A Luminous Halo

"Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end." --Virginia Woolf

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Location: Springfield, Massachusetts, United States

Smith ’69, Purdue ’75. Anarchist; agnostic. Writer. Steward of the Pascal Emory house, an 1871 Second-Empire Victorian; of Sylvie, a 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SL; and of Taz, a purebred Cockador who sets the standard for her breed. Happy enough for the present in Massachusetts, but always looking East.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mission Accomplished

Central Park
New York bibycleJust back from New York. What a beautiful and productive weekend! Took advantage of the hospitality of Ellen and Matt on Long Island for a couple of days. Anna is more beautiful and ladylike every time I see her....Elijah the applehead Siamese as insistently affectionate. Matt's whistleblowing has already resulted in the firing of one employee, while his job seems safe, so he was mellower than he has been recently...and Ellen, therefore, more relaxed.

Sunday we drove into Forest Hills in the rain to see Ellen's childhood friend Roz, whom I had never met. We had brunch at Rouge, a cheerful "French bistro." Unrelentingly red! Mimosas, naturally--although Matt was happily polishing off French Fischer beers, and Anna of course drinking milk. A delicate velvety sunchoke soup, worth the meal, passable omelet and disappointing galette--dry and hard. (Everyone else was oohing and aahing. They should taste mine.) For dessert, a perfect crème brulée, half of which I had to give away by spoonfuls. Noone else had noticed it on the menu. The bike chained outside the bistro seemed a good symbol of the City.

Monday morning at 9 found me at the Indian consulate. What a zoo! An archaic system of queues, numbers that bore no correspondance to the queues, no forms or information handy. An officious little man, whose smidgen of power had gone to his head, barked and shouted at the little mob of passport and visa applicants, threatening to throw everyone out and close the place if anyone stepped in front of the rope, etc. I guess all this red tape and inefficiency is to prepare you for India itself. But four hours and $60 later, I had a six-month visa properly pasted into my passport. Mumbai, here I come!

While hanging around between the application and the pickup, we wandered around Central Park...the consulate is at 64th almost to Park, near so many of the others. Lunch was at Lindy's. The whole point was to have cheesecake for dessert, but after the nine-inch-high club sandwiches, there was no way. Can I make one as good as theirs? We shall see.

No traffic down or back; no pockets picked; glorious weather on Monday; visa obtained with no hangup. Good food and good company...curled up evenings with two fingers of Johnny Walker Blue. Life doesn't get much better than this!

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