Autumn is a series of dreams remembered when you wake. The first, a dream within a dream, describing to a friend’s sister the way you traverse the streets, floating, flying several feet above the ground. The city is not yours, more old world, like a combination of Paris and Providence. The friend keeps trying to tug you back down; you don’t know why he insists on staying earthbound.
The second a giant studio/bedroom for you within a building set in a forest. You can watch different animals come and go through the two large windows set on two walls. Along another wall is a door with shutters and a row of thin windows with shutters that all face out into the hallway. A head pops in and says hello—another artist—but he does this with all the windows and you tell him how disconcerting it is. The bed is high up off the ground, tilted because it partly rests on a row of overturned chairs that, when taken away, turn into bicycle parts.
In the third, you are in Italy with your family. You arrive at a restaurant where the mussels are tasteless and the pasta nothing special except for its shape like old fashioned candies, oblong and frilled on the ends. Where are we, you ask, and your older sister says, we’re in Sicily. I thought the food would be better, you say carefully. She says she’s never been to this particular restaurant before. There is something wrong with the car which has an exposed engine. And then you think, oh, we were supposed to go to Italy in March but right now, it is autumn! We shouldn’t be here! Turns out your older sister forgot to make the fall cancellation and so here you guys all are, in Italy, with another Italy trip in the spring.
Rainy and gloomy here in New York, a drop of 30 degrees since Wednesday. My view, the building across the street, all wide windows and patio furniture. Thinking about thinking, about capturing a feeling, an atmosphere, on paper. Thinking about how to see that New England autumn foliage again, how it shocks you with its beauty, as though you’d never seen such a thing before. Thinking about the conference I went to last weekend at Brown on media and culture, the people I met, the inspiring way others move and think in the world. Thinking about time and then wondering when the Asian American Writers Workshop will post the video for the Tash Aw and Ruth Ozeki talk because damn, was that a good talk and I want to share it with everyone.
Back to work now.