Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Missing a friend

I go outside early in the day, way too early so I can pick up some clothes from the tailor around the corner, a few things I was getting mended and the tailor is moving so she asked me to pick them up right away. It's another heat wave day so I'm scared of going out so early, but actually it feels okay on this side of the street, the shady side -- it's hot but dry and I brace myself for the sunny side, but somehow it feels okay too and when I get to the store everything is outside on the sidewalk, all the fixtures and some things on racks for sale, I'm not sure if the fixtures are for sale too. Inside people are putting the remaining items in bags and the tailor smiles and comes over, Wendy is her name, I say where are you moving? She walks outside to get the address -- it was so sudden, she says, I didn't have time to make cards.

Grant and Pine -- somehow I didn't think it would be so far away, actually I thought it would be right around the corner so she could keep all her business. I say how come you’re moving? She doesn't understand, I say are you moving because of the rent, did they raise the rent? She says the rent, and she moves her hands way up in the air, oh. She says thank you for your support of the business, I hope to see you again. I want to hug her, but I'm guessing that would be inappropriate. I want to say oh, that's too far, I won't be able to get over there to keep repairing all of my clothes as they continue to fall apart, it's hard enough to get here, two blocks away. Instead I say I hope so.

Walking outside, I'm so exhausted I can't imagine how I'm going to do anything else today. Now it feels humid out, the air thick and filled with the soot from the tandoori ovens, like usual. I thought she was leaving because the shop was so successful, because she's always busy and so she found a bigger space, somewhere where she can continue with the same clientele. But it's just another gentrification casualty -- I feel silly because I'm mourning the loss of a relationship that only consisted of hi, how are you? A wave or a smile when walking by. And paying her to fix my blue corduroys for the third or fourth or fifth time, to patch the lining of my tapestry coat again, this time a different part that had become threadbare. I even start crying a little like I'm missing a friend, probably I'm emotional because I haven't eaten anything yet, I haven't eaten anything and I already went outside in the heat but also I need to develop more relationships with people in this transitory neighborhood where I feel rooted, relationships across race and class and age and aesthetic I think that would give me more of a sense of belonging in a substantive way. But I'm so exhausted that it's hard to do more than take my clothes to the shop to get them altered.

No comments: