even after seven going on eight years in new york, i’m still shocked to feel the seasons change. sure, i’m aware that new york has four very distinct seasons (well, three and a half since much of spring is muscled out by the unrelenting winters). the first signs of fall, though (such as the much less overwhelming smell of trash on the streets), still come as a surprise. i’m always sad to see summer go. parting with my flip flops, without fail, reminds me of leaving california.
well, on this first day of fall (or what felt like the first day of fall), as i was strolling along 17th street, a shop called pippin appeared, harry potter-like, out of nowhere. no, it wasn’t one of those “pop up shops.” its “appearing out of nowhere-ness” was attributable more to my never having seen it before even though i’d walked down that stretch of 17th countless times.
now, i’m not one for jewelry. i admire it on others, but like long hair, don’t know what to do with it if it’s mine. but with a name like pippin, i couldn’t not go in. despite a batty lady dressed in some turn of the century outfit eyeing me like a hawk (well, maybe more pigeon than hawk like), i stayed to look at what the shop held (other than her). the actual vintage pieces (i didn’t count her among them) were charming.
as i scanned the brightly colored rings, i recognized one. i had seen it (not one like it, but that exact one) in a dream months ago. it had been one of those dreams where i had slipped in and out of sleep – and so i remembered the ring vividly, as if i had actually seen it outside of my dream. and here it was – nestled among other rings in a shop run by a batty lady on 17th street.
i hardly remembered most of my dreams or gave them another thought. this one though, had stuck with me. i’d had that dream after i’d seen someone who i hadn’t seen in six months (the longest we’d gone without seeing each other). in my dream, when he tried to lift my hand to slip on the ring, as much as i’d wanted to, my hand (my entire arm, in fact), refused to budge. it stayed frozen. and he gave up. and put the ring back into its case and into his drawer. no words were exchanged. i remembered the ring vividly though – a twisted, curving gold band with a pearl embedded in the middle.
flash forward to pippin on 17th. i didn’t know whether to be happy, suspicious, or check my sanity. i hesitated. then with a “oh, what the hell,” i plucked the ring from its display case and tried it on. okay, now i was suspicious. it fit. it didn’t fall off. the other rings in this shop had been too large for my korean fingers. okay, now i was really suspicious. it was supposed to fall off. i shook my hand, waving it around. the ring stayed on. the batty lady had had enough by this point. she swooped down from her perch – did i need help?
looking at this ring stay put on my finger (and looking comfortably at home there), i couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened had i been able to have more faith that we’d fit; if i had chosen differently; if i’d been able to say yes (in life, not just in my dream). but hey, it’s not every first day of fall that something you’d seen in a dream decides to pop up in front of you, albeit in the presence of a batty lady instead of the guy who had been a part of not just your dream, but your life.