Friday, June 22, 2007

Brooklyn Bound

8:30 PM on the 22nd (yesterday's entry was at 12:20 AM).

I don't feel like writing, but as I learned from school and from other writers: when you don't feel like writing, write anyway. So here goes...

I woke first at 5:30 AM, but I lingered in bed until 7:15 AM so that I could rest a little bit. My plan is to go slowly, but I'm straining as always to go fast. From my experience in Minnesota, slowly acclimating to a new environment is best. But yet, I strain.

Today went well. I bought groceries, cooked three meals, did the dishes after two (I have yet to wash dishes after dinner of awful pancakes which I'm eating now), and I was out and about quite often. I could have gone into Manhattan tonight, but I chose not to and I am glad because I have a touch of diarheah and I'm sore. Again, the key is to go slowly.

The Italians were warm and receptive today and I greeted Annabelle on her arrival and departure. My patterns are random yet, but I do need to communicate and I'm thankful for the Italians.

Most of today involved finding Internet access and I walked by a new Internet cafe three or four times before I finally realized what it was. The first Internet cafe that I tried had the feel of an opium house with dingy, dirty hallways, cramped rooms with zombie-like teens and adults all staring at the lumniscent screens.

Later after I returned from the latter cafe, I found an unsecured wireless network from the apartment so I covertly logged in and retrieved and sent my e-mail. From e-mail, I learned that John and Cathy returned to Minnesota safely and I hope that John gets the medical attention that needs. The dear Italians all ask how John is and describe how ill he was. I'll be happy to report tomorrow that he's home and getting medical attention (whatever that may be).

The Italians also referred me to a now closed junkyard where I was going to ask for a car door handle. My handle is ready to fall off and I won't be able to unlock my car if the handle breaks completely. I should bite the bullet and buy new door locks, but I'm afraid to learn the cost.

But learning a wider area was fun during my wanderings to the grocery store, the Internet cafe, and McDonald's and the non-existent junkyard. The cashiers in the grocery store were stereotypical Brooklynites. The slender woman gossiped with the other cashiers during the entire time that she checked out my purchases. Inside I grinned from ear to ear.

One of the Italians, Alfie, mentioned watching soccer on TV and that spawned a great conversation because in his day, Alfie played a lot of soccer. I explained that I have my spikes and soccer ball and he referred me to the TV channels that carry the games and pointed out a few places that I could find a game.

The heat, the exercise, and the overwhelming newness of everything caught up with me in the late afternoon so I lay down and slept. When I woke, I wasn't hungry so I decided to make a little garden in the backyard. I carved out a 2x3 foot patch of dirt and shook out the weeds. I planted basil and green beans.

After this, I contemplated various activities for the evening. I was recluctant to go into the City so I decided to take my camera and sit at sunset park until dusk. I walked past the Finn's house in case she saw me and wanted to talk (I don't have her number yet), but I didn't rouse her attention.

When I entered the park, I saw hundreds of people playing games, sitting, walking, talking and laughing. There were so many children that I felt safe. Funny how safety for children indicates safety for all. The parental urge is such a strong, reliable bond.

There is basketball in the park, but what struck me was the soccer. Numerous games sprung out of the community in uneven, often dusty fields. I Watched for 45 minutes or longer a playful bunch of Mexicans play soccer and laughed and smiled at the hijinx of their game. The Italian's earlier words of, 'Just show up and you'll start to fit into their games.' Rang in my ears and I think that eventually, I'll join their games. Playing tonight was problematic because I had a tripod, my digital camera, and wallet that I couldn't secure so it was good to watch and occasionally return a stray ball to the game.

While watching the game, I felt fear for the first time when a man who did not look healthy nor happy walked up to sit on benches facing away from the field. He had two people in tow and used winks, whistles, and smiles to attract others to him. However, we met eyes a few times, blankly-neutral, and he ended up watching the game and laughing along with the small crowd. But his unhealthy aura made me uneasy. The first of many, I'm sure.

So tonight I returned to the apartment, made these awful, thick pancakes, a cup of tea, a glass of tap water and I write. The air was cool and crisp today in the 60s and now the temperatures fell to the 40s and 50s. A window is open because of a smoky mishap while cooking pancakes, so I feel occasional puffs of cool air on my bare feet.

I'm getting sleepy so I think that I'll turn in soon and wake before sunrise to explore and take photos of Brooklyn waking up. Tomorrow I will venture into Manhattan and go to B&H Photo super store and find a better camera strap and a lens and camera cleaning tool. And I nearly forgot that I stopped at Sammy's and he's apparently going to call me tomorrow to see if I can get some work as a photographer.

Brooklyn bound and signing off.

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