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Strawberry Fields in Central Park
Excerpt from Dead Time

Strawberry Fields

Photo By Jennifer Green

I should not have let her pick the spot.
     I should have said, "I'll be at the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle in half an hour. We'll get a smoothie." Or, "How about Bryant Park? Why don't you come down here?" Merideth wouldn't need any help in finding Bryant Park—I was certain she finagled seats in the tents for a few of the runway shows during Fashion Week.
     Hell, even a deli, or a coffee shop, or a bar at some Midtown hotel near her network studios would have made a fine spot to meet. But no, I let her pick the spot.
     The story of our marriage.
     She chose Strawberry Fields.
     By the time the cab turned into the southern end of Central Park I'd refocused on the fact that Merideth felt she had a real crisis on her hands.
     The surrogate? Is missing? That's what she had said.

During our marriage we'd had a few tunes that we considered our songs. "Strawberry Fields Forever" was one. Merideth had arrived in our relationship with a pristine copy of the original 45 but lacked a turntable that would play it. It turned out that I possessed a turntable. At the time we thought the serendipity was evidence of how naturally we completed each other.
     I considered the possibility that she had grown fond of the Lennon garden since she'd moved to New York City. Maybe it was a place that would provide solace to her at a moment of emotional upheaval. Perhaps she'd pulled me uptown thirty-something blocks instead of meeting me halfway for a damn good reason. Perhaps her choice wasn't about sending me a message.
     And perhaps my next New York cabbie would have a name I could pronounce.

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