Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rain and Wind

I went to graduate school in New York City, and my mother used to come and visit us there, in our one-bedroom apartment on Tiemann Place just off of Riverside Drive, a block from the Cotton Club and 125th Street in Harlem. When we first told her we'd found a place, she had visions of a tiny, dirty apartment in a dingy building, and we did nothing to disabuse that notion. She arrived in due time, armed with mops and scrub brushes and ready to do battle with filth and vermin, only to discover she'd be had: our apartment there was clean and spacious, with plenty of light through large windows facing south and west.

I share the following brief excerpt because it demonstrates her gift for words. Notice her attention to the sounds of a place. In just a few lines, she takes me right back to New York City, years ago, on a night of wind and rain ...

Dec. 2, 1996

Dear Peter,

It poured rain all Saturday night and into Sunday. Rain and wind. New York City is quiet in bad weather. Few sirens and car alarms. Only the subway train whooshing by in the night and the sound of the rain beating against the windows.

1 comment:

Nanette said...

I love reading about your mom.
Thanks for sharing her life with us!