Thursday, April 10, 2008

Punch-Drunk


I took Erica Ceae for a walk today, or she may have taken me. We met at the far end of West Houston, outside the UPS store, and she called my name just as I stuffed a broken cardboard box and a couple of ounces of inflated bubble wrap into a modestly filled trashcan.

The UPS guy was watching me when she kissed me on my mouth and pinched my left cheek.

“Denmark, huh?” he had said when I showed him my ID. “Yes”, I had answered.



Erica took me up Greenwich Street, and stopped me with a gentle tug at my shirt when we reached the corner of Charles. “I know this is your favorite place”, she said. “At least when the cherry trees are in bloom.”

“I know, because you told me,” she said after we had contemplated the scenery for a second or two. Then she lifted her sunglasses an inch above her eyes, so I could see that she was smiling.



“Spring is really here”, I said. “I know because Al is so nice and chatty, and I broke a real sweat when I went for a run this morning, too.

“And the smell”, Erica said, and took a deep breath that made me want to touch her chest.

“Yes, most of all because of the smell,” I agreed.



We walked past the schoolyard on 11th between A and B, and felt the scent of the boys riding the skateboards.

“Spring in New York smells different than it does back home,” I said to Erica. “It smells like summer, and makes me feel like I took several blows to my head.”



By then Erica was sitting on the broken pavement, leaning against the schoolyard fence, steadying her head with her slightly folded hands. Her soft grey T-shirt showed traces of a darker hue soaking from her armpits. I could tell she hadn’t shaved.

I sat down beside her, and she said she could smell my sunscreen. She put her hand on my lower arm and dried some of it off and rubbed it on her nose instead.

I laughed.

She tilted her head back and looked into the sky, and blindly reached for my ankle and placed her fingers around it, as far as she could reach.
Then she told me that fingertips are the richest source of tactile feedback.

“I feel your pulse,” she smiled.

1 comment:

anna said...

i havent read your blog in months. I'm reasearching Maria Abramovic's seven easy pieces and it made me want to read about new york a bit more.
Now I want to be in new york a bit more. Here the sun finally started to shine a bit, but the teperature didn't rise yet.. I will not promise that I'll come to New York in September. But who knows..