It's strange. Before now, I don't think I've ever been seized by the absolute need to write. Lately, though, it's been a very real compulsion. I'm writing every day. Tomes. Bales of rough-hewn cotton dumped effortfully from the flatbed of my mind onto the pallid prairie of Microsoft Word. So much is in flux now, so many moveable parts misaligning and realigning, and I want to write it all down. I want to remember what it was like when I was right here. In this place.
The place I was in last night was Union Square, chasing little boys who were chasing little fairy lights along the 16th Street transverse. There's a holiday installation there designed by Tord Boontje and soundtracked by Goldfrapp -- and let's face it: anything co-created by a "Tord" and a "Goldfrapp" is worth the trip for the names alone. Projectors beam the little images of leaves and animals and flowers and other enchanted thingies onto the sidewalk, and at the same time sensors determine where you are and tell the projector to make its these thingies run away from you. Sort of like chasing cockroaches around your kitchen, but with whimsy.
From the moment the Berts arrived at this place, they were delighted. And their disparate chasing styles say a lot about their current developmental stages. TwoBert is very huggy lately, and he spent a lot of time trying to "pick up" the images, ostensibly to hug them and garble sweet nothings into their ears. Robert took a more militant tack, waiting along the border for a cluster to gather nearby and then ambushing them with mighty leaps.
It's a fun time. If you go, don't be surprised if 1) your kids get really wound up and start shrieking like their being electrocuted and 2) you get caught up in the mayhem and start shriek-stomping along with the kids. Be warned, though: If you think it's hard to keep track of more than one child during the day, it's an extra-special exercise in consternation at night. You might want to fit your kids with day-glo bracelets and/or GPS chips.
Also, the fray consists of about 100 kids at a time, flinging themselves randomly at high speed. And since they're staring at the ground the whole time, they have absolutely no appreciation for anything in their way. So there will be collisions and tramplings. You can rationalize this by realizing that people spend most of the holiday season hurtling through crowds and, occasionally, knocking foreheads. The sooner kids learn this valuable life lesson, the better.