Wednesday, July 1, 2009

NOSE PRESSED TO THE BAKERY WINDOW

I love the smell of fresh bread at the bakery. And the fragrance of fresh pretzels, on a street vendors wagon ... I've got to have one immediately!

I'll never recover -- you'll never recover echoes psychotherapist Em -- zoom --flashing back, remembering the bakery in Greenwich Village that I used to pass on the way to my temporary home.

My first summer in New York -- my allowance was TEENY. I'd been staying with Mrs. Graves in her Washington Square apartment. I was, lonely,and hungry.

Mrs.G was a wealthy widow. Her husband, Daddy's partner, had died a year ago. All Mrs. Graves ate, all she served me was soup. All she talked about was her husband, his cancer, how her dead husband's lung, eaten away by cancer, looked in the X-ray they showed her.

I phoned my parents and they arranged for me to stay in Sunnyside with an Aunt and Uncle on a cot in their dining room, where I could hear them whispering at night, saying my parents were cheapskate snobs. But there was plenty of food, subway fare, ten cents for emergencies, no money for snacks.

I remember how hungry I was. After beginners' ballet at the Metropolitan Opera house, I ate crackers with ketchup at the Horn & Hardart Automat, and chewed the ice cubes I got from the water and ice machine that was next to the pastry.
And desserts in glass compartments -- oh boy -- cookies on a doily, chocolate cake on a plate, breakfast rolls, pies -- I could smell them, see the poppy seeds, wavy patterns in the icing, the semi-sweet chocolate buds in the cookies ... so near, yet I couldn't have them in my hand or in my mouth.

(You'd think with all that in my mind, I'd be a big eater, definitely overweight, but I'm not -- my slenderness is great, just what a lot of women want. This 'nose' business -- my longing for things is a permanent quirk.)

After my divorce, walking in Washington Square Park, seeing couples holding hands, chatting, I felt like I was back in the Horn & Hardart Automat.

After I met JC, who'd mentioned dropping in so casually, there I was watching the street, counting ten taxis telling myself he won't show up ... maybe he will ... telling myself in ten minutes I'll stop waiting. But I kept waiting at the window counting cars, looking for him, longing for him to arrive.

He didn't that night. He did a week later.

That 'nose pressed' neurosis -- how many times, on the verge of success (his or mine), have I waited for the reviews, the goodies, the rewards on the other side of the window.

Just yesterday, working hard on a post, I found myself longing for more hits, more readers, more visitors. I checked the stats on my website and blog -- wow. I'm getting more readers!

So, ladies and gentlemen and fellow self-therapists, if my nose is still pressed to the window, and I'm on the outside looking in and longing for something -- hey -- all I need to do is go inside and look around at what I've got.

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