Friday, August 19, 2011

My dearest, I'm glad you're back, I had the feeling you'd been constrained somehow. Is everyone spying on one another? I wonder. I went to a mall once in Houston many years ago, in the mid-1980s, and don't remember much about it, except for an indoor ice skating rink (when it was around 100 degrees outside) and a retail shop devoted to antispyware, which seemed really odd to me. I didn't understand it then, am not sure what the store sold exactly, and don't really understand it now. This was before the internet, maybe around the time that voicemail started getting big. So I shrug at that, and yet it lingers, a bit. Is that the climate, then, and all the worse now? On a related note, I remember too from that time, that I was working as a paralegal, and had been deployed on lengthy out-of-town assignments, hopscotching for many months among New York, Houston, Denver, and San Francisco. We were getting ready for a big trial to take place in the S.F. area, a trial that was expected to last several weeks, with weeks of pretrial prep. The legal team scouted for longterm apartments for us all to stay in. And the client, a huge megacorporation, apparently wanted to send its crew over there to "debug" the apartments, so paranoid were they that the opposing side might have "bugged" them. My boss seemed to prevail on this one. He said, absolutely no de-bugging - because how do we know that the client isn't in fact bugging us? What's the difference? How would we know? I don't know how any of us would ever have known if our little efficiency apartments were bugged or debugged, but I always made sure to carefully lock my door, and mostly I just crashed there for sleep anyway, spent so much time in the local-counsel's office spaces that had been cleared for us, and ate out a whole lot. This was right around the time I had met D, and we were dating. He would fly out to San Francisco on Friday nights, after his work week in NY, and join me working on weekends. He actually got on the payroll as a temp! These cases were always crazy staffed-up. Money poured like water. We lived large, very large - all the best restaurants in these cities, expense accounts. I remember going to some sweet hole-in-the-wall French restaurant with D one evening before going to the airport to put him on a red-eye back to NY. We ordered sweetbreads, sauteed in a wine reduction I suppose. It was a very romantic restaurant, dim, candlelit, quiet, intimate. The sweetbreads were sublime, I'd never had them before, nor, I don't believe, since. So silken, rich, and savory. We went to the airport (I had all kinds of unlimited cab fare moneys) and said our tearful goodbyes at the boarding gate (my tears, of course!), and were reunited (most likely) a few days later, when D returned. What a crazy time. Actually, now that I think of it, we were newlyweds I believe at that point, by the time the trial actually took place in San Mateo County. I had worked on that case for a couple of years... and had met D during the course of it. Our client/"we" lost the case. Don't weep - believe me. Though the opposition - a different form of corporate industry entity, is/was no angel either. Clash of the Titans.

Having recounted that story I'm especially grateful to be simply sitting up here in the aerie, neighbor's chickens running all over our yard, ignoring neighbor's elaborate handmade coop in favor of laying eggs in a favored spot in the back of our unweeded shrubbery. Finders keepers, wonderful super-fresh organic free range happy-chicken eggs! Though D's going to tell our neighbor - because if they're laying over here, then maybe there's some critical issue with her coop.

I'm back too from the CSA farm, where I picked up this week's haul, including an extra "small handful" of basil, because I overheard a woman saying to someone there that she was going to skip taking it, so I brazenly asked her if she minded that I took her share - an extra handful for me. She didn't mind at all, said that she grows her own anyway so to take more is superfluous, and I said that I'm happy for more because I make pesto and sock it away in the freezer. The haul was nice today, as always. Actually, the last day I've been working doubletime trying to get to all the produce, it's a little more than D & I can eat in one week. So yesterday, as I roasted a chicken, I also roasted a pan of cubed eggplant, bell pepper, celery, onion, and garlic, all tossed with EVOO. We had some with the chicken, and today I seasoned the rest of the big bowlful with redwine vinegar, a bit of sugar, capers, and olives, and lightly steamed zucchini & summer squash to go into it too, because I had them...

My sauce had started out as caponata but with the addition of the summer squashes crossed lines into ratatouille country, I believe. No matter. I've got four quart-size containers in the freezer now, the most delectable topping for a piece of plain white fish, or chicken, or pasta.

And I came home today with all the ingredients - to make another batch of just the flavorsome, wonderful same. Do you know - I think, with all the cooking & freezing of foodstuffs I do, I think I eat more summer produce in winter than I do these days!

My darling, I'm going on and on and on. I think about you very much, so very much. I'll be in B'klyn for a week, as you may have gathered, starting mid next week. I completely apprehend how utterly unavailable you are - and yet should there be some, I don't know - window

(and by the way yet another sparrow got in the house today, and beat its wings all over the downstairs in its frenzy to get out, and I tried to show it the way out, flinging open windows, coaxing it out, but it only grew more panicked - though finally did - perhaps it couldn't believe its own good luck - recognize an open, free-passage window for glass it kept banging into)

then perhaps we could have lunch. There's a French restaurant on Court that I bet serves sweetbreads. And then, dearest Pierre, we can return to the apartment, climb the steps to the treetop aerie, and have a siesta. It'll be fine. I'll take the bed - you'll nap on the couch. It'll all be comme il faut (my grandmother's favorite phrase). For a little while. Until one of us - who? which one? will it even matter? - can't stand it any longer.

many kisses, dearest you

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