B: Oh no! The bathroom’s locked.
Es: That’s okay. I guess I’ll just pee in my stockings.
Em: That’s much worse than peeing in your pants. The stockings will trap the urine.
B: Although stockings will be easier to clean than pants would be.
Es: But what about my suede boots?
I’ve been gloriously spoiled lately in terms of society. Friends abounding! Friends everywhere! Look, there’s one hiding the bushes, waiting to play breakfast Scrabble. And look, over there, a cluster of them — they have the table all set for a dinner that will last until the restaurant closes. Behind you! Watch out! That one’s going to make you spend the entire afternoon walking in the sunlight, down the spine of Boerum Hill and back and then over through Cobble Hill to Carrol Gardens for pizza and back to Brooklyn Heights so she can pass out in your bed. (Here, map.)
And on top of that, Mr. Ben, on his way back from a party in Williamsburg Saturday night, bought a hardcopy of the New York Times. I woke up like Sara Crewe, astonished to discover that, overnight, someone had effected such an important change in the room: there it sat, waiting for me, the huge darling paper bundle! I could pick sections, and spread out across my bed, and lounge in the warm light, turning pages, and for one all-too-brief moment not be looking at a computer screen.
It was a bliss in a blue plastic bag.
… Looking over that link to the story “Sarah Crewe” — which FHB expanded into his fantastic children’s novel, A Little Princess & which I read way too many times growing up — I realize it was even more formative than I thought. Consider the following exchange between Sara and her somewhat dim friend Ermengarde:
“It sounds nicer than it seems in the book,” [Ermengarde] would say. “I never cared about Mary, Queen of Scots, before, and I always hated the French Revolution, but you make it seem like a story.”
“It is a story,” Sara would answer. “They are all stories. Everything is a story–everything in this world. You are a story–I am a story–Miss Minchin is a story. You can make a story out of anything.”
That’s, like, my motto! It came from FHB and I didn’t even consciously realize. Amazing.
I also realize, in retrospect, that Sara was a bit of a snot, and I’m completely in love with her over again.