Soup Day

I stopped off at the East Marion post office on my way out to the city the other day, and there were five elderly people in that tiny box all at once, hobbling around, their red, runny noses pressed up against the little combination dials, because it gets to the point that no matter how strong your spectacles, you just can’t see. (I’m there.) One of them said to the others, because of the cold, “It’s a soup day,” and they all assented in their own ways, rustling giveaways and bills and Christmas cards they were pulling out of their now-opened slots. I could hear Linda, the other postmaster, from behind the wall of PO Boxes, talking to the old folks like Oz from behind the curtain: “Soup Day, yes.” This is about as exciting as it gets in East Marion (which is pretty exciting, actually).

Then today I was rushing towards the Hearst Building near Columbus Circle, my computer and plugs and books and chargers and notebooks and toothbrush and medications and vitamins on my back, the wind blowing hard in my face, and I was cutting my fingernails with a clipper I’d just bought at the Duane Reade on 57th Street. You can’t have lunch in the Hearst Cafeteria with compost under your claws. People were blowing by, their feet getting wrecked on concrete, not missing the sound of waves, the deer on the porch. I don’t think they were offended by my clippings, though I thought, “This is not right, Deitch! It’s gauche, and also kind of gross. These will not mix with the earth and make a difference for the better.” But I had already overstayed my welcome elsewhere: two friends’ houses (warm beds), multiple Starbucks (phone charging, email checking, working). Sometimes you’re just forced to take it outside.

Anyway, I miss my homes—my home homes and my people homes. Even though I don’t know for sure, I imagine that it’s soup day in each of those places. Soup up, my loves: stay warm. I love you.


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