11 May 2015

The Curtain

Yesterday, for Mother's Day, I did the things one should do. In other words, I called my mother and all of the other people in my life who are mothers.

I probably could have gone to brunch with some straight women and gay men I know. Really.  Here in New York, there are restaurants and diners and cafes where you see exactly that:  divorced or otherwise single mothers within a decade or two of my age who may or may not have, or have had children, and men who--depending on when they "came out"--might have been married to such women.  Or, perhaps, they never were married, or they are married now to men and have kids.  Whatever the case, they take Mother's Day as seriously as anyone else.

I wouldn't have minded spending a quiet Sunday morning and/or afternoon with any of them.  But a mist sashayed across the higher windows of the taller buildings near my apartment and across the East River in Manhattan. But there was no threat of rain and, even though the sky was mostly overcast, it somehow hinted that the sun would come through.  And the air was pleasantly cool.

So, of course, I hopped on my bike--Arielle, my Mercian Audax,to be exact--and pedaled toward Forest Park, then the Rockaways.  As Woodhaven Boulevard turned to Beach Channel Boulevard, the mist fluttered like a scrim over treetops in front of low brick and shingle houses, and turned to a lazy ripple over the elevated train tracks of Liberty Avenue.  

After riding through Howard Beach, I glided--yes, I was feeling really good--across the bridge to a narrow strip of land that was nearly obliterated during Superstorm Sandy.  On either side of me, the mist hemmed the waves of Jamaica Bay.  Then, after I crossed another bridge into the Rockaways, I rode along the ocean.   The sun peeked out and gave the illusion of dissipating the clouds and fog.  Instead, the mist draped itself over houses and trees and the Atlantic Beach bridge, all just ahead of me.

That drape would not turn itself into a curtain of clouds or a shroud of rain.  Instead, it hung in the air--always about fifteen minutes ahead of me, it seemed--all the way to Point Lookout.

Then I rode with the mist behind me--and a veil of swirled clouds, again with no hint of rain, ahead of me all the way to the bridge from the Rockaways to Beach Channel.  On that strip of land almost lost to Sandy, the clouds broke.  I looked behind me:  The mist dissipated.  And sunlight filled the streets lined with patches of lawns and gardens that drank what fizzled and hissed from sprinklers.

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