Elegy to self:
You can almost hear the ice throughout the city, chime like church bells.
Never fails when it’s this hot for me to crave this summer drink. It seems to go with men in wrinkled blazers while women show cleavage as if it were busting outta’ jail.
I heard a man say, it’s so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.
Another, how women’s breasts remind him of French pastries.
Having little taste lately, my palette in an extended state of ennui, it thrilled me to want to sit and sip something that would ceremoniously slide down my throat…spirits to spirits.
After donning a pink Lilly Pulizer sheath peeking shyly from my closet, gold thongs hooked to my feet, hoops swinging from my ears, I flip-flopped down Park smelling of lemon body cream and aroused anticipation.
Bemelmans was festive, banquettes filled, except for one in the corner I claimed like a box seat at a Mets game.
I could smell the lime before it was cut, and hear that ice clink, ahead of it ever hitting glass.
I was so happy to want something so much, I hadn’t had, in so long.
The barmaid beamed as she set down my tumbler with a mini bottle of Scheppes on the side.
“Chips malady?” she said with a grin, knowing how much I love them, filling all four silver cups on their raised tray.
It’s nice when your wants are given with grace and cheer, feeling my cheeks blush like a kid at a party thrown just for her.
A couple across the way raised their champagne flutes. Another group smiled in kind. It was as if they knew, these awakened feelings of mine were long passed due, mired in loss, sadness and disappointment.
I saw them all, Anthony and Kate, my friends Mimi and Liz, even JFK and Jackie who graced this very room.
“Tres chic,” a lady said to me, approving of my simple dress.
When a French woman compliments you, one can’t help but to preen. She looked pretty swell herself in a black linen pencil skirt with a tight white top, outlining her every curve. Despite the din, I heard her heels click on the vintage parquet, joining a man who couldn’t take his eyes off of her.
Her lips were the color of persimmons while her eyes read pale…it’s either one or the other, Coco Chanel advised…you can’t have both since they compete for attention.
Rarely wearing eye make-up these days, weeping far too much, so though not by choice, I too had prominent red lips picking up the glow of the soft overhead light.
My fellow celebrants offered me drinks I politely declined just wanting the one I had, making it last taking it all in, the life I was finally a part of in full dance, pirouetting, almost from another time, around me.