Right now, I don’t want anything. Particularly, I don’t want it to be cooler like I did during the Labor Day heat wave that settled on NYC just after my boyfriend removed (and gifted) our only AC unit. “You didn’t look up the weather?” I shot. He didn’t take the bait. He rides the waves of my crankiness like a skilled surfer. My mother just died, and his mode is patience. My mode is restlessness, and usually I am on the unfulfilled side of a craving. This roaming void was brought forth as the city’s temperature crept vindictively to the high eighties. The humidity landed somewhere in my bed.
I woke up at 2:21 am the Tuesday after the long weekend sweating and panting. It was my new friend, anxiety.
“What are they going to do tomorrow, stuck in the house without an AC or a fan in 92 degrees?” I imagined Willow and the babysitter sweating inside our apartment because school didn’t start until the Wednesday after Labor Day.
“They’ll go to the sprinklers.”
“Not all day. They’re gonna suffer with no airflow. It’s not healthy.” J threw his legs out of the bed and zombie-d to the living room where a summer funk had settled. A drunken kid hollered on Park Ave. “Where are you going?”
“To get a fan.” He murmured. I protested, but he knew better. I camped out on the couch, reading On Beauty by Zadie Smith, scrolling Facebook, and worrying.
Today, the weather is perfect, and there is no wanting on that end. It is Saturday, and I have spent the morning in Soho with Willow, shuffling her to miniature ballet and then to Lafayette Grand Cafe for a girls’ brunch. We rejoiced at the lemon pancakes and fluffy eggs. I rejoiced at the coffee — a deliciously black silk caffeine comfort.
In the afternoon, I heed the signal and decide to season my closet, stashing the cutoffs (saving the good pair for a TBD vacation) and sandals to hibernate. I gleefully pull out my ankle boots and sweaters. My leather skirt hangs in the closet like a promise.
J comes in to tell me the weather will be 80 tomorrow.
I have bags of old clothes. Their staleness collected and neatly folded. Maybe they will be fresh to someone else. In the bags are mostly clothes of Willow’s. Old shirts that safely float above her navel. I am glad to be rid of them or else she will pluck these teeny shirts s and demand to wear them as I wrench them from her determined fists. At 8 am on any given Wednesday, we are usually in a war of wills.
What I can’t do is bring myself to throw away the red jeans that I wore on my first real date with J. I feel the weight of what I have now, and I feel better than I did last weekend when I returned with a haul from Intermix and a daughter worn from shopping, from all the wanting.