In this cloistered age of Covid, I sleep a lot. Most days I sleep until noon. The best dreams happen in the morning just before waking. Today I had the most marvelous dream.
I am walking along Fifth Avenue. Many people are strolling the avenue — not rushing and bustling as they do on 42nd Street, just ambling, enjoying the sunshine and the camaraderie of the city.
I am the age I am now, in my seventies, and wearing an olive green shirt, tan suit, a camel hair coat and brown fedora, and a polished pair of tan shoes. I am a boulevardier.
I come to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, climb the steps and go inside. It is quite crowded. A lovely civilized and relaxed gathering of people walking about in thoughtful contemplation.
My attention is immediately drawn to a beautiful young woman with black hair who is seated at an information booth. I walk over to her and ask her directions to something or other, I forget the details.
We engage in a tête-à-tête. She seems quite taken with me and becomes beguilingly amorous. We talk about the city and its many charms.
She tells me she lives in the Village — Greenwich Village — and she tells me the address — 421 Tweet Street.
Tweet, I repeat, like a bird?
Like a bird, she says. Now I hope that odd street name has nothing to do with Twitter and “tweeting,” which would mar my wonderful dream with mundanity, so let’s say it has nothing to do with Twitter and everything to do with birds. I picture a quiet cobbled street bordered by trees.
She suggests that if I’m ever in the neighborhood to drop in. I say something to the effect that she is quite young and I am rather old — but she appears to care not about that.
I am in the foyer about to leave, but I am without my hat and coat, which I apparently removed at some point in the dream. I see them in a chair by the door. I don the coat and place the hat on my head and go outside into the sunshine.
I stand at the top of the steps and look at the people and the taxis on Fifth Avenue.
Ah, New York! I remember it well. I long for it now.