Friday, December 25, 2015

Under the Dining Room Table at Grammy's

Assuming you empty the spare bedrooms of photo albums, Smithsonian Magazines and crates of canceled checks (1942-2015), my grandma’s house sleeps maybe 7 comfortably. There are 12 of us currently residence plus a 100-pound dog named Sawyer. If Grammy were here, she’d be harrumphing around between us, moving knick knacks out of harm’s way, fussing over hot water usage and rinsing out zip locks.

Immediately upon arrival, my mom and her brothers played the age card and claimed the beds in the bedrooms. My cousins commandeered all sofas and the living room floor. By the time I showed up, my options were seriously limited.

A hotel was out of the question.

“Why do you want to stay in a hotel all by yourself? Your cousins are all staying at the house. I’m staying at the house. Your father is at the house. We’re all at the house. It would be nicer if you were at the house too. I don’t understand why you would leave us and waste the money on a hotel.”— My mother.

So I took up residence underneath the dining room table. It’s like a yurt. I went around and collected a bunch of random pillows and a sheepskin rug and have been living like a sultan under there.

Merry Christmas from under the dining room table

My under table turf has safety benefits. Sawyer the dog is very friendly. If you’re ground-level and not moving fast enough, he will slurp your entire face. Turns out my yurt is fortified with dining room chairs. Sawyer cannot wedge his friendly ass between them. Others suffered numerous night-time saliva attacks. I did not.

It’s good to be at Grammy’s. Her home has a certain foggy, mild and welcoming micro-climate. An ambient roar punctuated by people bolting in and out of doors and accidentally ringing the doorbell at 6am, kicking each other companionably and discussing how we all have soap residue on our shirts from casually leaning against the wall near the door in grammy’s hospital room and accidentally getting squirted with a powerful shot of Purel.

I’ll miss this place.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 30, 2050

My heavens, time flies. Thirty #NaBloPoMo days gone in a snap of the gnarled fingers. Should I live to see November next, alevai, you may see me here on these pages again. If you should desire a reprise, please contact me visa vis the interwebs. Google+ or Twitter mayhaps at StaceyRi. Positive feedback will be taken as a good sign.

A friend of mine once said when you're retired, somehow going to the post office can take all day. I would reframe his sentiment: When you're retired, somehow getting around to the good stuff can take longer than a month.

I had intended to view a foreign film at MoMA ... some arty classic that inspired Ingmar Bergman or Stanley Kubrick. I had intended to nestle into one of those dim and timeless under-the-museum theaters the entire day, perhaps. Such is the joy of a wizened old dilettante such as myself.

photocredit: http://www.centurysafaris.com/
hyenas-of-africa-the-truth-about-the-cackling/
I had intended to dress up as natty as Iris Apfel and sit on a bench waiting for the Humans of New York guy to espy and interview me.

I had intended to spend a morning hunting rare books in the stacks at Argosy on East 59th.

I had intended to donate two hyena muffs to the Morbid Anatomy Museum.

I had intended to get my flea on. I have my sights set on a passel of limoge, some Omamori and Engimono. I wish to line up my treasures in glass cases by color.

I wanted to teach the young to dance with unrepentant joy.

So much I failed to accomplish in my #NaBloPoMo month. So much I leave for the future.
NaBloPoMo November 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 29, 2050

http://previews.123rf.com/
I relish a cup of tea. And when I say "cup of tea" I mean a cup and a saucer. And I mean tea leaves of quality, steeped for exactly the right time at the right temperature and poured from an exquisite teapot.

There should be no microwaving during any aspect of this operation. Microwaves are the nemesis of tea.

David's Tea is mostly a rainbow colored dessicated chemical sauce. It is not tea.

Harney and Sons on Broome Street has potential, but their retail experience is a brutal travesty for an impatient and demanding old woman like myself.  I enjoy prompt service with personal attention. This is in short supply on their corner of SoHo. Hardwood ambiance isn't the only factor, Son of Harney. But your Chai tea is indisputably very good even though it used to be called Indian Spice, a more descriptive and overall better name for the brew.

McNaulty's smells like coffee. I do not like to buy tea in a place that smells like coffee. But the old man with the white hair that presides over the establishment is still there. He was there fifty years ago and he's there today. I believe he is an immortal, probably some breed of dark fey.

Palais des Thes is my tea of choice these days. I collect my walnut cane, don a snappy outfit and walk there on the third thursday of every month. The des Thes bergamot is crisp and zippy. I try to walk in a similar fashion.


NaBloPoMo November 2015

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 28, 2050

Maybe because I'm old, I wonder what will happen to my things when I'm gone. I'm sure my art collection and my limoge and my jewelry will be picked over and split between my heirs. With dollar signs in their eyes, they will ascribe value using the same formula as antique roadshow.

Consider these books from my childhood in the mid 20th century:


So well loved. So well battered and decrepit.

Here's my copy of Winnie the Pooh, inscribed by my dear mother:




To me, this book is a treasure. But what is this stained old paper pulp to anyone else beyond the only daughter of my mother? Don't answer that.
Here's the inscription in a story book entitled, "Felix the Bald-Headed Lion." My grandfather gave it to me 80 years ago. He's been dead as long as he was alive. 

And because I'm the last to remember the giving of the gift, when I go, Felix will likely go too. Maybe to the thrift store, but likely to the recycling center. Because in my infinite pre-K wisdom, I drew all over the pages with magic markers.



Estate-planning wise, it is patently false what Coco Chanel said: "The best things in life are free but the second best cost a lot of money."

Clearly it is the second-best things are the best things when it comes to the life of your heirs when you are dead.

And the so-called best things, the free things? Free is a synonym for $0. And keepsakes will be Hefty bagged by your descendants accordingly.

So enjoy your memories to their fullest potential. Revel in them, deplete them, use them all up. They turn into pumpkins at the stroke of your midnight.




NaBloPoMo November 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 27, 2050

I asked my niece to name her favorite place, and she said, "my home." I replied by quoting the immortal words of that old rapper Mos Def: "home is not where you're from, it's where you're at."

If you work your turf right, it can sustain you indefinitely— like you're a plant positioned to get just enough sun and water and nutrients. It's your own job to set up the conditions in your warren of rooms just as you need them to thrive.

I surround myself with only the things that please me immensely. When you're young, you don't have enough scheckel to pull this off. Nor have you had enough time to find these things or recognize them when you see them.

I like sheets on my bed that are crisp and thick. I like taxidermy crows with their beady glass eyes and their corvidae heritage. I like items made of silk and porcelain. I like clean surfaces and gold and silver doubloons.


NaBloPoMo November 2015

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 26, 2050

Thanksgiving Day. I offered a toast to the table at large. I toasted the past and the present. For however long your loved ones are with you, it's never long enough. After that, we sang Swedish drinking songs. Even though we all have gotten old, the snapsvisor have not. Skål allesammans!



NaBloPoMo November 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 25, 2050

Today is a day of travel, which accounts for the late posting. Once one traverses a bridge or tunnel and arrives on the mainland, some of the city's conveniences are sadly missed. Like the wifi in my home and the firm schedule which I maintain.

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” – Danny Kaye

During my journey into myself, I learned I enjoy full access to my collection of antique hats. Sometimes one is simply in the mood for red and fox-trimmed. And other times a feather festooned felt. I adore options and I give thanks for as many options as possible.

The old understand the boon of youth lies in its vast options. Every year that passes, the fewer crossroads one finds oneself contemplating, the fewer roads not taken. Be they well traveled or not. Options evaporate and one thin lines remains.

Perhaps more journeys are in order.
NaBloPoMo November 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 24, 2050

Today I was butt dialed by an old friend listening to an old time folksy tune in his car. I received a 12 second ragtime voicemail.

The friend, not the song, reminded me of smooth jazz. The friend is an aficionado. When I speak of jazz, don't think I mean elevator music or lite.fm piped from somewhere in a dropleaf ceiling. I mean soulful melodies squeezed from bloodsoaked lungs. I mean old leather and girdles and gimlet bleary eyes.

Rock music is contrived you must admit: it's a skin-deep facade and brittle manic play acting. I favor the roll to be frank. It's the roll that makes the rock.

Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. But I'm older than Socrates was when they killed him for speaking so. And I wonder if the microscopically examined life leaves behind ignorance just as boring. All that banging and plucking and ricocheting around on a road to nowhere.

I wish I knew how to ride jazz like a magic carpet to find the answers to questions bigger than human scurrying and clatter. I wonder if it's all one of those paradoxes where the harder you seek, the less likely you will find.

I lay back on a soft heap of deep blue pillows atop the chaise lounge in my bedroom. When the moon hangs in the sky above the city just right, Miles Davis can take hours.


NaBloPoMo November 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 23, 2050

Every oldster needs a manservant like Mr. French
When you get old, you start to think a lot about household help. I'm lucky enough to have a manservant, blessed be. When you get achy and doddering, you simply can't be trusted with ladders to grab porcelain on high shelves or to crawl around hunting precious gems that bounced out of your heirloom broach.

I recall once, many years ago, I found a note tucked through the mail slot in our country house. I enjoyed receiving it so much I hung it upon the refridgerator. In childish scrawl, a young lady offered her assistance with yard work. Her rates ran as follows:

If you have a small yard: $3/hour.
If you have a medium yard: $4/hour
If you have a large yard: $5/hour


Such an entrepreneur. Such egalitarian price modeling. The children back then were wise beyond their years.



NaBloPoMo November 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 22, 2050

Oxfords for city foot workouts.
I endeavored to walk about a bit this afternoon in the sunshine. I dangled strands of precious gems and a burgundy silken scarf about my neck. Then I tugged on a forest green velvet cape and a felt hat with a hat pin. I exuded a certain seasonally-appropriate spirit. The Christmas decorations were up at Lord and Taylor, I noticed yestereve.

To usher in the holidays, Lord and Taylor has constructed a tunnel of twinkling greenery entwined about scaffolding. I wondered if the scaffolding beget the greenery or the greenery beget the scaffolding.

Fancy ballet flats for city foot workouts.
Considering this important question, I sat on a bench in our narrow foyer and tugged on my sensible shoes. Not too sensible. I refuse to resemble a soft-footed tourist from mainland America. I've learned in my old age that feet have muscles, just like legs and arms. Walking on sidewalks is excellent for foot conditioning. I endeavor to work out my feet in stout oxfords or ballet shoes at least three times a week.

Speaking of shoes, a new york lady never wears her outside shoes inside her apartment. We do not live like animals in a barn and track foul sidewalk goo across our carpeting. Nor do we traipse about in our dusty stockings.

I store my "house shoes" separate from my "outside shoes" inside an antique shoe cabinet purchased at ABC on Broadway years ago.

I adore my collection of house shoes— my silken mules and shearling lined booties and felted mary janes. I enjoy the feel of a fine textile against my wizened metatarsal nerve endings. I enjoy rising in the morning and selecting a house shoe to match my lounging attire.


NaBloPoMo November 2015

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 21, 2050

For a time, I entertained the notion of Harlem. In theory, Harlem has an allure not found downtown. It's talent undiscovered. It's rare gems and underdogs and the romanticized version of neighborhoods I probably wouldn't live in due to walkups and my arthritis.

Also there is nothing romantic about the Cross Bronx Expressway. Robert Moses was an ass, I often say, with a flourish of my wrinkled hands.

On Friday, we ventured to the United Palace Theater. It's an antique jewelry box of a place. Three quarters of a century ago, in 1979, it stood bleak and weather beaten before a wreaking ball. But a visionary who fancied himself a preacher saved the joint and it has been a beacon of golden flamboyance ever since.

Of course I'm an old lady who remembers the olden day dances, like hip hop and b-boy and krumping. Which is why we got crackalackin and journeyed on the A Train the entire way to 175th to take in the Hip Hop Nutcracker. To reminence our youth.

There is something harmonious about Hip Hop in Harlem. In Harlem, you know the DJ and the dancers can't phone it in. The locals in those velvet seats knows the good from the fakers. It's a skill I wish I had learned long ago, especially where home improvement contractors, financial planners and physicians are concerned.




NaBloPoMo November 2015

Friday, November 20, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 20, 2050

When midnight approaches, my thoughts twist and whirl and blend together into dark matter. So much is possible in the night, you can feel it's there. But you can't prove it.

People emerge in the darkness, they creep from their daytime containers. They've dusted off their round rabbit hats and their red pants, puffed their hair or flattened it. I spy green shoes and sparkles and nose rings and eavesdrop talk about tear-drop skirts and wide stripes.

The city sings weird and bristly at night. Perhaps when I'm even older than I am now, I will piece together the meaning of it all.



NaBloPoMo November 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 19, 2050

photo credit: James Jowers in 1967
We sat in our velvet barcelona chairs. I snuggled beneath a fur throw and Tom rested his book on his lap.

We gazed out over the corner of 8th Avenue and Greenwich. I felt pleased with the life I'd earned, one with no need to venture out into the dreary, overcast and rain spattered day. The people scurrying to work and the tourists in their damp plastic ponchos drooped in such a forlorn fashion.

Maybe because my time is limited, I have begun to appreciate moments. Especially comfortable moments filled with nothing. In their naked glory, such moments can be savored full strength for exactly the gift they are.

I said as much to Tom. For a historical angle, I asked him if his grandmother had savored her moments. I intended to run down his family tree, but his grandmother was as far as the conversation went.  Because Tom said that his grandmother never left her home. She was "Agriphobic."

Oh yes, I replied. Many people are afraid of farming.


NaBloPoMo November 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 18, 2050

NaBloPoMo November 2015
Today I made my way to midtown to break bread with an old friend. We went in for Mexican. I learned after we had been seated that my friend had eaten at this same exact Mexican restaurant three times this week so far.

I poised my granny glasses upon the bridge of my nose and looked over them, pinning my friend with an unwinking stare.

"Three times?" I said, adjusting the fringe on my burgundy silk scarf. "Three times you lunched right here in midtown east?"

"I had the steak tacos each time too," he replied with a quirk of his wisened old face.

I took a cool sip of iced tea and my friend went back to arranging his cane alongside the table.

When you're young, you might finish each other's sentences. When you're old, you don't bother. Not only don't you bother to vocalize a few words you both know are inevitable, but you don't bother finishing entire conversations when you both know the ending.

I didn't bother to say, "It would frighten me to flatline before I'm dead."

And my friend didn't bother to say, "Once I settle, I see no point in unsettling."


But when I'm gone, I fervently hope my ashes settle well. I hope my ashes settle amongst dried leaves and moss and a loamy forest floor like we've always been as one.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 17, 2050

I have always been good at dawdling. I excel at puttering around. They say that coloring is now considered meditation. Perhaps doing nothing much is also?

No.

Now that I consider further, trolling about on the interwebs or letting YouTube get its claws into me is the opposite of meditative. It's letting the mind click and whir and blunder from thought to thought like that heinous ricocheting spasmodic electronica from the early 00's.

I've heard it said that music isn't really the notes, it's the silence in between. And maybe the same is true about life. It's not the action that matters, but how you go about savoring it.

I'm only 82, I still have plenty of time-space to get this figured out.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 16, 2050

photo credit:
Stringsandbeyond.com
Is it untoward to pick up my electric bass guitar again? These days my old axe may or may not be considered an actual antique. I do not often place much stock in what is proper. But I do often consider what my schemes will look like. I picture the scene and decide if it is desirable. And if it is desirable, my mental image becomes a daydream I revel in making so.

I don't think I could stand upright and play for long-- bass guitars have an awkward heft to them. I would need to be seated for the duration, like a violin player. Although classier for sure, I wonder if assuming the position of an orchestral musician would reduce the thrill of it all.

I sit in my purple office, staring at La Calavera Catrina hanging on my wall. I lean back in my green leather office chair and breath in the dim air. I take up a Monte Blanc fountain pen I've owned since 1990. I scratch out a short list of old lady friends who might be up to join a gentlewoman rock band.

#NaBloPoMo

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 15, 2050

Today I dressed in plaid woolens and took a jaunt uptown to meet my niece for lunch. Long ago, when she was eight years old, I recall a visit with her to American Girl, that venerable retail monolith on 48th Street.

Very much of an American Girl Muchness.
I recall my horror at the unapologetic materialism rampant in the place. The Have-Nots stand at full attention looking hungry and tired. Meanwhile, the Haves don't notice anything beyond how many little sparkly doll outfits and doll pet beds and doll hair accessories there remain to buy.

I remember the kneejerk reaction to mention charity to my niece, as in, donating to a worthy cause. Instead of amassing glutinous pile of toys.

I think that was the day I truly decided to set up my charitable trust. Because I have little desire to die amidst a pile of hoarded trinkets while children starve on the streets. And I have even less desire to bankroll heirs into a frenzy of thoughtless entitlement.

The balancing act is to ensure my niece and nephews covet their inheritance sufficiently to continue to have lunch with an old self-absorbed havisham such as myself.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 14, 2050

I endeavor to wear a bird upon my head.

At my wrinkled age, the danger is looking like I'm impersonating a hedgewitch. And I am not (yet) a hedgewitch. In case you are unfamiliar, a hedgewitch can cast magic spells of course, but her attitude and fashion sense is far more decorative than your average basic witch.

I aspire to become a hedgewitch when I finally reach adulthood, maybe when I turn 100. Much study is of course required to properly deploy magic. And some redecoration, including the installation of alters and incense, may be required. In New York City, this means building permits, and so you understand my procrastination.

Another of my considerations when reflecting upon a hedgewitch career path are the skirts. In theory, I adore a frayed and unruly skirt layering many patterns and textures and fabrics. But in practice, I find them frumpy and unattractive. One must perhaps have a build like a Tim Burton lady stick to pull off such wear.

Also there is another matter: hedgewitches are jolly. I am not jolly.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 13, 2050

We are patrons of the arts, my husband and I. Several times a week, we unload our postbox and see what the city has on offer.


I like to open up the envelopes with a slim golden letter opener while drinking my afternoon tea.
I already know what is inside. The fat envelopes are solicitations selling annual memberships and include lavish descriptions of member dining rooms and guest passes. The thin envelopes are notices of goings on one has already earned through one's prior patronage.

This evening we enjoyed a fun romp of a performance at the Manhattan Theater Club entitled Important Hats of the Twentieth Century. We approached the ticket window and I stated firmly, "We are Patrons." She waved us right through, the ticket woman.


NaBloPoMo November 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 12, 2050

After all of the corduroy hullabaloo yesterday, I woke up this morning with a terrible headache. Overdoing it is a looming concern for a young lady in her 80's, such as myself. My ambition is far bigger than my constitution. The hardest part of controlling my exertion is the delayed feedback loop. It takes about 12 hours to kick in-- the side effects of too much hullabalooing, I mean.

So I undertook the day slowly. I pulled my weary bones across the wide floors of my bedroom, down the hallway. One wall in our hallway is exposed brick. It's very rough and uneven and offers handholds I appreciate.

I positioned myself in my velvet chair and looked out through rain streaked windows. Tom and I ate some delicious eggs and good smelling coffee with whole milk topped with cream.

I propped my book on my lap, I'm re-reading the Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. It's a curlicue of a mystery story I first enjoyed 70 years ago and its allure tugs at me still.

Ellen Raskin lived in Greenwich Village on Gay Street, nearby here. But she died of a terrible disease. People always die too young.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 11, 2050

Today is Corduroy Appreciation Day for it is 11|11 - the Day that Looks the Most Like Corduroy. I am, and have long been, a most ardent fan of corduroy.

I arise at 10am and don a pair of tan corduroy pants, a fine purple corduroy blouse and a brown corduroy blazer with a rose corduroy pocket square. Then I set out to Macy's, Saks and Bloomingdales... as I do every year. In my houndstooth corduroy bag, I carry a stack of printed invitations to Corduroy Appreciation Club.

I take the elevator up to the floors of fashion. Browsing the racks, I slip invitations into pockets of corduroy garments.

I take my luncheon at Saks, which I envision as similar to Breakfast at Tiffany's except there are actual tables because Saks has a restaurant. Breakfast at Tiffany's always struck me as one of those adventures that sounds simply lovely in theory, but in practice is Clif Bar crumbs on glass counters and dirty looks from razor-eyed salesgirls.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 10, 2050

F. Scott Fitzgerald conjugates "to cocktail."

I have always enjoyed a cocktail in the city. I added "in the city" because uniformly, I do not enjoy the beverages I am served on landmasses that are not Manhattan or Brooklyn. In such vicinities, I order something triple distilled, neat. I ask for ice on the side so that I can inspect it first.

At my age I have no qualms drinking alone. I do not worry about the horrors of alcoholism as much as I worry about shingles and mysterious palsies. In fact, I would rather drink alone with a book than with someone who is not a good friend.

Some people read "old friend" when I write "good friend." That is not my meaning. Old friends are not always good friends and visa versa. Good friends have the capacity to be interested and interesting in equal measure. Good friends figure out when you need them. Sadly this is a mix rarely found.

NaBloPoMo November 2015

Monday, November 09, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 9, 2050

Many years ago, we joined the Whitney when it first opened its doors downtown. We donated sufficiently to receive attractive tone-on-tone black membership cards upon which "Founding Member" was printed in bold face.

No matter how long the line of tourists outside, we simply walk right past them. We approach the velvet ropes. The ticket taker waves us past. We board the elevator and head into the galleries above.

Today we saw a retrospective of an artist named AJ Motley. He lived his life 1891-1981. Had he been dyslexic, he may not have lived at all.

In 1930, AJ painted the venerable Mrs. Motley, his wife. With her cloche hat and her narrow black belt and her fox muffler and slim white fingers, Mrs. Motley is a woman of worth. A bearded man peers over her shoulder. Perhaps he is a judgemental and prying patrician who thinks he's all that.

I have no time for rubbernecking busybodies.

Mrs. Motley looks uncomfortable beneath the weight of the bearded man's narrow-eyed stare. She tries to ignore him but her neck prickles. Such a sad state of affairs. One should be at ease whilst sitting upon one's own sofa.

Had Mrs. Motley been my ancestor and gifted me her fox muffler, I would have nestled it amongst my possessions like it belonged there. I would have put it with the rest of my minks and persian lamb and Leopard print coneys. I come from a long line of furriers. When I venture to West 28th street, I feel a pang of nostalgia.
NaBloPoMo November 2015

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 8, 2050

La Calavera Catrina
A wealthy industrialist built our West Village home in 1908. He manufactured hats for ladies and gentlemen until his premature death on Black Friday. An alcove I have claimed as my office may have been his storage cubby for felt or flowers or lace. But I have made it my own.

I covered the walls with iridescent purple and silver fleur de lis. I draped a creamy silk around the doorframe. My desk is a solid slab of oak, supported by immense iron legs and clawed feet. My chair features antique green leather and rolls smoothly across wide wooden floor planks.

I light candles and relish the muffled silence that has gathered and settled into the room, ghostly and elegant and billowing. Stillness and dust motes and sloughing skin eventually knit together into the veil that separates the living from the dead, the veil that is said to thin sheer on Dia de los Muertos. I like to drape this veil about my shoulders and relish the warm breath and light touch of moments past.

Above my desk I have hung an original José Guadalupe Posada etching. La Calavera Catrina gazes down upon me, her eyes vacuous and searching. She reminds me of what it is to live and die in the eyes of beholders.



NaBloPoMo November 2015


Saturday, November 07, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet : November 7, 2050



I ride the subway, but only between 1-3:30pm, not including Fridays. If I arose earlier, I would also ride the subway between 10am and noon. But I do not arise earlier.

I am careful to time my journeys around rush hours and lunch breaks; I no longer continence a crowded train, one where available seats are scarce. I board the train with as much grace as one my age can muster. I sit by the doors, on the end of a row. I smooth my skirt and pat my hair and position my pocketbook upon my lap. I peer above my glasses at those who come and go.

Today I noticed the out-of-town guest of man I determined lived in the UWS. The guest hailed from Pennsylvania, judging by the chemical texture of her hair and the nature of her shoes and jeans. She leaned back upon the subway pole, gripping it betwixt her ass cheeks.

Perhaps it takes a few days or weeks or years in the city to gain perspective. To realize how one might look from behind. From beyond the pole.

The man from the UWS, her host, he realized. He made a gesture and a false start to perhaps explain to his Pennsylvanian friend the proper pole techniques. But he aborted the mission. They alighted at 79th Street.


NaBloPoMo November 2015

Friday, November 06, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 6, 2050

The gypsy caravan I have my
eye on.
Today I spent the afternoon fantasizing about the gypsy caravan I would travel in, should I ever decide to traverse the globe in a gypsy caravan.

I had been reading obituaries in the Times, people always die too young, and my thoughts began to congeal into bigger thoughts. About travel.

In my younger years, I would not affix much importance to the journey, just the destination. But now that I'm old, I like to travel in style.

And so I took up my computing device to look into caravans because if the gypsies knew one thing, it was how to enjoy the ride.

NaBloPoMo November 2015














Thursday, November 05, 2015

Diary of a Geriatric Scarlet: November 5, 2050

Today I sat in my velvet Barcelona chair well into the evening. The shadows lengthened into darkness and all the books in my library and my oriental rugs and my collection of omomori faded into soft blackness.

Through my windows, passersby on the street could see nothing, except for me. But only if they chanced to look up, which they rarely do. The glowing screen in my hands illuminated my moon face.

I texted my dear old friend Melissa. The young people these days communicate with those new-fangled corneal microchip implants, but I have no interest in such gadgetry. I SMS like I've been doing it for 50 years. Which I have. My thumbs are gnarled rockets on a non-tactile keyboard.

My dear old friend Melissa has long maintained that when doing favors for one's nieces and nephews, one must barter for visits to the assisted living facility that we, the elderly, may soon find ourselves residing in. She has an elaborate cross- referencing system developed over many decades and I am ever willing to take advantage of the groundwork others have laid.


NaBloPoMo November 2015