So just as in every bad dream, everything comically dark that could happen did. Except of course that I am still alive, and not quite as old as I could be, and people are kind.
It is very much the 21st century. My computer got a virus and someone pilfered my bank account. A bright woman at City National in Maryland caught it, so I am not bankrupt, including emotionally. But it was a black adventure on a cloudless day, when I should have been looking at design and purpose as my little boat (not mine, you can't be too literal here) wiffled through the watery byways. Everything here is worth looking at, including the prostitute or if I weren't trying to sound intelligent-- whore area, where I was saddened to see tourists actually bringing their children. Not for action, I'm sure-- they looked to be from the South or places where people don't think. But still-- what could the kids imagine? I mean they were little, but not little enough not to wonder what those women were doing in doorways with jewels in their belly buttons. More than sad were the women themselves, albeit beautiful.
I have to take a break now and go to the Apple store, my haven, to have the virus removed from my belly button. Later. God willing, if there is a God.
Now it is Sunday, and I have spent a happy, carefree lunchtime with my beautiful former almost neighbors, the lovely Brits from across the water when I used to live here, Miriam and Fred and baby Zephyr, going to the museum (I think it is,) where everybody seems to take their children to lunch. Former (Almost) neighbors because I didn't connect with them until I was about to leave Amsterdam, and was struck with a great sense of loss about losing them. They are so clearly special, making the world a better place with less than a lot of funding(they are in Academe and charity work) and/or ease. I had forgotten how riddled with rivalry the academic community is, -- not having been involved with it since I was a graduate student at Stanford, a long, long time ago, when the nightmare level of the competition was darkly dazzling--so it is an edge of the chair existence for Fred, a patently selfless scholar who still has to know or at least presume his future is secure, which none of them ever does until he has tenure. Her job is dependent on funding, and you will be less than stunned to know that there is even worse competition there as she works with Bangladesh and the places we only hear about with child labor and say "How terrible," and then forget about, unless we are Miriam. Noble souls, selfless, both of them, and probably Zephyr by the time she is four.
I am hopeful that some dazzlingly clear reason why I made this trip will become evident by the time I leave here. I am so used to being in a community-- such as it is, to even call it a community is borderline satirical-- of the self-absorbed, except for Ellen and Amber, that to come in contact with people like this is probably a cleansing. But it has been less than a dance of a holiday. Hardly a dance at all. And you need to remember that Gene Kelly was my dancing teacher in Pittsburgh when I was two. I mean, if you can remember Gene Kelly.