In the market.

Now, in the market, we shop by lamplight. I wandered through the bookstall, still figuring out whether all the booksellers are connected or whether the Tuesday-paperback/Thursday-hardback man's stock is separate from the Saturday man's. I smelled the fishmonger's wares, watched the man point at the Union Jack boxer shorts, the Union Jack thongs. I saw the halved citrus under incandescence.

Begrudgingly, I bought a black beret in the department store: the sheepskin fur cap was too dear, though perfect. (I lingered near the smart hats, grinning at the other women enticed by enormous feathers and wide brims, pulling faces, wanting whatever adventure the store could help conjure.) By the time I reached home, I had come to love the beret already. May all my necessities be so sweet.

Three weeks from tomorrow, I perform in my first recital in nineteen years. Today I tried the correct tempo--set the metronome and let it go, and oh could I fly, and oh was I tired when it was over.

Sometimes, when I watch West Side Story, I want to be Rita Moreno when I grow up.

Enlarge. Check the clock. I haven't been exaggerating. I don't kid about the dark.