I’m sure many of you have been wondering what I was doing in Copenhagen. The short answer is, “A lot.” I wrote something for the art journal, hyperallergic. Just a snapshot of what happened that first afternoon in the MAD4 red circus tent.
We climbed the stairs to the Highline and found the closest place to sit: a bleacher-style overlook on to 10th Avenue. We had left Juli behind to take care of business. She does a brisk business selling man-eating alligators and sharks. I felt a little bad leaving her behind.
“You trust us to save you a piece, right?”
“I should think so!” She said.
So here we were, Michele, Marco, Kanishka and I, gossiping about the invention of the internet. I was teasing Marco for being so grumpy that he almost grumped himself out of pie. But here we were eating pie together after all (even Marco) while teenage tourists stepped about us with their selfie sticks.
I had the presence of mind to stash a slice for Juli before we passed the pie around for seconds (we almost forgot).
This is the last morsel of my last slice of pie.
Juli ate hers standing among her colorful creatures, having a private moment right there in front of everyone. Then the very last piece of pie was gone.
I met Sawad on the top deck of a certain pier for tacos and the first slice of the last pie of the year.
There’s not much more to say except that he had more than one slice.
I woke up Wednesday to half a pie that had walked around in the rain the day before, talked politics in a pilates studio and gone to see an animation set to Dark Side of the Moon with new lyrics. So I had a slice for breakfast.
By late afternoon, the pie was quite recovered and ready for mischief. We met Tom at a fancy, highbrow bakery. The pie ordered a chichi coffee drink. Talk turned to adventures in the animal kingdom:
A few days before, Tom was painting in his garage studio when he noticed three beautiful birds on his front lawn pecking at something in the grass. Just then he saw a bunny nearby. “How idyllic,” he thought. It brought to mind the painting, Peaceable Kingdom. The lion and the lamb…you get it. The next thing he knew, there was a lot of noise, the rabbit had one birds in his mouth and was shaking the hell out of it. He says it’s a true story. Why shouldn’t I believe him?
Last stop: A and D’s Sky Terrace. There we executed a prisoner swap of sorts. The pie plate I had left behind on Saturday (that had held half a pie saved for Nan’s birthday) in exchange for two extra slices of pie for A and D.
The weather Tuesday morning was a bloody mess. I would be lying if I said my spirits were high. It felt like all of New York City (and perhaps the world) was a suspended over a big boiling cauldron of soupy, gloppy, clingy steam. It felt like putting your face in a terrarium that hadn’t been opened in a while. Air so thick I could see it clinging to my window. But somehow I summoned the courage to turn the oven to 400˚F and bake. And then commute.
“At least there would be pie,” I said cheerily, before my umbrella turned inside out and the handle fell off.
As the day progressed the weather got worse. Big black clouds dropping thunder and lightning, then the cats and dogs turned into cougars and wolves.
I had planned a picnic. Ugh. Much back-and-forthing. Finally an inside place for us to meet. Then came the excuses and regrets until finally there were just three of us.
Three of us found ourselves sitting on Pilates equipment on a black, black early evening. Sheets of rain outside.
I hadn’t planned it. Pie makes for strange bedfellows. But in this case, both Eriola and Regina had just come back from the same troubled region of the world. Though they didn’t know each other til this night, they were each writing reports on the region. Over pie, we discussed the complicated and bloody landscape of the region. Slice by slice, its history of hatreds dating back more centuries than one cared to count. Slice by slice, violence upon violence, until today’s sad powder keg of disagreements and promises unkept.