The Raw Vegan, Part CXLIV: Survival

There I was, in the middle of Daffy’s experiencing who-knows-what. It could have been an episode with my heart. I’ve been told an EKG really isn’t good at diagnosing such unless it’s happening during the test. What I DO know is that I kept going. I knew if I sat down or ended up on the floor, that would be that and I’d wind up in the ER. I wasn’t going to let that happen. I kept breathing deeply and walking. I had to walk. I couldn’t stop or I might not be able to start again.

I was determined not to let on to DD that anything was wrong. I just told her, “We need to go back to the apartment.” She looked at me with a bit of a strange expression but agreed to go. The upcoming wedding was a distraction and I don’t think it ever occurred to her that anything was out of the ordinary. She probably though I was burned out on looking for a jacket.

We were clear downtown. I don’t know exactly where but the trip back to the apartment required lots of walking and riding the subway. I was ready to drop by the time we got where I actually could. It was such a relief to collapse across the bed for a little while.

Getting up, I went downstairs only to see DD and merm unpacking box after box—of produce. They had ordered food for the picnic reception and it had been delivered. I’d never seen the like. Beautiful broccoli. Mushrooms. Carrots. Celery. On and on. And then there were different cheeses. A friend had flown in from California and would be overseeing the preparation. She had her work cut out for her. I don’t know how he did it, but merm fit everything into the refrigerator. That was a feat in itself. I could imagine the sides were bulging from the load.

I made myself be sociable and it wasn’t hard considering the company. Everyone was so warm and friendly. When one of DD and merm’s friends discovered I hadn’t found a jacket, she told me she had one I could borrow. Wanting to know what I was wearing, I went upstairs and got my slacks. Yes, she thought her jacket would be perfect with them. She was a lot smaller but she said she was sure the jacket would fit. She’d bring it by the next day.

Downstairs below the apartment was where merm worked. He was helping with an outreach that took the form of an Internet cafe. They had tea and packaged snacks and computers. There was also wireless access and merm had set up a system to monitor everything. It was all quite high tech and impressive. The name of the establishment was Freeze Peach. Say it fast and you’ll get it. It was a neat place and a lot of people liked to come and hang out.

Sabbath morning, family and friends congregated at the cafe. It didn’t open in the morning so we were okay. When it did open on Sabbath, everything was donation only. Nothing was sold.

Our morning worship was relaxed. We all sat around and those who wanted to discuss discussed. There were some learned people there and I felt out of my depth so I kept quiet and listened.

After lunch, some of the crowd decided to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Considering what I’d been through the day before, I was part of the crowd that decided not to go. Instead, DD, merm, merm’s younger brother, and I went to Astoria Park not too many blocks from the apartment. It was beautiful there and the river was spanned by Hell Gate Bridge on one side and the Triborough Bridge on the other.

Astoria Park

Hell Gate Bridge

Hell Gate Bridge

The Manhattan skyline is in the background.

Triborough Bridge

It’s said that the Hell Gate Bridge is so well built that it would survive for a thousand years without any maintenance. When the last span was lifted into place, there was only a 1/2″ adjustment that had to be made to join everything together. That was quite an accomplishment, especially in the early 1900s.

The park is huge and we only saw a small part of it. It was nice to relax and enjoy the quiet because that wasn’t going to last long. Sabbath’s rest was exactly what I’d needed.

When the sun went down, everyone converged on the apartment and the work began. I was conscripted to help with the food. DD had an appointment with merm’s sister for a manicure. The coolers on wheels were merm’s department plus whatever else was assigned.

The friend in charge of the food preparation was a real organizer. She had anyone who could be spared from something else ranged around the table in the dining room. We had a regular assembly line going. The kitchen was so tiny that two people would have to choreograph their movements so kitchen staff was kept to a minimum.

When everything that could be done that night was done, merm’s sister sat me down for a manicure. After all, I was the mother of the bride. I had to have some pampering, too. She had done DD’s with French tips but mine were plain. That was okay. I didn’t need fancy. After all, I shouldn’t upstage DD.

The friend had brought the jacket over. I looked at the tag. Medium. She had to be kidding! I was an extra large. Talla extra grande. Then the miracle happened. She told me to try it on. I did and it fit! I couldn’t believe it. It had to be a large medium if there is such a thing. It was flowered with leaves that exactly matched the size 18 slacks I was planning to wear. I was all set.

Things began to quiet down and two by two, the people left. I said good night and climbed the stairs. The next day would be the busiest of all.

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