08 May 2009

This Afternoon I Am Happy

The rain finally let up this afternoon. The sky didn't clear completely, but enough blue broke up the clouds to fill the streets of SoHo and the Village with the kind of light that makes the city seem almost like a garden. People--residents and tourists alike--seemed to emerge from skins of fleece and down and wool that have bound them to their need for warmth and sleep. And sidewalks burst into color, from the vendors selling purses of woven beads and printed skirts to the patrons at sidewalk tables that have probably opened for the first time this year. A terrier stretched his leash to leap at the hem of my ankle-length skirt and play with me; his owner, a burly man with a thick Bensonhurst accent, cooed-- to the extent that such a man could coo-- "Ooh. My baby likes to make the ladies happy."

In other words, it's the sort of day that reminds me of why I love urban strolls so much, especially in that part of my home city. Really, in the nearly forty years I've strolled and ridden my bike in that part of town, lots of stores, cafes--and people--have come and gone. Coldwater flats have turned into condos; decaying piers have become playgrounds for the children of yuppies. People I have known and loved have been born, lived and died on those very streets. Yet the only other walks that seem as much like quintessential urban strolls are along the streets around the Saint Germain des Pres and from the area around the Musee Picasso to the Place des Vosges and the Canal Saint Martin.

On a day like today, all I could feel--in spite of my headache--was life, including my own, opening like a flower. Call me Pollyanna if you wish; I don't care. Tra-la-la.

Bruce said it's no wonder that my parents have been accepting, and my mother has gone beyond being supportive. "You're doing it all with such enthusiasm," he said over lunch. "Who wouldn't respond to that?"

It seems a bit ironic that I should feel my life opening up now, one day less than two months from my surgery. Or maybe it's not so ironic. After all, it's what I hoped for when I began my transition. Of course there have been difficult and intense times. But I always had a sense that something like this was on the other side, wherever that may be.

Now if I can keep this up for at least the next sixty days....

Some time after that, I'll be taking a walk like that one, a bike ride like the ones I took along the ocean. Perhaps it will be in the fall; the light and the colors will be different. So will the tone and texture, if you will, of the air.

Oh, this must be a really happy post. Charlie has just leapt onto my desk. Being the curious kittie that he is, he's curious about what I'm writing that's got me smiling. No, Charlie, it's not naughty or subterannean. I've been a really good girl today. Really.

He believes me. You can't lie to a cat anyway, so of course he believes what I'm saying. I think he already knows that I'm going to be away for a couple of weeks: He can't get enough of me, or so it seems.

I guess he also knows that I didn't know that the day would be so nice. That's why I didn't leave the windows open when I went out. So, neither he nor Max had their ledges. But since I've come home, they have been able to bask in the early evening light and to refresh themselves in the cool breeze that accompanied nightfall.

And when I came home, they found me in a great mood. I hope they're at least as happy as I am now.

That's what I hope for my friends and family, too. And for Nick, the person I used to be. After all, by living through those times, he brought me to these times.

Just sixty more days....