For Father's Day last weekend, our son came over and our daughter and her love brought their dog Munch as well as three kinds of frozen desserts that they had made from scratch: key lime pie ice cream, banana caramel ice cream, and raspberry Campari sorbet. So delicious. We just hung out all day, starting with breakfast of scrambled eggs (made the way my dad used to do it) and maple bacon, then ordering in burgers for lunch from Harlem Shake, and then ate little scoops of ice cream all afternoon, relishing the tastes and the company until my son had to leave for his shift at his firehouse, and the other two left to meet up with some Boston friends who had come to the city for the weekend. But for the firefighter who had to work that evening, there was some day drinking involved.
Next there was our lovely gathering on Monday night, followed on Tuesday morning bright and early by my first in person interview with my book subject. Crazily, the entire proposal I wrote for her was developed from phone conversations, and now, with the proposal sold and the two of us fully vaccinated, we were finally meeting in the flesh to start work on the book. I chose a restaurant in my neighborhood that I knew would be quiet at that hour. We know the owner by now, an always warmly welcoming man, and I had spoken to him beforehand to make sure conditions would be conducive to potentially intimate sharing.
My subject arrived on time, in a festive pink floral summer dress, and I noticed at once that she is far more beautiful in person than the photos she posts of herself on social media. She has no vanity; I love that about her. She's on TV, and in person she looks much the same as she does when she's all dolled up by the studio stylists.
Incredibly beautiful people often make me feel awkward and self-conscious, but I felt perfectly comfortable with her. I suspect she might not even know how attractive she is. She was a fat child till she was 13, and we both agreed that the image you have of yourself at 13 is often the one that stays with you for life. Our conversation roamed all over the place. For the book, I needed to drill down deeper at so many points, but I let the conversation skip around, as I didn't want our first in person meeting to feel too heavy, I wanted her to enjoy the encounter, and besides, she seemed to be in a very lighthearted mood. She was worried about whether we'd get the book done in time. I laughed and said, "Oh don't worry, we will. We have contracts!" So now I need to sit myself in the chair and start writing in earnest.
On Wednesday morning, I met my daughter in Battery Park to go and see the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit, which was spectacular. The paintings are shown in darkened rooms, with spots of light illuminating the art installations and the descriptive panels of text. As you walk through the galleries, meditative music fills the space, with a man's voice speaking quotes from the artist's writings and conversations during his lifetime.
But the piéce de rèsistance was the final gallery, a cavernous room with chairs and benches and carpet on which people sat in the darkness and watched a visual presentation of the artist's life and work and death sliding across all four walls, the dancing light playing across the audience, too, so that we became part of the show, which was accompanied by a heart-lifting sound track that spanned Japanese traditional music to Beethoven, with narration by the same man's voice, I think it was Jeremy Irons. We could have stayed in that room for hours, but we left at around noon, as my girl had a work conference call she had to be on. We found a bench next to the water and she took her call, while I watched the lovely dappled light under the trees, and enjoyed the breezy unhumid day. After her call, we headed to Seamore's for lunch and watermelon margaritas, and just had the best time sitting on the patio and talking about everything. It was in all respects a perfect and soul-nourishing day.
The social dance continues. My daughter's in laws (as we call her partner's family, even though she and he are not married) will be in town for the weekend and staying with us. My girl and her guy will join us for dinner tonight, and tomorrow, they'll take his mom and sister sightseeing around Brooklyn, and the man and I will join them later for a dinner of soy-glazed salmon steaks grilled on their roof deck. Somewhere in there, I will also find time to watch the greatest gymnast of all time Simone Biles and the rest of the Americans as they compete for a spot on the U.S. team in the gymnastics Olympic trials to be held this weekend. I absolutely and unironically love the Olympics, especially gymnastics (because, hello, Simone Biles) and track and field, in which my little island of Jamaica has long dominated.
New York is experiencing a very low incidence of covid at the moment, with a less than one percent positivity rate in the city. Even though I'm still wearing masks, I do feel my guard coming down, which isn't always a good thing. My girl just called and reported that she's come down with a cold. "It just came on hard and fast yesterday, "she said. Definitely not covid, she assured me, but my poor girl is under the weather, and with her in laws coming into town, too.
To end on a sweet note, yesterday marked one year since adorable Munch joined our family. Our girl posted pics to mark the occasion, which she referred to as "Happy Gotcha Day." Munch's mantra, or rather my daughter's mantra for him is "Stay weird, little dude." He doesn't have to try.