Monday, January 21, 2013

Twying to Twitter

     I spent yesterday trying to become a person of this century.  Have a younger, eager friend who spent what seemed to me an inordinate amount of time communicating, if that is what they really do, on social media, so asked her to help me.  And because she is as sweet as she is eager, she did, although she admitted to me that now that she is so happy at her new job, she has less time for Facebook. 
    The day before having provided me with enough material for an overly long REPORT, I had saved the most moving part of it.  Needing a stretch of the legs, which you do if deskbound as I mostly am, having read that my circulation is fucked and probably my heart as well,  I went to Whole Foods on Columbus Circle, which many have renamed Whole Paycheck. In spite of myself I did a full grocery shop, mostly salmon on sale.  I also picked up several items I blithely did not pay attention to the price of, including almonds, (eat 3 daily to guard against cancer, my beloved friend Carleen had counseled,) and a whole papaya, which the distinguished literary agent Don Congdon, a friend, had eaten every day so became quite old, but now is dead anyway.
    At the checkout, which is usually a mystical experience for me, as I pay attention to the number of the window they send you to, add it up and think what it signifies(there is a meaning, one to ten, --if you ask me, I'll lay them out for you,) so I take the number I get as how the rest of my day will be. Mine added up to 10, which is Cosmic Consciousness, something I once believed in but then I was living in Southern California.  So I went happily to the right counter, and engaged in some light conversation with the clerk, a really sweet, somewhat overweight Chinese, whose name I will not give in case someone in corporate chances to read this, and he gets in trouble.  But he was kind.
      The important thing is to be kind, Aldous Huxley, once a very acid man said after his illumination.  These have been very difficult days for me,-- close friends know I am going through something I cannot talk about even with close friends-- so I have gotten through them by trying to put into practice the teachings of my beloved Jack Kornfield, who teaches Vipassana Meditation which I'm not that good at, since it involves silence.  You pay attention to the breath.  Instead, I pay close attention to every moment I am having in New York, with all its noises, but it also includes little children you pass on the street and out-of-towners who are friendlier than the people who live in your building.
     So there I was at the checkout counter, having this fairly warm exchange with the clerk and giving back the almonds, since they were too pricey, when I noticed that there was a gash in the papaya.  I said I would have to exchange it, when he suggested he might exchange it for me, asking me if I would trust him to do it, to which I responded "Of course."
    I paid for the order, gave the address for the delivery, and left my new friend.  Later that night the order came.  And in it were two papayas.  He had given me an extra one.
    All through the night when I felt sad I would get up and see that on my sink were two papayas.  It signified caring, humanity, kindness, all the things you need to wrap yourself in even if the weather isn't as bad as you expected.
     So yesterday when Melissa came to instruct me, I tried to condense that warm and loving experience into 140 characters, and tweet it.  The very word offends me.  Maybe I will learn, but I don't really think so.  Who was it that named it Twitter?  Go tweet yourself.