Friday, December 17, 2010

I had a bit of money in my pocket so I spent it all at once just about, in town, nearly $20 for a small box of 8 exquisite holiday cards, $12 for French camembert, and $3.50 for a delectable crisp airy light artisanal baguette -- "baguette" doesn't convey (we're accustomed to the word signifying, usually, an insipid loaf) the textured, in spots overbaked, beautifully rough hewn quality -- which was divine, at home, with a bit of the camembert pressed between. Stopped by Olana in the hope of finding holiday cards (I think I did the same last year too, to no avail) but nothing really spoke to me, so I went into town, and enjoyed pretending that I had money. Which today, I actually did, a bit, and so felt entitled to step into a few shops, and play lady of the manor, in a very modest, quiet way. At the cheese shop another lady of the manor was carrying forth in a Big Loud Way, announcing to all the world (insular microcosm of cheese shop) her dreams and plans and whatnot of all the holiday get-togethers she's hosting next week - honestly, she was babbling mindlessly, talking *at* whoever, whatever. She was placing an order for something or other with a lovely clerk behind the counter, and banshee woman adopted a practiced stupid stricken look on her face (that horrible downturned cast of frown, as though something horrible has happened which it hasn't)  when the clerk patiently explained that the woman needs to finalize her order by no, not Wednesday afternoon, but Sunday evening Monday morning the latest so that the shop is able to place accurate orders for provisions with their vendors, etc., etc. The nouveau-riche woman's husband (because she was nouveau-riche, was she not? I'm sure of it, she didn't seem to have an ounce of grace) was in tow, and he simply looked bewildered, dragged along for the ride, or for his credit card, or whatever. He didn't look like a Titan of Industry or anything, though, just sort of an aging Joe a bit out of his depths with his fancy-fancying new wife (as I imagine). I stood my turn in line patiently, surveying the scene, and then finally it was my turn, only a guy tried to cut in front of me, and I said, no I was here first, and another clerk, an older woman arbited and said yes that's true she was, and the guy seemed to sulk and let me of course have my little turn (ever so quick, just the one pre-packaged French camembert) and absolutely refused to have eye contact with me, in any kind of friendly, gracious manner. As in, oh yes of course you were ahead of me... I mean, even if he hadn't noticed - because it's not as though there was a line, per se, but he entered the shop a good 10 minutes after me, and there weren't so many people there - and, well, shouldn't one be expected to notice?

Is there any hope for the planet, when the privileged cannot behave with grace & aplomb in a little cheese shop? Not that they were so bad, but come on.

Also I would like to know why, as I drive along the roads here, and wind up behind someone who's about to make a turn, usually a right-hand one, why they must slow to a crawl, come to a virtual stand-still, and then ever so slowly, gingerly make the turn. True, D says, as I fly down Route 9, why do you actually speed up before slowing down to make the turn onto our little road? But, heck, at least I get off the road right away, I don't hem & haw about it endlessly! And by the way, those painted lines on the side of the road, whatever they are, they're not turning lanes, and these crayon-within-the-lines types treat them as such.

Yeah, I'm off on a bit of a rant. Is it the same everywhere with the driving, or just here? Today was worse than usual, it seemed as though everyone was doing it, everyone I was stuck behind anyway - why?

The cards I bought are beautiful, and I look forward to penning a few tomorrow and getting them off in the mail. Also today I started some pizza dough, which is rising at the back of the pellet stove. I see that Rafe is upstairs in the aerie now - he just sneezed. Dinner will be Alaskan cod and rice, and spooned on top will be caponata, a melange of farmstand vegetables from late summer - eggplant, peppers, tomato, and the like.

I enjoyed shopping local today. I look forward to doing it more often, say, when I manage to "monetize" my blog. Yeah right! "Publication is the auction of the soul," wrote Emily, ruling dispositively on the subject with her usual conviction, and I count myself in a similar camp. I prefer to give it away. I know just what she means, one (me) wishes to write what one (me) wishes, without regard to the world of commerce, to "what sells."

What a lofty, airy position I've taken, trapeze artist in training flying through the air at the side of the West Side Highway. Here I am on the river, flying through the air, without a safety net... That's not right either, but I do enjoy being aloft, and there wasn't a reason D couldn't have been either, the way we were for a long time, and the sort of person I'd like to be with again. That's the beauty of, if not capitalism, then of capital - one can swing in the air from branch to branch - not be down in the mines

What? I must place my final order by Monday morning the latest? Feigning practiced stricken look.

Good Lord.

That's not the sort of freedom-from-capital I mean, or the sort that shows up with Christmas bonuses to buy decorative objects at auctions. I mean the freedom to write what she wishes - publish, without auction, her soul.

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