I went to Central Park today to Sheep's Meadow (where my geek buddy holds his Sunday get togethers) and I laid me down and went to sleep. I was alone with nowhere special to go. I had "The Time Traveller's Wife" with me and I planned on going to the gym, but the week had caught up to me and the weather was balmy. So I found a landing of stone under the canopy of a tree copse and skygazed. One of the gently falling leaves came directly to my outstretched hand and I caught it. I poised my camera to film the next one's descent, but the magic would not duplicate. However, I snapped a pic of the world from my view.
Looking up into the turning leaves put my mind back to days that I can't even say I remember well, but I remember how I felt in them. It was the elementary school I attended in NYC, in the days before my mother came and uprooted me to Spring Valley. A "P.S. one thirty-something" or possibly not triple-digited at all. I can't remember names or faces, but I remember the school's backyard and the canopy of Fall leaves over us. I remember feeling like the world was so so big, outside of the fences that held us in. I remember feeling like I was longing to go somewhere without knowing the destination. I remember the smell of the air. I remember knowing that the evening was coming in shards of orange and yellow, and tree bark patchy like a jigsaw puzzle in dark browns and tans. I remember that if a song was playing, the tempo would be slow on a saxophone and perhaps with a dusting of cymbals. I remember feeling like I wanted to cry, even if there was no reason to.
All that I felt again today, and more.
I felt like if I turned my head just so, while laying on my rock, I'd see Ned laying not too far away from me. Maybe within an arm's span. And he too would be looking up at the leaves. And we'd talk, him and I. About everything. We'd be Charlie Brown and Linus, putting the world's ills to rest. Shades would come to our rock while Humanling flew a kite nearby, and would plant a kiss on his lips. While she settled into the crook of his arm, Grizz would come from the snack hut on the other side of the fence with our hot dogs. Madly overpriced, but our combined income makes it possible to indulge ourselves every once in a while. She helps me up and dusts me off and I hold the food. Ned wants one, but Shades is lovingly scolding him for not looking in the picnic basket that she's brought with them.
But there was no Ned, no Shades, and no Grizzbabe. It was just me. So I rolled onto my side and I went to sleep. I reserved waking as a likely but not too terribly desired option. Insert randomly heartbreaking video here;
I wish I were the kitten.