book?” I ask. “You just read this one and then another and another and you’ll be set.”

Waiting for the train minutes later, I take that advice and open Beastly, on loan from two more of my girls.  The D drops me off just in time for the modern day Beast to get his beauty-ful kiss.

Then a bit of smoke from a cart with sizzling meat, a few catcalls, the mailbox and the letter.  And I don’t know.   That letter comes and I open it and it is dazzling and I know today wasn’t just a day.  Like all days, it is a day!; and I am alive and you are, too.

Oh Olivia

  1. Oh, Lizzy! I checked your blog on a whim, and it was a perfect day to read your wonderful post! I needed a few minutes of honey (funny, because I was eating honey out of the jar before I walked here!). You’ve renewed my confidence in today, and hopefully tomorrow and the day after!
    I’m so glad you got the letter, and I await your creative response! 🙂
    I love you!

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Every time I get a letter from you, my brain sets off a fireworks display and I have to dance to get the happy out. Thanks for being so inspiring!

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