I’m a professional flâneuse. No, really.
Here is the short list of people I spoke with this morning, between dropping off the kids and shuffling back home 2.5 hours later.
K, my rap impresario – whom I have since learned from a mutual friend came from the venerable hip hop locale of the Queensbridge Houses (thank you to my good friend and hip hop queen A for putting it into historical perspective – gonna be learning more) We’re trying to see if he can come over to start working on the song this weekend.
While in the building, I also talk to T, who’s my fellow student at the fitness studio and is sweeping up. He’s read my blog, we talk about music because I find it hard to believe he is the same age as Robyn Hitchcock and never heard of him. I told him they must have been at all the same parties. Then I learn T was in music in the UK and he briefly managed Marc Bolan. That Marc Bolan. Whoa! T tells me he envies me the writing fervor. (I tell him it comes with a side of cancer, so careful what you wish for.)
This is in a block radius of my kids’ school. Then on my shuffle back up the block, run into E, co-owner of one of our favorite Italian restaurants in the neighborhood. I unfold my entire tale and she is so kind to listen – though I should stop laying the trip on everyone. They are celebrating ten years here and I’m so glad, particularly as places seem to shut down left and right. I’ve always wanted to talk to E more, because I have a very fond memory of apartment shopping in the neighborhood, over nine years ago, and sitting there having dinner with the floor plans and E helping us decide. She said she remembered too.
And then, I get to the cafe. My aim is to drink some tea to soothe my throat from all the talking. Literally, I am doing these speaking tours, every morning after school dropoff, like some sort of manic cancer politician.
C comes in to the cafe right then. A lovely neighbor and mom to a son around Young J’s age. They live with her mother, who is the most committed gardener on our block, and I treasure knowing them, and they have lived here for years. I had been wanting to tell C my latest, because she and her mother (a cancer survivor) have made it their business to keep up with me, make sure I know they are thinking of me, and give me encouraging words whenever we meet.
Today, I felt like I hit the jackpot, because C sat with me, and we talked for probably an hour. About everything, not just cancer. I am so glad we got to. I’d been wanting to hang forever.
Thank you, Brooklyn, for making my cancer tours the most unexpected, diverse and fascinating. You have my heart. But you knew that.