I just got home from a nice night out with T– and her family. She was my best friend from the time I was 5 until we went away to college. We kept in touch after that, but this is the first time I’ve seen her in a decade. Much like the visit to Raleigh, it was wonderful to see her and yet strangely disorienting.
There’s a sense of utter recognition. I know her mannerisms, her sense of humor, her personality and yet the details of day to day life are all vastly different now. The blend of familiar and new is odd.
In many ways, it’s been the same driving around town. I’ll turn a corner and be struck by the utter familiarity of the place, and have solid memories come back in association but I completely lack an internal map of Raleigh anymore. It’s a whole bunch of individual memories, but I’ve lost sense of the whole.
After dinner, we went back to her parents house, where she grew up, which was also utterly familiar and yet completely new.
Mrs. W– served peach cobbler. If I hadn’t been utterly nostalgic already, this would have broken me. I wish I could have stayed longer.
Today was hands down the most fun I’ve had with Peter so far. We stopped to get bagels and he walked me up to the theater. It was a short day for me as I just needed to finish the angel wings and get them primed.
After that, we headed down to the theater to see Avenue Q. The seats were in the very, very last row of the theater, but it’s such a small house that it didn’t feel that far away. It’s been a couple of year since I’ve seen the show, but it was as fun as I remembered it.
The bonus came afterwards. My friend, Jen Barnhart, is an original cast member of Avenue Q and gave us a backstage tour afterwards. Amoung the other characters, she’s the girl Bad Idea Bear and was totally game for photos with Peter.
We were both sort of bouncy after the show so walked home from the theater. We stopped halfway for a late dinner and then just kept walking because the night was so pleasant. Peter was belting out songs from the show, although I suggested that “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” might not be the best choice at 11:00 on a NYC street. I was surprised that he has the songs mostly memorized.
Oh! The other highlight of the evening. At one point he said something which prompted me to say, “I find your rationale dubious.”
Peter said, “Why do adults think teens always have to have a reason for doing things? We don’t. We’re totally random and just do stuff. There’s no reason, we’re teenagers.”
Today was long, but very good. I got the ARCs for Scenting the Dark in the mail, which was pretty darn exciting. I wasn’t looking for them to arrive, so I hauled them up to my production meeting although I did not actually give in and show them off. Here they are, next to the signature sheets.
From there I swung by the apartment to collect Peter and we went to see August: Osage County. Rob was supposed to join us, but then couldn’t so I gave his ticket to an old puppeteer friend who I hadn’t spent time with in ages. It was great catching up although I think that bored Peter. He reports that the play was good. I’m pleased, I must say, by the fact that my nephew wasn’t put off by being taken to a pretty heavy bit of theater. Bleakly funny though it is.
We went out for Italian for dinner and then came back to the apartment so I could get some work done. He’s used to having his xbox 360 so is a little restless in the apartment. We wound up going for a walk around 9:00, up to the Hungarian Pastry shop and then around the Columbia campus, just shooting the breeze.
It was a good day. If only I didn’t still have work to do.
When a friend calls and says, “My birthday is coming up. Do you want to have dinner with ninjas or dimsum?” The choice is clear. So, tonight, I had dinner at Ninja New York.
Not surprisingly, I had trouble finding the restaurant.
Once there, a ninja led us into the bowels of the building where a “feudal” Japanese village had been recreated. Because I was late, Iwound up following a family with three little boys into the restaurant. The ninja asked, “Do you want to go to your table the safe way or the ninja way?”
“Ninja way!” Three little boys, and I, chorused.
The ninja way was through a twisty and extremely dark passage built into the wall that led you up and down stairs back to a few feet from where we started, albeit on the other side of the door.
Dinner was fun, mostly because I think we were all determined to wring every bit of fun out of the experience. Otherwise… well, you know, ninjas are not trained to be waiters. Ours said that he’d majored in Forensic Astronomy and Ninja. He was pretty funny all evening, but more of the ironic, hip version of ninja.
When I left the restaurant and got on the subway, my car and the car in front of it had no passengers. For three stops, the train would stop, the doors opened and no one got on.
I couldn’t help wondering if the ninjas had gone out and slaughtered everyone while we’d been in the restaurant.
(Tor Books – July 14 2020) Mary Robinette Kowal continues her Hugo and Nebula award-winning Lady Astronaut series, following The Calculating Stars and The Fated Sky, with The Relentless Moon. The Earth is coming to the boiling point as the climate disaster of the Meteor strike becomes more and more clear, but the political situation is already overheated. Riots and […]