coming home

I was going to write about hiking from Penn Station to Rockefeller Center and into Central Park, then partway back, tugging my mini crimson roller bag over sidewalks and cobblestones. I was going to describe imbibing wine and nibbling exquisite fingerling potatoes at the Tavern on the Green patio bar with Jaimie, both of us dreaming of all that was and could be. I was going to gush over my lovely and generous hosts, Antoinette, Leo and Ivano Pulito, and the stellar meals I enjoyed at their Tribeca restaurant, Petrarca—melt-in-your-mouth eggplant Parmesan, potato gnocchi with pesto, creamy burrata, ricotta gnocchi scattered with shavings of summer truffles, Aperol and Prosecco Spritz, vino and cappuccino. If you live in Manhattan, you must dine there; tell them I sent you.

I was going to detail finally meeting a mutual friend of our young beloved who took his life last summer, mention holding her hand and weeping as we grieved and shared stories of him, our lost and sorely-missed brother. Thank you Meredith.

I was going to write about rooftop bars, boutique clothes, and enormous gourmet Italian food stores, skyscrapers, ambulances, lovely spring weather, spent petals falling like snow, and sudden downpours. I was going to tell about boxer puppies and sassy cats, cousins and sons, dear old homies from my Levi's days, and tweenage baseball games in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. I was going to rhapsodize about a sweet, thoughtful, brown-eyed eleven-year-old boy who shared his parents, pets and home with me, and who made me a perfectly strong coffee with cream, and a sublime strawberrry-banana-walnut breakfast salad with cinnamon sugar and Greek yogurt. I was going to tell of subways and schnitzel, annoyingly boisterous drunken white bros, and all the sights, sounds and aromas which make up splendid New York and its boroughs.

Instead, I feel compelled to tell you about the rare way Calvin greeted me when I came home from my long weekend away. My non-verbal, epileptic, autistic, incontinent, legally blind fifteen-year-old boy had spiraled into his agitated late-afternoon "ooh-oohs," feverishly spinning on the floor while working his arms, hands and fingers into a frenzy. I swept him up into my lap on the green couch and, to my delight and surprise, he hugged me tighter than I can remember. We remained in each other's arms for what seemed like a part of forever. Michael and Mary looked on in some amazement at his prolonged and calm embracing. I rubbed Calvin's back and told him how much I missed him. At least twice he kissed my nose—his mouth slightly open—then smiled when I tickled and smooched his neck, and told him that I loved him. Perhaps he knew—even if just viscerally—I had been gone for several days and now was home.

One World Trade Center (Freedom Tower) as seen from my host's back patio.


  1. Of course he knows. He KNOWS. He's in there and knows. And you've told it all beautifully. It makes me so happy that you had that time away. Do it again and again and again.

  2. I think perhaps that you had your own very special, private and unique "MOTHER'S DAY" !