Sunday, May 22, 2011

Darling, feeling exhausted just now, would love nothing better than to be - oh let's see - sitting in a jacuzzi bath with you, or maybe alpine hot tub, I don't know, I've never been in in one. I was in a whirlpool tub once, for a little while on the cruise that D & I won aeons ago. There was another woman there, from a Southern city, the cruise was ending the next day, we were all returning to Miami, and so we did, the ship raced through the night to port and at dawn perceptibly slowed into harbor, D & I disembarked and took a scenic bus tour of Miami before boarding our flight and when we got home and turned on the news, it turned out that a plane had crashed, the same airline D & I had just flown, and from Miami - to the very city this woman in the hot tub, complete stranger, had been from, and at the end of that day, happy to be home, I thought - OMG, that woman from yesterday - she's dead.

And I don't even know if that's a fact or not, it was just an offhand tiny intersection of encounters among complete strangers, in broad daylight, in this not very private hot tub. I've never been in one since.

But I'd like to be in one with you just now, me with my glass of pink wine, you with - what do you like? So it's a private tub, set - yes, okay outside - or maybe not. My imagination is failing me. I don't care about the context or surroundings. I just want to be immersed in warm enveloping water and looking across at you, and feeling your body and my body under lapping whirling currents, the two of us smoothskinned palpable porpoises beneath the surface. I'm not quite sure how we fit, it's not a large pool, so perhaps - yes, I think so, my legs are spread wide, and yours are extended, knees bent perhaps, and our limbs float and bob and silkily graze and touch one another under the luxurious watery quilt.

Ahhh, I am feeling better, as I project myself into that dream, body aches vanishing vanquished by warm aloha caresses.

Do you like Indian food? I hope so. Because after we emerge from the tub, darling, there is a pan of fragrantly spiced chicken whose aroma is wafting deliriously up the stairs, competition for my sensual cravings. It is a complicated dish, in that it requires the concatenation and confluence and conflagration of all sorts of obscure and to me, mysterious, spices - mixtures that I ground with mortar and pestle by hand, spending a good twenty minutes breaking open tiny desiccated cardamom pods, like half-size pistachios, to extract the seeds - of which I needed a tablespoon. The process is so arduous I wondered how saffron is ever made, who makes it, who collects the crocus stamens, individually, one by one, so that - as I was informed at the upscale Marina Safeway in San Francisco years ago - it was far & away the most expensive - in cost per ounce - item that the gourmet market carried.

I stood on my feet cracking open with my thumbnail the cardamom pods, extracting the tiny seeds into my mortar (or is it pestle) and grinding with one, if not the other. Along with other tiny brittle additions to the dry rub - cinammon stick, whole cloves, cumin, black peppercorns - and shower of nutmeg besides.

So after, we emerge from the tub and towel each other off with luxurious bath towels, so large that we can use just one to wrap around ourselves like a magic cloak, enclosing us both in a momentary terry cocoon, a good excuse to be upright, standing, to feel your body against mine, all the contours and curves together, fitting, yet other, warm and smooth, rustling, stirring, alien & provocative, tantalizing, compelling.

And so I'll think of you when I place some fragrant basmati rice in a bowl, and ladle on the sauce, with chicken, and spices, and spinach.

How should I end this little fantasy? You can take a bowl of this delicious Indian stew up to your tiny aerie, and I'll eat mine by myself in mine. And that way you'll be thinking of me, as I try to think of what in the world to write next - to you.


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