monday grumps – enjoying a moment

28/06/2010 § Leave a comment

Today it was hot. Even before midday, people were glistening with a shiny glow that only sweat seems to produce, like slippery film. Everywhere people were marked with perspiration on their chests and lower backs, second-guessing if today should have been about style, wishing they had taken the 30-seconds this morning to check the weather and opt for function.

Over coffee, Christopher and I decided to go to the MoMA, not only to check out Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photography exhibit, but to beat the heat.  He is from Sweden and is already unsure about this weather. He has been seeking refuge in the air-conditioned rooms since last week. Then, I came along and dragged him into the stifling sun and humid heat — something I should have second-guessed myself.

After a few hours at the MoMA, our bellies were rumbling. Instead of grabbing street-meat or a generic sit-down lunch, we decided to head to Bedford Ave. in Brooklyn. Slothing onto the L-train, he noticed I was fading:

– You need sugar or some water. You look exhausted.

– Yeah, man, I’m sorry I just can’t seem to think straight.

I had a tetra-pack of coconut water, lukewarm, and we shared it. The “natural thirst quencher” was proven wrong. The sweetness made my tummy flip a little more which caused my head to spin and my eyes go slightly crossed. I was on the cusp of getting grumpy.

Arriving in Brooklyn we were both disoriented. Christopher didn’t want falafel because he has been a vegetarian for 7 years. I wanted a big meaty-something, but not another pizza, not another sandwich. We were at odds and the heat didn’t help. Settling for a Vietnamese spot on Bedford Ave. — one that provided bubble tea — we grabbed and go-ed and headed for a shady tree beside the water, overlooking Manhattan.

As a student of psychology, Christopher tried to pick my brain. Still cross-eyed, I just shoved pork-dumplings into my mouth trying to explain how I felt about Toronto, New York, traveling, breezy shores and life.

Oh no, I thought, this is going to get heavy.

The conversation steered away from small talk and progressed into a discussion about the purpose of a brain, intrinsic motivation, Freudian slips and Jungian archetypes. Despite a fast-filling belly, I could barely think with the pressure of humidity weighing down on my shoulders. My mind began whirling, searching for a solution to the question, so, why do you think we have a brain?

I don’t like being stumped.

Waiting for the subway back to Bushwick, Christopher could tell I was in another zone, a fourth dimension, similar to his description of some Picasso painting. If I could have seen myself in a mirror, I am sure I would have perceived my eyes shifting to one side of my face and my nose migrating upwards. Perhaps that is what he noticed and so a quietness passed.

After a moment, he turned to me and asked:

– What’s up?

– I’ve got so much in my mind and I don’t know where to go with it. Now I am thinking of all the things I will need to do when we get back and surely will think about everything that we just talked about. I am leaving New York tomorrow and I know I will miss it and right now, I really miss my home.

– You know, in the moment, there must be something enjoyable.

– I’m hot and tired and haven’t had a proper shower in 3 days. I want to sleep, but I want to take everything in. I want to get a bottle of wine, but I want to do some work, too.

– Listen. One of the bathrooms at the hostel has a private shower with hot, running water. After your shower, take a nap in the air-conditioned room. You will feel better because you feel like crap right now. Enjoy knowing that, soon, you will feel better.

Grumpiness gone.


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