31 May, 2010


You left almost three months ago. Are you feeling better?

I have visited Europe twice this spring and will do so again in June. As I have planned each trip, I have had the frequent urge to call you up, to ask you where to eat when I am in such-and-such city, to ask you which museums I should visit if I have time. I want to hear your own stories of experiencing these places. But these questions go out into a void and will never return answered. I should have asked you more before you left.

When you were here I felt flustered and indignant when you obsessed over my travel plans. I wanted to be free to fall into whatever adventure opened up before me; I didn't want to have to plan every step. You gave me maps and rides to train stations and phone numbers for five different cab companies, "just in case." Only later did I understand that this was your way of loving me. I should have told you that.

You left almost three months ago, silently vacating this life in the space between one moment and the next. I did not tell you enough before you left. This weekend I will go to your house and sort through the relics of your life-well-lived. I will talk to you while I do so, though I don't know if you'll hear me. I will tell my friends about you, I will tell my future students about you, I will tell my children about you. Please, live on in the goals I pursue and the trips that I take and the objects with which I embellish my space. And please be there to hear all about it when I join you over the river.

24 May, 2010

Two weeks ago I was in London for what is apparently an annual date. This was a different visit in that I was there for work rather than pleasure; that said, I did stay on for the weekend in order to stay with a potential flatmate for next year. She has a beautiful flat right on the river, with hardwood floors throughout and a kitchen that is big by London standards. I should perhaps be embarrassed by this admission, but I'm not: Our entire Saturday revolved around food. Over dinner on Friday night we had discovered our mutual love of cooking and our fascination with the wordy wonder that is Nigella Lawson. We ate breakfast, went to the grocery store to buy ingredients, came home and baked Nigella's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake. While that was in the oven, we mixed the batter for pistachio macarons. The cake came out of the oven, and in went the macarons. The macarons finished and cooled, and then we iced and sandwiched them. I washed the dishes -- but it was already time to pull them all out again and cook curry chicken & apple stew for dinner!

These macarons... I am mildly obsessed. One of my favorite indulgences when I am in London is to treat myself to something from Paul. I particularly love the pistachio macarons. Even though this global market has made it possible to enjoy pistachios year-round whether or not that is what God intended, my family still only buys them at Christmas. It is one of those deferrals of pleasure for which I'm actually rather thankful...it is good to believe that there is still something on this earth that belongs to only one season. We know, therefore, that if pistachios are on the table it must be a special event with cherished company.

I've only ever had pistachio macarons from Paul, though...When my friend suggested that we make them, I really didn't know what to expect. Could we live up to my expectations? I had to wait to find out, for we did things the old-fashioned way...AND the metric way. We used a small kitchen scale that is surely over a hundred years old by now. We calculated how many ounces we needed in order to measure out the amount of kilograms Nigella told us we needed. Funnily enough, that did not take us much time as figuring out the modern-day food processor did...Anyway, I will fast-forward to the moment at which we took our first bites. May I be completely cheeky and say that ours tasted even better than Paul's? Well, they did...

05 May, 2010

Eva dreams

There was an ocean in her way.
What a triumph it would be to someday jump that turbulent expanse as she did nightly in dreams! She had done it last night.
She laid her head down and in the next instant had lept across, carried by a midnight wind, laughing at confounded Father Time while the stars showed her where to land. Her feet sank into the soft dark soil of Felix's country - and she gasped. In the space between one moment and the next, she had done it! She had played a trick on time and space, and now filled the same hour as Felix. She took one step forward - and then another -
- and fell out of bed, stunned. Dreams are such capricious associates of time.

02 May, 2010

Eva and Felix (a draft)

His evenings passed without her, and hers without him. Indeed, they did not even have the decency to pass at the same time. As he lay his head down at night her sun was still bright, steadfastly spreading the beams that revealed his absence. Every morning when she awoke he had already lived half of that day. This made her jealous.
Love was unusually cruel to them in denying them the chance to suffer in synchronization.