I went back to work on Monday. Two weeks of ample sleep has, at least temporarily, restored my ability to get out of the house at 8:30. With a full half hour to walk to work, I have time to stop for a coffee and/or donut and (more importantly) time to walk the extra block to Park Ave and take the northern leg of my commute along the edge of Central Park. This morning I was running so far ahead that I turned into the park at 79th and wandered along the paths, marveling at grass that was actually still vibrant green in August and morning temperatures that felt refreshing instead of face-meltingly hot (spending your vacation in sun-scorched, drought-ridden Oklahoma will do wonders for your appreciation of NYC summers). The iNot, which had been shuffling through the sunnier selections on my “5 Star Favorites” playlist, decided to change things up just as I turned into the park, and offered up “Being Alive” from Company.
Three facts you should know about the complicated mood in which I suddenly found myself:
This week marks my two-year anniversary with Sainted Boyfriend.
This week also marks the one-year anniversary of one of the roughest personal and professional periods of my entire adult life.
Three weeks ago, my grandmother died.
I thought about the day a year ago when, unable to sleep, I fled to the park at an even earlier hour of morning, trying to distract myself by watching the early dog walkers and their charges. I thought about how SB has kept this entire summer afloat for me as the news from home got progressively worse and how much emptier my life would be without him in it. I thought about my grandmother, who was never able to visit me in New York, but loved hearing about my city adventures. The very last time I spoke to her, I told her about spending time at the city pool in my neighborhood; she would have enjoyed a story about a morning ramble in a verdant park.
I’ve been trying to write something longer, more specific, about my grandmother but I keep hitting walls. It helps to write, to sort things out, but I’ve stopped fretting about its lack of writerly form; someday maybe I’ll have the distance to form something cohesive, or maybe it will always just be for my own memory. I’m doing okay, for the most part. And I have an anniversary to celebrate.
This morning I was in the park. Dean Jones belted one last “Be-ing Aaa-Liive!” as I looked up through a break in the trees at the climbing sun. I smiled, swallowed hard. I walked to work.