Yesterday morning I called up Steve Johnson in Denver, who agreed to talk to me even though it was his birthday and I was keeping him from his morning motorcycle ride. Steve is a charming man who has been chronicling the misdeeds of the USA Boxing leadership on the Examiner.com and on the blog Inside Boxing.
Ethan prowled around the living room while I talked, looking adorable and bringing me bowls of raspberries.
After an hour with Steve I got a call from Christy Halbert, the fairy godmother of women's boxing. A sociology PhD and former pro fighter, Christy knows everything there is to know about our sport and is largely responsible for its new Olympic status. I had a great time talking to her and got some new writing ideas from bouncing ideas off her brillinat brain.
Then I ate some apples with almond butter and headed out to my wonderful gym, the Atlas Cops and Kids Boxing Club in Flatbush Gardens. I'd been hoping the week I spent running at altitude would give me better wind, but nothing is as hard as boxing.
"I can hear you breathing, Sarah!" Sosa chided as he worked pads with me. "Stop looking at the clock!"
On the way out, Coach Tito gave me some yams, yuca, and a mango. My boxing gym is like a big happy family, only, unlike my real family, the men stick around.
I checked my iphone as I walked to the subway and saw an email from Wendy, my editor at the Threepenny Review. The subject was "Pushcart" and the first line was "Dear Sarah, Great news!" My heart lifted. Writing's lonely and sometimes I feel like nobody notices how hard I'm working. It was a great bump to find out that my essay Skydive made it into the upcoming anthology. I vow to use this as motivation to finish revising my memoir proposal with my mom.
I rode the train to Columbus Circle in a happy trance, fast forwarding through any song on my iphone that was not hip hop or uptempo R&B. My next stop was the 56th Street New York Health and Racquet Club for my 6:30-7:40 PM vinyasa yoga class. I ate a Clif Bar on my way there.
There were six students in the class, and it was an unusually good vibe. I told them all to set their own private intentions at the beginning, and I suggested "joy" if they couldn't think of anything. We did a lot of hip openers and some restorative backbends, and during savasana I recited this Kay Ryan poem that I love:
wider than one
natives in their
a place with
its own harvests.
Or that in
from the genuine
I love this poem so much that I always want to recite it during final relaxation, but I restrain myself. Somehow it just felt appropriate yesterday. At the end, two of the students told me that patience had been their intention!
I took the subway to West Fourth Street, where I had a few hours to kill before the Bad Plus's second set at the Blue Note, so I roamed Greenwich Village in search of dinner. By this time I was starving and kind of wanted to splurge on fancy food but I didn't want to break my streak of eating mostly plants. Magically, Cafe Blossom manifested itself. I sat at the bar, where I was served fancy schmancy vegan cuisine by a beautiful, tattooed riot grrrl named Avalon who was named after one of my favorite childhood novels.
Avalon suggested the seitan marsala, which was delicious. Ethan and I have been talking a lot about irony lately, and so I was interested to note that Avalon spoke two sentences whose figurative meaning was basically the opposite of their literal meaning: "We don't judge" (in response to my not-at-all apologetic statement that I wasn't a strict vegan) and "It is not a pyramid scheme" (a propos of a certain energy drink).
I got to the Blue Note in time to hang out with Dave King's daughter Ella before the show and admire the cool magnetic toy from the Gugenheim gift shop with which she constructed metal snowflakes and stars. We sat drum side, close enough to see her father's feet. The night before I had sat right behind my husband and contemplated the plaintive quality of his piano tone and how fitting it is that we use the word "sweet" to describe both cake and music. Maybe on Sunday I'll sit in the center so I can focus on Reid.
Drawing from Ken Parris series 104 Work Weeks
I had forgotten that Andrea was coming to the show and got a jolt of pleasure when she came to say hi. The Merce Cunningham dancers have been scattered to the winds in the wake of their guru's passing, but Andrea has landed on her lovely feet. We closed down two places and I threw caution to the winds and had two Manhattans. On the ride home, Ethan told Andrea's new boyfriend that he was a beautiful, strong man with a great name who could accomplish anything and that he was therefore reminiscent of David Boreanaz from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I've always loved Ethan for being the rare straight man who will say such things.
We watched a great episode of Buffy when we got home, Lovers Walk, the one where Spike wants to cast a love spell on Drusilla but decides it's not worth it.
"I'm going to do what I should have done in the first place," he says. "I'll find her, wherever she is, tie her up, torture her till she likes me again. Love's a funny thing."
We finally went to bed around four.