Friday, May 11, 2007

The End of the Story

Some of you have heard this tale before; but I’m retelling it because now there’s a new ending.

When we first moved to Brooklyn from Virginia I was still pretty anxious about my new life. Who would city Minerva Jane be, as opposed to, say, rural Minerva Jane? Would she fit in? Would she be able to write in the din of Atlantic Avenue? I had a lot of trouble sleeping those first few months and nights when the insomnia was particularly bad I’d read anything I could get my hands on—magazines, guidebooks, novels, biographies. Et cetera.

I barely remembered anything I read during those awful wakeful nights…

One morning, after a particularly bad night, I was in a peevish mood and told Rod, over a cup of coffee from Tazza, that Brooklyn was actually named for the Dutch word for broken land. I was lying, or rather, seeing if he’d be able to call my bluff. He believed me and, as the morning’s work soon intruded the moment passed and I somehow forgot to tell him that I’d been kidding.

Flash forward several months. We’re at a party and Rod’s behind me telling some chichi Manhattan chick that Brooklyn’s named after the dutch word for broken land and she’s arguing with him: That can’t be true. No, it is, he insists—offended that this Sex-in-the-City wannabe doubts him. My wife reads up on this kind of stuff all the time… she knows what’s she talking about, he says and gestures to me to come over and join in the conversation. At which point I’m forced, red-faced, to admit to both this girl and my husband that: 1) I lied to him and 2) I forgot to tell him about the lie.

And that was the story. It was a cute little tale I’d whip out when out to dinner with friends or at a party, showcasing both my own ineptitude and my husband’s unfailing devotion and I always ended it by giving what I hoped was a cute little peck on Roddy’s cheek and saying: Sorry honey.

Until last Saturday.

In Red Hook’s Coffey park, where we were resting after the 10-mile bike tour of Brookyn’s proposed greenway initiative, our friend John bought a T-shirt with the words emblazoned on the front. (Who doesn’t need another Tshirt? his wife Dawn commented. Plus, the money was going to fund the initiative. Good vibes all around.) On his return he read the label on the back of the shirt which, in addition to the usual tumble dry warnings noted that: “Brooklyn was named after Breukelen, the dutch word for Broken Land.”

I must have actually read that in one of those guidebooks I poured over during those sleepless night and merely forgotten it.

And so now Rod can be rest assured that even when I think I’m wrong I’m actually right.

Which, I know, must be a HUGE relief to him.


Blogger raknak said... told me this too. Did you also forget to tell me that you were lying? (even though you weren't, etc. you *thought* you were, right?)

Does this also mean that there is really a Santa Claus? If so, let me know ASAP so I can send him my list from the last 25 years so that he can catch up.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Minerva Jane said...

oh shit--i told you that too? ;-)

11:02 PM  
Blogger Martha Elaine Belden said...

hahhaha... that's awesome!

7:07 PM  

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