So having received a few e-mails from friends, I am SURE they were, who thought from the tone of my last few Reports that I was sad, depressed, or dispirited, all of which missiles served to make me sad, depressed, though not dispirited because the truth is I think I am okay, though a wee bit isolated, and a Certain Age. Like those of you who actually read these things, I, too, find myself puzzled at my being here, since it is nowhere I was actually headed, but just ended up. Very like the Apple store, my headquarters when actually on my way somewhere or at least hoping I seem so as it is in the center of town-- I think, -- and a good place to work out of since I have no idea where I am going, if anywhere.
This is what I would venture to call marking time, something it seems less than wise to be marking at this turn of my road. I had a beautiful dinner last night with my new friend Sam, a lovely neighbor who took pity on me after I rang her bell, and seemed and WAS somewhat lost. We had a bicycle-cart tour of the neighborhood before going to one of her mothers' home to dine, with a very talkative driver who found himself and his opinions more interesting than the neighborhood, which appraisal I didn't share.
One of her mothers is not a grammatical error, or, I don't think, a humanistic one. This is a curious civilization, where people seem to fall in and out of love and not worry about the rules as we observe them or pretend to in the US, and few are those who seem to marry their partners, even after having children with them, at that point moving on but going back for Sunday night dinners if they have stayed friend-ish, and splitting custody unless of course there is hostility or they have told the judge something sad while weeping, which I have advised one of the fathers to do if he wants to spend some time with his little girls, because that's what his ex-patner did. As it was, he had to sit in the balcony of a movie theatre peering over the railing for a glimpse of his daughters, which I found sad and discomfiting and they weren't even mine.
I know three fathers like that, and I haven't even been here long. There's Daniel, my big hero, the Englishman I sat next to on the plane from Glasgow, who has so far befriended and guided me while remaining funny and seemingly inspired, Arthur, the burly black from Africa, who has skills I do not begin to understand, and Peter, the sweet Dutch guy who was leaning over the balcony railing, whose partner left him for another man, which seems to be a local virus. But I do not suffer too much for him because he loved her because of her ass, and not having one, I cannot relate to that form of attachment. My darling Don, who, strangely, I still miss with a present presence, told me once if I only had an ass I would be Sophia Loren, but then he was, in his Bronx way, a poet as well as a movie-goer.
So here I am in the Apple store, at the table marked 'Open Training,' as much or more my home as my apartment, which is genuinely beautiful where I hope you all will come. As several times noted, I have no real idea what brought me to Amsterdam, but as I believe in Divine Guidance, I would like to think there is Good to come from it, hopefully in the way of some writing that will be higher/clearer/more lustrous than any I might have done elsewhere, wherever elsewhere was. I do know it could not have been New York, because the darkness that has covered that city and what used to be my country is palpable, if you can actually FEEL darkness, and what I see out of my window there makes me sad, it is so lifeless and dirty. I used to feel so grateful that my view there was actually of and over a rooftop. But now it is cluttered in an ugly, disinterested way, ropes and ladders and tossed-off pieces of things that didn't matter, nothing serving any purpose, and in the near distance the towering, dopey building from which the crane fell, and from which other things will doubtless fall in days to come.
I, though, will try and stay somewhat secured in days to come, by attaching myself to my new environs, and the people I find therein.