The calm before the storm

Thursday 25 October, 2012.  Central Park, New York.  It’s 20 degrees and the sun is shining.  After walking for three hours I climb some rocks and sit down.  I’ve deliberately left my iPhone at the apartment I’m staying in so I can enjoy the day without electronic intrusion – no texts, no emails, and the music I hear isn’t pumping synthesized bass, but live from the buskers.  My red handbag contains only a camera, my purse, a bottle of water, a pen and a notepad.  I open it and pull out the pen and pad.  I’m going to write the old-fashioned way.  I’ll fill the crisp pages with blog entries, stories, letters … anything that comes to mind.

Josefin the Viking!

After two hours my hand aches and I put down my pen.   As I emerge from my writing trance, I realise that I’m having the best day I can remember having in my adult life.  It’s made better by the fact that I know it’s the best day.  Usually I recognise the good times retrospectively, but I’m in one right now and I feel it.

The next few days are filled to the brim with experiences and events.  In different ways I’m looking forward to all of them – including a work dinner tonight.  I’m visiting my Swedish friend and I smile at the memory of seeing her this morning in her Halloween costume – she was born to dress as a Viking, complete with horned helmet and blonde plaits.  I mentally run through my weekend schedule and savour the feeling of anticipation.

I don’t know that my body will become a vessel for wine during the approaching 72 hours and I’ll suffer the consequences.  I don’t know that I’m soon to get so lost that it takes me two hours to return home.  I don’t know that my father’s in hospital.  I don’t know that I’ll wake tomorrow with a stye on my left eye so large that I look like I’ve been punched.  I don’t know that Hurricane Sandy will wreak so much havoc.  I don’t know any of these things.  All I know is that I’m very excited about the good experiences and encounters heading my way.

I hear people near me and look up to see a dark-haired girl of about five standing directly on my right side.  As her parents catch up to her she speaks.

My feet in the Central Park leaves

Girl: What’s your name?

Me (smiling openly): Simone.  What’s yours?

Girl: Rebecca.  Thimone’s a funny name.

Me (laughing):  And Rebecca’s a nice name.

Her parents must be a bit embarrassed by her comment because her father joins our conversation.

Him: Rebecca, there’s a song about a girl called Simone.  (He starts singing) “Oh Simone, my heart is aching …”

Me (surprised that I’ve never heard these lyrics): Is that a real song?!

Him: Of course! It’s as old as the hills.  “Simone” by Boz Scaggs.

Me:  Well I’ve just learnt something new!

We chat briefly about where I’m from (they’re New York born and bred) and they head on their way.  I enjoyed the fleeting interaction and I’m left to my peaceful, flawless day.

The bright yellow leaves lie still at my feet.  Things are calm, things are perfect.  But there’s a storm coming …

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5 responses to “The calm before the storm

  1. Why are the leaves in Central Park so much cooler than the leaves over here, our leves embarrass me with their soggyness…

    • For some reason that just made me remember my cork-popping power in Hyde Park …. and again during our picnic in Eltham Palace Gardens. When I pop, I really pop! 😉

      • Which brings me to question that that was the happiest day of your adult life? Really?! We’ve been for afternoon teas, had a picnic at Eltham Palace and Hyde Park, had numerous coffees together and that day, on your own, without ME was the best day of your life?!?!?!?!?!?! I think I need to re-evaluate our friendship…

  2. Josefin Holmberg

    I was born to dress as a Viking:)…

    Sent from my iPhone

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