I am here.

Well, not by the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, really, but here as in here on this “blog” and here in NYC and ready to rumble, which is particularly fitting given that I’m on the Upper West Side, only a few finger-snapping hops, skips, and pirouettes from where some of the scenes were filmed lo so many years ago.

This photo is from a recent run I took around the reservoir, though, the day after a weird-ass tornado warning that I didn’t think yielded an actual tornado but did produce some rather crazy wind that no doubt blew the rest of the leaves off the trees that you see here across the water, the very reason why I wanted to run that particular part of the park. But as you can see, it’s still lovely no matter what.

Here is where I make a trite remark about being grateful for what you have and I punch myself in the larynx.

My solemn-ish vow

Now that I’m “up and running” again (knock wood), I promise to post here more often than I had in the past, oh, what, like decade or so, especially in the last few years since I’ve had issues with this “blog”.

See, it’s been so long that I don’t even know if “blog” is a word anyone uses anymore, or if it’s totally old school and I’m “dating” myself. Whatever. I do vow, though, to post more here, possibly as an alternative or adjunct to the hideousness of Facebook.

Out of sorts

Does anyone have any sorts? I’ve been out since June 25, when my best friend left this world. Donations would be appreciated. Don’t ask if they’d be tax-deductible. He, a tax lawyer, would’ve known that.

Christmas marks six months since he’s been gone. Reality strikes me like accidentally catching a glimpse of oneself in a magnifying mirror, with all the attendant gasping horror, and I want someone else’s glasses to appear on my face so I can retreat behind the blur, even if it means I can’t see crumbs on the kitchen counter or the permanent sadness in my eyes.

I am so out of sorts I don’t even know what to do. I flop down onto the sofa as if I don’t have bones or muscle or the wherewithal or ability to lower myself onto it with anything resembling grace, and stare without blinking, straight ahead without even seeing anything until I focus on my bare feet and consider them alien not just to the species in general but my body in particular, thinking them preternaturally huge and misshapen, neither of which they truly are. I try jostling myself out of it, but fail, and so succumb fully, unwillingly.

Monroe

“Are you Monroe?” he says with a Russian accent. He’s stopped his vehicle among others arriving at the airport terminal passenger pickup.

I say no. My name, the car service told me, would appear in the vehicle’s window along with the car number. I see neither. Move on, sir, with your awful late ’70s hairstyle and dour expression.

Ten minutes or so later, my cell rings. A Russian-accented man asks if I see his vehicle, hazard lights flashing. At first I don’t, but then look to my right several yards away, where a man stands outside a vehicle, cell to his ear.

Our eyes meet. I approach him and the vehicle. He lowers his phone and glares at me beneath the sweeping bangs of his ’70s mop.

“I asked you 15 minutes ago if you were waiting for Carmel,” he says, “and you said no.”

“Oh. I thought you asked if my name is Monroe. Which it’s not. I didn’t hear ‘Carmel’. Sorry.”

“Unbelievable,” he says, several times, reiterating a mumbled accented scolding.

Any time he takes a dark, desolate road on the way to Manhattan, I think he’s planning my murder. I’m only half-kidding.

I’ll bet he’s a magnificent father.

The goods

The Photo Not Taken, No. 1