Wednesday, February 20, 2008

the update

There are two moments I keep coming back to from the last few days. One is Monday night after a very lazy day...I went out driving, and I drove until I felt like I could write. Until I felt like I could open a cookbook and let the flavors, textures and ideas wash over me. I drove through from Oakland through Emeryville, slipping through streets but never getting lost, then down Ashby and back to the freeway, and back here. I came upstairs and wrote for a while. Then I opened the Oleana cookbook and paged through, and the dishes felt at once like coming home and like variations on a theme. When I look at that cookbook I see the tiny kitchen and its spice rack, its back line, its dish. When I look at the pastry recipes the reaction is more visceral. I remember them....and tied up with remembering them is the crazy abundant wild energy I had at the time. The gluttony of food. The desperation to move to SF. I may have been in Boston but I wasn't, not really. I felt that on Monday, again. At least a faint glimmer of it. I tried to think of ways to keep it close to me, to carry it through the week. To do certain things differently.

And then the week started. And Tuesday afternoon I was washing out a pastry brush someone left in the sink, and went outside to shake it off. I looked back inside, through the glass windows that seem to have grown larger, like some kind of Alice in Wonderland trick, to see two of my coworkers laughing at me. I went back inside, asking what was all so funny. They told me the brush wasn't dry enough and I needed to keep doing it. Then my other coworker walked in the room. Wait Here, I told her. You Have To Stay Here To Laugh At Me, Too. I walked back outside prepared to shake out the brush, and of course looked back at their faces, and almost fell over laughing. There was something about it their faces through the glass mirrored mine, how the moment felt stretched to a minute perhaps, how it grew larger and seemed very fictional, almost. Except there was no realization, no epiphany, no sense of largeness. Only laughter, but strange and joyous and not unkind. I shook the brush and we all laughed, and I went back inside.

They already tell me when I'm being stupid, mean, or plain inept, anyway...

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