When I was shopping for pantyhose at Fogel two years ago I wasn't considering how well they'd support a sugar pumpkin. I was worried about shoving my own pie thighs into them and looking fashionable, or at the very least, thinner, tanner, or something. I'm sitting here now, on an island off the Pacific northwest, admiring how well they have accommodated the girth of the sugar pumpkins I trellised in an old wine barrel months ago. Sabina, my ever supportive dog, looks on with two balls shoved into her mouth, unaware of the significance of this moment. I have to pause: my pumpkins are wearing pantyhose, and I am not.
Cinderella is not going to the ball. But she's daydreaming about one. Fall, 2002, Manhattan. My shared apartment on East 20th Street was in a corner building, sheltered from taxi packed 1st Avenue by a basketball court and a playground. It was close enough to work, that on the rare occasions exhaustion could pass for illness, I would walk home and observe the schoolchildren at play, untamed beneath my bedroom window. I was far from the wilds of nature, but the shrill sounds of laughing children felt organic enough, and I looked forward to them.