Sidewalk Books and Spontaneous Fun
Yesterday, a friend sent me a last minute invitation. Brave–which we’d talked about seeing since it opened–was playing in 20 minutes and did I want to go? It just so happened that at that moment I was stepping out of the doctor’s office only a handful of blocks from the theater. I most certainly did want to meet for a lunchtime movie. The midday sun was pounding the sidewalk hard; stepping into a cool, dark theater sounded like a welcome retreat. And we were both in the perfect mood for it: feeling sweet and sentimental, we were more than ready to get our cry on. We barely had to wait. The gorgeous short animated movie, La Luna, had our faces streaky before even meeting our redheaded heroine.
After the credits rolled, my friend and I cleaned up the signs of our sobfest and wandered into an eyeglass shop, into a small boutique to smell soaps and slim vials of perfume, and finally, right onto a shaded sidewalk cafe. A kir for her, a Leffe Blonde for me, and I wished desperately I were wearing a cool cotton dress instead of my hot sweaty jeans. But even the heat was kind of pleasant, the way it made us languorous and lingering, our faces shiny, and our glasses beaded with water, leaving rings on the green metal table. The heat, which I never fail to struggle with each summer, has something going for it: it slows things way down. I forgot to take a picture, which I think is a good sign. I was so in the moment, I forgot how much I’d like to remember it.
On the walk home, I passed a brownstone on Sixth Avenue with a cardboard box of books on the stoop. The Principles of Riding, Basic Spanish Grammar, Scenery for the Theater–nothing I would want, until I spotted a hardback copy of Coming into the Country. What luck!
I think there was something cosmically lovely going on this past week. So many people from different corners of my life reported good news: babies born, a deliriously good day for no reason, feeling that they were exactly where they ought to be, even if that spot was very far from where they’d imagined. The first of August felt especially fresh, a real new beginning. I, for one, needed it more than I knew.
And so I just had to share with you those good feelings: of fresh new starts, of the book in your Amazon wishlist appearing on the sidewalk, and the kind of fun that finds you.