October 14, 2012


When words seem adrift, during the sentimental and rainy days of autumn in Amsterdam, all that can help is a picture book of curiosities. I found myself wandering my neighborhood, the Spaarndammerbuurt, to find lost treasures on sidewalks, shadows in puddles and characters in other people's windows, which helped me get a bit closer with this still strange seeming city I live in. These changes that happen impulsively, I move from here to there without a plan, why is my life this way, why am I one of those people? But it's not all bad. I can make friends with things. Trees. Geese. Cats behind glass. No problem. What's your story?

Here I am, wearing my grandmother's black gardening shoes, disguised as rain boots, it works, but as it gets colder, I can feel my toes disagreeing with this sort of dress up. I ordered some cheap heels online. I keep reminding myself...40 Euros down the drain. What if they don't fit or look ugly? I guess I can always send them back. I think about money a lot. It is my only obstacle.

Window shopping.

People like to put things and flowers in their windows around here. It's a nice thing to look at, something I didn't notice until I walked by a third, fourth, fifth time. Little kingdoms. Not much space here. You have to make it extra nice and cozy to get a home out of it.

Old people must live on the ground floor. They need their gear to get around.

I look up, I look down. I look to my left. I see things I didn't see before. The city is bigger than this. I feel comfortable in my neighborhood. Someone got beat up in broad daylight the other day, across from the supermarket. I haven't seen that since Brooklyn. It scared me a bit but then I saw people helping and the police investigating. It wasn't dismissed but taken seriously. Sacha said he never saw someone get beat up before around here. Maybe I do bring the misery with me wherever I go? How ridiculous does that sound? I am the root of all evil happening around me.

And then I miss my cat. Everybody has a cat around here. My street has geese.

One block north, two blocks West, not much, just a few houses, a few windows, a few people wet from the rain. But then again, all these small things I notice and take pictures of, why? For this blog? Maybe. Or maybe because I need a verification that this place isn't as bad as I think it is. Just because it rains all the time doesn't mean I am not welcome. This is not East London. This is just Amsterdam. Amsterdam would never do me any harm.

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He sits there with his greasy hair, on the kitchen table. I like our life together. I like our life together here. Maybe it would be different somewhere. New York City, where we both hated our lives. Maybe that is why we didn't find each other back then, although we said 'Hi!' oh so many times. It's not always easy, and I remember that things happen for a reason. Zucchini soup for dinner, for example. New things. Mousse au chocolate in our fridge. I make things. Simple things. They make me happy. The future is brighter than I sometimes make it out to be. Fatalism is my weakness. I will get over it.

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