I’m sitting in a sleepy…

I'm sitting in a sleepy New England train station, sunlight slanting in through stained glass, old brass ceiling fans still on the ceiling, unneeded on a perfect May morning. There's a slight crispness to the air at seven-thirty, a cool breeze drifting through the open door. Soon it'll be toasty warm inside, but by then I'll be on my train, heading through Meriden, Wallingford, changing trains in New Haven, then Bridgeport, Stamford, New Rochelle, all the way to New York, Penn Station. I'll get a cup of tea from the cafe car, and hopefully do some writing and revising -- I haven't managed to do any yet this trip. But it's been productive nonetheless -- productive in the relaxing, spending time with friends and family, calming down kind of way. I can't even manage to feel any anxiety about everything I'll need to get done in Chicago tonight, tomorrow, Thursday morning, before leaving for Madison. What happens, happens. It's all good.


Highlights of the trip:

  • Meeting with Duncan in Melcher's new offices (in the newly-refinished first floor of Charles Melcher's house), discussing a possible third waterproof book, series editing for the possible CYO's. We talked for an hour and a half, and didn't cover at least a third of what we'd planned. I still find it exciting, even though I've been doing it for a few years now, meeting with actual New York editors, in actual New York.

  • Lunch with Alex and his new girlfriend Ajna, at a Greek restaurant (yes, even in New York, I end up eating Greek food). So good to just see him again, and she seems quite pleasant and pretty, despite fighting a brutal cold.

  • Huddling with Alex against the rainy sharp cold, our ferry cancelled due to equipment failure; taking shelter in a nearby deli and buying microwave-warmed chicken parmesan sandwiches; not tasty, but fortifying, and sorely needed. But Ajna found us in time to catch the next ferry with us, so it wasn't entirely a bad thing that the first was cancelled; she leaned on Alex and tried to maintain composure on the long ferry ride, in a minor storm, as the ferry bucked and heaved its way through the lifting swells, against the wind. Some of the drops were so sharp that I actually flew up out of my seat momentarily. Exciting!

  • Saturday morning in the new jacuzzi on Alex's balcony, with its view of tall trees and the ocean shore in the distance. Hot Ceylon tea and lots of massaging bubbles; a chance to really catch up, and discuss the future (which included a sizeable donation from Alex for Strange Horizons, now that we're tax-exempt -- yay! -- along with a promise to join our board and help manage our finances if we manage to save enough money to make that worthwhile. Visions of building an endowment to ensure the long-term stability of the magazine danced through my head. A very tempting dream...how hard can it be, to raise three hundred thousand dollars?

  • Changing in the train to black cocktail dress, heels; putting on make-up at a station stop, getting ready to rush off to Mirna's dinner-dance at the hospital. Eating surf-and-turf and drinking wine with her and her colleagues and Sharmi. Dancing in a room full of almost-doctors. I'd be back in that room (the cafeteria, re-decorated) Sunday, for Mirna's awards luncheon.

  • Coming back to my parents house and taking the small cousins outside: Sharlini, Ryan, Senthil (who tried to teach me how to throw a football, with little success). Sharmi and I kicked a soccer ball with them, and then at some point, Sharmi and Senthil were collared by my father to help with some chores, and I led Ryan and Sharlini into the little patch of woodland next to the house, past the spot where once I built a plywood fort with a roof of leaves and branches, down to the little creek, run-off from the reservoir. We got our sneakers thoroughly muddy, and ourselves thoroughly sweaty, but no one got any ticks, and it was overall a marvellous time.

  • Sunday at my sister's graduation, sitting with about fifteen family members (perhaps a third of the actual full clan), watching her sitting there with a tremendous grin stretched across her face, probably the happiest doctor in the room. My little sister's a doctor! This is the same child who used to fight with me over Barbie dolls! Hey -- are they sure they know what they're doing?!!

  • And then a long evening with the relatives, where all difficult topics were cheerfully avoided (for the most part), and champagne was poured (just a bit), and much curry was consumed. We stayed up too late, toasting Mirna's fabulous success. The first doctor on my mother's side of the family, and only the second female doctor on my father's side. Yay! Woohoo!!!

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