"Oh, hello" she said in her lowest octave, "pleasure to see you again. I have been meaning to ask, is your work space inspiring?"
"No. I go where the people are, so no, it is not", he said, with eyes downcast.
She stood there, picturing an oak drafting table, expensive-hard-to-find prints pinned decisively above eye level with those hard-to-find T-pins, empty glassware and masculine coffee mugs dappling the surfaces of his imagined work space, until his brusque response interrupted the course of her thoughts.
Dear self, may your work space always be inspiring and warm.
And now: demon conversation piece necklace, gross (but good-gross) bangs, one hundred percent myself, wine stained lips, and after a nine hour day of stirring and smelling spices I am tired, but happy to be so. Happily tired. Now I will write disjointedly. Thus far, this post has been treading fairly joyfully. Today I am joyful and quiet, yesterday I was tired and weepy, tomorrow I will be surly (and no one will say a word about it). I will chop methodically, plodding away, happy to fill four litres of things at a time.
Onions, check. Carrots, check. Celery, check. Tomatoes, check. Lentils, check. Navy beans, check. Lemongrass, check. Cilantro, check. High heat, check.
It is okay to be surly on a Friday day.
In summer no one was ever surly on a Friday day.
The only thing winter welcomes is itchy earlobes and quiet nights. Tonight there were social upper arm grabs, two name exchanges, one moment of wishing I was holding baby Maiya and not holding a glass of wine, deep boat neck collars in freshly laundered white, dinner with Rabbi, one banging pair of these-were-half-of-the-rent winter heels, two espresso, one machiato, internal buzzing, one red booth, two liters among three beauties, collars up, four dear ones, one cab driving away, two top buns touching in a sincere embrace, four cigarettes (not to mention zero throw up), one girl running down corydon with a collar up, cursing winter's inconvenience.
To say the least amount possible, being drunk/social/frazzled/high/excited/wild in summer was so much easier than being drunk/social/frazzled/high/excited/wild in winter. There was never any confusion in summer as to where we were going, what we were doing, where we were meeting, when we would see each other. I miss desperately the pace of slow summer mornings spent reading/doing the NY Times crossword on the BI patio, experiencing the wonders of seven different joiners in the span of two hot weathered hours and the pace of slow summer evenings riding with no hands, eight fixys in a row, our collective laughter somewhere above our heads as we rode north eastwards towards downtown, the clinking of our small bike locks reminding us how good it felt to ride bare armed together. Smoking cigarettes and drinking Abby's sangria before eleven. I read so much, biked so much. Jessica Alba was my ticket to the social hour.
Winter forces me to shelf my beautiful lady love and depend on inconvenient cabs, friends and otherwise, and it is downright disheartening. In summer I could leave when I so desired; in clumps of like cyclists or riding home alone with the leftover heat from that afternoon still warm against my skin, it was always pleasant. I miss it. I miss the downtime while pedaling, reflecting, desperately so. Everyone met everyone in the Exchange with rubber bands around our right ankles. We carried our bicycles like purses; men and women alike. Parties happened all the same, not party parties, just the kind of gatherings of like people happy to be on bicycle, happy to be out type of parties. Art shows in abundance, food and white beer happening every night.
Winter is sleepy and I am sleepy.
I miss it, yes.
Rabbi and I shared a liquid dinner in my lovely kitchen at the red table, conversation was seamless, both of us positive and introspective, respectively. Bad homemade sushi, red wine galore, winter music, walking hand in hand through snow drifts and convenience stores and lame lounges. We will miss each other deeply. I will miss you deeply, girl. I am pretty sure that you being gone for the extent you are will feel equivalent to being sans elbow or right hand for the said time period. Come back, yes? Read your list of books and then come back to your alabastard bestie (that would be me).
We sat at the table after our said liquid dinner, eating dessert first and then dinner, our entire candlelit exchange done backwards, in reverse, in slowmotion. Wine service, dessert, mains, starter (the bad oranges from my mama). Then all of a sudden it was the same girl with the blond hair and the black roots that even Miss Kurt Cobain would be green with envy over, her baby brother who I have loved in more than one hundred ways, a ginger-maned friend who I have loved in a hundred other ways, and three kind strangers that are not really strangers/but sort of are around a wobbly table laughing. Making nice despite the weather and unavoidable return of cold. We spoke of chess and the new edition of Risk, world domination, names of countries established by Minoan civilization in the Bronze age, Top Buns, Thailand, books galore, Peruvian massage, trekking to Machu Picchu blindly, being mad at each other and not. So on and so forth.
I am happy to be here, to make and to hole up, to print and to learn that it is important to flood with the body and not with the arms, but I also am unhappy that I am not traveling alone somewhere, smelling spices hanging in the noon hour air on my motor bike, camera slung around my back carelessly, more books packed than clothes, film galore, cooking lessons, photographing naked babies and zero-toothed grannies making naan, clapping drunkenly and squinting desperately, sewing, entertaining, conversing candidly, doing yoga beachside, laughing on a hewn bench drinking out of a sand pail beside some ringletted man, black coffee in the morning, noodle soup at two in the afternoon, seven hundred lemon shakes and seven hundred meals a day, welcomed weight, washing my laundry by hand in a concrete washbasin as a six year old pushes a nine month old in a wheel barrow past my spot. These are all the things I wish I was filling my head with. Mind this red boothed conversation (as lovely as it was), and hand me heat thankyouverymuch.
Take me away, prince.
Winter is a sleepy season and my social life is following suit. I am sleepy.