Yesterday was a full, whirlwind day. Long meetings in the morning, walking the floor of the Javits Center for the annual American International Toy Fair in the afternoon, then running off to a workshop in the evening to learn about writing the news for kids.
Toy fair is a fluorescent lit, starburst try-me shout, wow wow, look here spectacle. Never good for someone who has a fear of crowded spaces, who panics when over-stimulated with bright lights and loud noises.
At some point, I became delirious, nearly falling over in tearful laughter when someone pointed out a baby-doll with a toilet and a little poop inside it that disappears when you flush, leaving me with flashbacks of a doll I had as a little girl, who came with green-slime baby food that went straight through her pliable pink lips and out her butt into a diaper, which was both thrilling and repulsive at the same time.
So with head aching, armpits sweating (crowds, crowds, too many crowds), thinking about rubber-bodied baby dolls regurgitating green slime, I found myself in some dark corner of baby sippy-cups with flexible handles and looked up. Windows. I had forgotten the Javits Center had windows. I could see sky. And the hint of some gray cloud.
Of course I shouldn’t have, of course I’m sure that my badge didn’t allow access there, but I walked behind the black curtain skirting this building of trade booths, and there, beyond the spit up and break down of the show behind the show, beyond carts and boxes and tape and scrap, beyond a building of people buying and selling and shouting the magic of play or childhood or something so irrevocably lost it hurts my heart, was one of the most beautiful sunsets I’d ever seen.