Wednesday, April 3, 2013


     It's taken you the better part of five decades to appreciate fully your own company.  You've been lunching by yourself for years, even dining, going to the movies.  But there was always a bit of a regret, a feeling of being left out of the party.  Now, finally, you have realized the joy of solitude.  The freedom of doing whatever you want, whenever you want it.  

     This Monday you go to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the Picasso exhibit.  But first you must eat lunch.  The cafeteria is not crowded; the museum is not crowded.  The joys of Mondays.  You order couscous salad, coffee, and a parfait before sitting down in the back to read your book and do the NYT crossword puzzle.  After a while you go up to see Picasso's drawings, paintings, ceramics, whatnot.  Too many art works to absorb.  The famous ones you've seen before.  You walk through the galleries and stop in front of the portrait of Leonid Massine.  Why?  Because you know his daughter and son-in-law.  Amazing, ain't it?  Talk about small world.  Massine was a famous dancer and choreographer of the Ballet Russes, worked with Diaghilev, and Picasso was his friend.  His son-in-law is a colleague and friend of David's.  A poster dealer who lives in New York.  After a while the sensory overload forces you to seek refuge in the Member's Lounge.  You sit in a plush orange sofa and read, check email (there is Wi-Fi!), rest - your feet under you (without shoes of course).  The lounge is also mercifully not crowded.  After another while you go out the Modern Wing way and see the "They Seek a City" exhibit.  

     You love this exhibit.  Such amazing works about the migrations to Chicago from the early 20th century.  A painting by Emil Armin calls your attention.  That's your friend's Mike Armin's uncle.  Another small world moment.  Works by Motley, Cattlet, Ellison, Rivera, so many more.  You must tell everyone about it.  You must also come back to look again, slowly, and absorb it.  At the gift shop you purchase a long-needed umbrella; then make your way to the Macy's Flower Show.


     Pictures speak better (and louder and more colorfully) than words.  You love the smell of the hydrangeas, bougainvilleas, bromeliads, jasmines, aloe, neon pothos, cardamom, oleander, and so many many more flowers and plants.  The Indian music adds a sense of calm; the entire place tells you "come, sit, relax, close your eyes and let go."  You promise to go back again before it's taken away.  After, you sit in the small, yellow cafe next door and read some more, enjoy the solitude.  

     What a day you've had!  The best date in a long time.  And it was just with yourself.  The best company ever.