I want my green juice. But if I walk to get it, my newly cut and styled hair will be ruined. The sunny summer mornings of Los Angeles summer have moved on to fog. The marine layer will burn off soon, but thick, be-careful-you-don’t-miss-a pedestrian-in-the-crosswalk fog will stick around. It’s the same fog I grew up with and learned to drive in. The summer fog I suffered through as a young professional in San Francisco. If anti-humidity hair spray had existed in high school and San Francisco I’m certain my life would have been different.
I am exhausted. I won’t sleep that much during September. I decide to drive. Driving is something I don’t love about Los Angeles. I always look for opportunities to walk. I am constantly convincing my son and husband that it’s not that far between errands. I refuse to subscribe to “Nobody walks in LA”. We do walk, but it’s typically a hike. I want to walk in my day to day life and effortlessly stay leaner as I did in my years living in New York. I get in the car, within a minute I hear Ryan Adams singing “New York, New York”. “farewell to the city and the love of my life” and I sigh. I did not leave the love of my life there. In fact, magically the love of my life, my New York City born and bred husband, was waiting for me in Los Angeles. I would wait many years to meet him in Santa Monica. Maybe I passed him on the street when he was visiting his father in Greenwich Village only a few blocks from where I lived, when I wondered if the love of my life was “out there’”. New York City was the love of my life then. I felt at ease and happy even with all the noise and congestion. The constant buzzing energy of New York City was a perfect match for my energy and of course, the walking.
I chug the juice in the car. Saturdays provide a rare privilege where I can drink my green juice on an empty stomach and wait to drink my coffee. It is the preferred method for maximum benefit from celery juice. Something that is much harder (impossible) on a weekday with school drop off. I bring back juice for my husband. He has his with his coffee. My son and husband are in their father and son Saturday morning routine watching a show about cars while my son operates the Nespresso machine. He is a charming barista. “Do you guys want eggs?” I ask tentatively as not to interrupt them. “Are they the fluffy kind you made last week?” “Yes” I reply as my wrist starts to hurt as I try to get the perfect scramble and I hope in in my exhaustion that I got the temperature on the stove right. I sigh with gratitude.
I am here in this LA kitchen making eggs for this family that I was not sure I would ever have 17 years ago. 17 years ago, on Sunday, September 9, 2001, I was exploring the Cloisters with a friend. I had no idea what the following Tuesday would bring. There is an innocence to that summer that will never be the same. This summer I turned 50. Yes, I am a half century old. With the birthday came another level of gratitude and a shedding of a few insecurities. Suddenly how I looked in my swimsuit became far less important than swimming with my kid. By freeing myself of some of that I managed to capture a little bit of the innocence of summer of 2001 that I spent on the beach on weekends (Spring Lake, NJ style) and in Europe and Alaska. The world feels even crazier than it did in 2001. If you told me then who would be running things, I would have laughed. In fact, I think our current president laughed about that himself. One thing is clear, things can change beyond our wildest expectations. I am holding on to the little moments with my family; the smile on my son’s face, perfectly made eggs that he eats, the beauty around me. The fact that I am here. I survived that day. I was there. You can read more about my account of September 11, 2001 here and here.
This week’s mani is for back to school. It was designed by my son who came to my appointment right before school started. School is back in session. I will put pencil to paper and get back to writing. To achieve that summer innocence, I took some time off from the blog. I’m back. It may look a little different going forward and the schedule may be less consistent. But I’m here – and I’ll return when I have something more to say.