I'm a spider, a rabbit, and a table. When I'm done being a table, another player gives me pointers on how to be an even better one. It's more difficult to transmit the idea of table-ness than I'd thought.
The community garden is tucked between old apartment buildings, the greenery running up the walls, the flowers sleepy in the odd patches of sunlight, people drifting around with rakes and watering cans, tending to the plants and to their own well-being.
A time to catch up with loved ones - blasting songs from the 50s on the car radio and singing along with unbearable falsettos; curling up on a dark curving sofa to chat and puzzle over a movie; talking behind closed doors with someone who has such faith in me it's a little scary, a relief but also nerve-wracking; stopping and listening as little ones show me things: drawings, toys, costumes and games, letters of the alphabet written with care.
Places to sit: A bench in a cathedral garden where the grass runs wild and a sculpture of an angel flanked by sun and moon rears up beyond the fence; the front steps of the cathedral, overlooking Amsterdam Avenue, where I plonk down to check on a developing pinky toe blister; the front steps of an art museum overrun with people and hopeful pigeons.
Swirls of birthday cake flavored frozen yogurt topped with tiny chocolate-raspberry truffles. I scrape my spoon inside the paper cup to catch the last drops as I stroll down 81st street to the museum.
I'm a rowboat on an ocean.
The game Smartmouth gives you two letters and requires you to quickly come up with a word that begins with the first letter and ends on the second; the way we're playing, the word must be at least four letters long. On Y-B we're all stumped. On E-K we're also stumped until she strolls up, glances at the letter tiles and says "Embark", after which she listens to our groans of 20/20 hindsight and strolls away. Next comes Hangman, where we try to stump the older children with 'yak', 'chrysalis', and 'unfashionably', but they're wise to our use of unusual letters and words and do well in figuring things out.