I thought Sundays were for essaying. How did I used to say it? I used to say, the “ess” in Sunday is for essaying.
Some time in June, I dreamt of a pair of words in German. Or anyway, in my dream the words were in German.
(Of course I do not speak German. Not even in my dreams...)
The words were Outtag and Intag, for outer day and inner day. And for once, I woke up with them. For once the dream’s pieces were still floating close enough to reach out to and pull back and carry over, from dreaming to dream–thinking to eventually, mostly, thinking:
What if each of your days is actually an outer day and an inner day?
What if you knew to know the difference?
Elsewhere in the month (and I think of a poet in San Miguel, saying elsewhen...), I walk to a place over by San Niccolò, and work with a woman who works with my body. She asks me how I am, and I ask her if she’s seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s, because today feels like Holly Golightly’s “mean reds.”
Today’s inner day, anyway.
It’s been years now, that every time I think of those mean reds from the movie, I think too, of Van Gogh:
But now it’s 1889, his last year. He is painting the canvas that will come to be known as The Hospital Grounds at Saint Remy when he sees a new colour. He sees, he writes to Emile Bernard, “a ray of sunshine, exalted into orange, dark ochre... you will understand that this combination of red ochre, green saddened with grey, black strokes encircling the outlines, this produces a little of the sense of anguish which often afflicts certain of my unfortunate comrades, and which is called black-red.”
Nobody has caught, nobody before him has tried to identify, the color of anguish.
Anyway. Of course she’s seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she answers. Of course.
I think of a movie theatre in lower Manhattan that was walking distance from where Lindsay and I lived, on Carmine. They would screen Breakfast at Tiffany’s every Sunday afternoon, all year long, forever. And they had a proper café off to the side: good silverware on cream-colored linens, maybe scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, things like that. It was brunch, not breakfast. But still, you could get a combo-ticket to have brunch, and then go in to watch the movie. I went more than once. But I remember one time, there was a father and a daughter sitting at a table nearby, exuding so much specialness from their day that it wafted over to me like weather.
That was also the theatre I once walked over to, because I was craving movie-theatre popcorn—but only the popcorn. I skipped the movie and came right home, the soft cardboard tub still warm in my hands.
And it’s gone of course, that theatre. It wasn’t forever, after all.
Meanwhile, June elongates. I meet a young man who tells me poetry isn’t poetry unless it rhymes.
I dream of my oldest aunt, the one who might have been murdered, except I could tell my mother never wanted me to ask. In my dream I am traveling somewhere different in Italy, and I bump into her. “Noni?” I can’t believe it’s her.
It turns out she was here this whole time. She hadn’t died, she’d just left, without telling anyone in the family. There had been a misunderstanding, and she had left it—she had left the misunderstanding to be misunderstood.
Something like that.
In my dream she doesn’t say much about it, but she shrugs like she doesn’t need to.
Not to me anyway.
It’s one of those nested dreams. So when I wake up from the dream of meeting her, I’m in an outer dream. In the outer dream, I’m sobbing convulsively.
Eventually, I wake from that one too.
[Santo Spirito, Firenze | domenica 25 giugno 2023 ore 16:07:04] [¶]
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