I wore pants today and at no point, even with the sun shining bright, felt too warm; in fact, most of the moments of this day, particularly once the sun went down, I found myself wishing I had worn long sleeves. There is that and then there is the texture of the air. It is crisper and has a feel to it that invokes past falls, thoughts of change, and for whatever reasons a more heightened moodiness, a keener sense of things and their significance. And what all this means is that the first signs of fall have finally arrived, that summer, after its extremely pleasant and long run, is about to close its curtains for a decent period of time.
Niki played a Smiths song today on the stereo and I heard it in a way that you can't hear it in the summer; I heard it in all its beautiful, joyful melancholy, felt it. There is my recent breakup that could have been the reason, and surely it was part of it, but most of it is this weather. I love this time of year so much, walking around today, sitting in Washington Square Park, I took it all in with the dreaminess that this type of weather enables, watched all these new students wandering around looking so young, the people in their nice outfits and with their intelligent books in their hands sitting on the benches around me. This is the type of weather that is the setting for all my fantasy pieces about what New York is - this mild weather, people dressed nicely and taking in, intelligently and somberly, the changes setting in around them, those changes and their import seemingly stewed over in the minds resting behind such vulnerable faces.
I was feeling quite busted today, my body and my insides taking a bit of a beating last night. I drank fairly heavily and - the evidence of that - entered a jello wrestling contest with Richard. He won and it was fun, but it was basically on a hardwood floor that we slammed each other over and over again, and on this day, this beautiful fall day, my walking pace was languorous not only because of the contemplative nature of this weather but also because my back and knees are sore and hurt with excessive movement.
And so I sat and I read, finishing David Carr's memoir of addiction, The Night of the Gun. The writing was a reporter's writing - not artful - and I became a bit tired of his Hunter S. Thompson posturing about halfway through the book, making the rest a bit unpleasant to read. There was little insight but the hijinks were amusing to read about. Carr's writing is defensive posturing, often him trying to sound cool or not such an asshole, but the way he writes about the mother of his twin daughters and ropes them into his judgmental attitude toward her by asking them about her is extremely distasteful and seems the best example of why I found the book shallow - a more extreme version of the defensive self-regard that the entire book is littered with. I am glad he survived addiction and survived cancer, but a good story doesn't necessarily make for a good book and, in this case especially, does not necessarily make for art.
Having finished the book, I waited for Diego to meet me, the two of us going to meet for a bite to eat and to talk in person. Over food, we talked about our days and about the petty concerns occupying our lives, exhausted those topics, and then looked at each other, held the gaze, seeing that we could talk about us, and dived in. He talked about his past relationships, about ours, and about patterns between them, about how he doesn't really allow himself to get too close to people. I told him that I realized more so now what it is that I do want, elaborated a bit about the contours of that. The conversation could not have been nicer. Neither of us held any resentment and both were really happy, felt really free to talk about these things.
We walked uptown together toward the gym and got distracted by a sign in American Eagle offering a free movie ticket for trying on a pair of jeans. We tried on some ugly jeans (like amazingly ugly and ill-fitting), got our free tickets, and canceled our gym plans, instead going to see a movie, seeing Hamlet 2 at Kips Bay. The movie was quite terrible and yet full of potential, perhaps just needed some better editing to tighten the scenes, make the comedic timing better, but it was free, and throughout it Diego and I would rest against each other, hold hands. It was one of the sweetest times I have ever had with him, this day, and of course it would be while we weren't dating, that perhaps that prevented it, or now that it is not there, there is the wanting of these moments of contact more. After the movie, during the credits, we talked about the movie, looked at each other, kissed, probably not a good idea, but it felt really nice, felt normal. I got on the subway, kissed him goodbye, and headed home.
I was alone on the subway, alone of my walk home through the park, but there were skateboarders doing tricks, trying to, and there was this chilly weather, and there was and is this city, this beautiful city, and my presence within it, my knowledge of my place in this world, my knowledge, recently gained, of so many other things.