For the past year and a half, I have not been able to go by the old apartment building I lived in for almost 40 years, finding it much too painful.
I take Park rather than Madison just to avoid my former block.
But today, I decided it was time to get over this, and look up at those familiar windows, like long lost friends I hadn’t seen.
The shades were still there, drawn as I’d left them as if any minute I’d appear. I know they’ve stoped renting because they have plans for the noble girl that’s been standing proudly since 1899.
I’ll bet my thirty year-old bed is still there, and the top of my desk that sat so long over the two black file cabinets Anthony the grocer took. I was told not to worry about emptying the apartment, so I left those things behind, along with beloved French doors I hope someone rescues, and a ceiling fan that whirled and whirled over that bed for decades.
I wept gazing up, but not in the way I expected. It was more like visiting a grave of a loved one you still missed, but whose passing you’ve made peace with.
I stopped at Anthony’s after that who said, “Ya look like you’ve been cryin Susannah. Are ya hungry?”
So Italian…at your worst moment, you’re given a ham and provolone sandwich with a pickle the size of, well, we won’t go there, asking how you take your tea.
Food, the cure for all things.
So I sat on a stool in the back, with a bowl of minestrone and a chunk of baguette, blowing my nose between bites, while Anthony dusted off cans of tomato paste he then stocked neatly on a bottom shelf.