afternoon engagements part 1
part 1 of 2
Annick (my 28 year old sister) came down to NYC, from Boston, for a day visit. It was one of those warm, cerulean days between Christmas and New Years. Annick’s in a surgical residence, in a pandemic, but still somehow, she got away.
We’re dining on a shaded, outdoor, sundeck - I arrived first, by a moment but then the elevator opened and Annick emerged, looking like a model - familiar but I don’t know - more completely adult - more than ever like my mom. It was all I could do not to weep for happiness when we hugged.
After that long hug, Annick gave my clothes a slow, censorious looking-over. When my mom and I shopped for “school clothes” last year, in Paris, I bought some stunning designer (Anna Molinari) clothes - only to find out they were completely out of place at Yale. Now they’re sentenced to a trunk under my bed and my replacement clothes are from FatFace and Patagonia.
I’ve been dressing to disappear but I wanted her to see a “new me.” How I’ve survived in a rough, academic country - not just survived - but thrived. I also wanted her to think her sister was beautiful and hoped I didn’t seem too strange. She cupped my chin - just like my mom does - “You look wonderful,” she said.
Annick mentioned we’d have company for lunch but she was alone - then this tall, fair-haired, man was with us. He slipped his arm around Annick’s waist and they smiled, together. I’d never met one of Annick's boyfriends before so this was a little disconcerting - part of me wanted to pull her away and say, “MINE!”
Annick made the introductions, “Anais, this is Gerard - Gerard, Anais.” Gerard leaned into la bise then half hugged me, patting me bearishly on the back. I decided he was too tall and too handsome and began to examine him for flaws.
He wore a dark-charcoal-gray cashmere suit with a light-gray oxford-cloth shirt. “Are you always so dapper?” I asked? “I wanted to look substantial,” he said, with a very slight French accent. He held me at arm’s length. “You’re definitely sisters,” he said, smiling.
We settled in. At first we were a little stilted with each other, uncertain how to best introduce ourselves. Annick said that Gerard is a “Child Neurologist.” “Funny,” I said, “you look older.” and he laughed. I was warming to him.
Copyright © Anais vionet | Year Posted 2022
Poetrysoup is an environment of encouragement and growth so only provide specific positive comments that indicate what you appreciate about the poem.
to post a comment