Saturday, May 15, 2010

the bloom is off the tree

But the leaves aren't bad and they last a lot longer.

It's dusk in Astoria, quickly fading to dark. After a truly unexpected denouement to the week, I'm taking a little solace in myself. The sky is wide open, there's a chill on the breeze, and my apartment is darkening around me but for the candle I lit.

I read this book last month by an older woman in the tango community. About passion, and reclaiming years lost to a several year sexless marriage. It was more or less soft-core porn with a little Buenos Aires tourguide thrown in. There was also a great deal about shoes.

Point is: she was Italian. And she could cook. This woman would dance till dawn, have truly illicit sex with a married plastic surgeon, then wake up, hit the markets, and cook elaborate meals to reconnect with herself. So I'm giving it a go.

I should probably mention now that I've spent the better part of the week on a bit of a lark. Wednesday was a charity function downtown: I spent money I don't have making textbooks happen for schoolkids in Africa. Late night, that, but fun. Thursday was a twelve hour workday, which derailed into dancing, then dead ended with the G.I.Q., who is angry because I have no idea how to be in the same room with him. Friday I took a personal day and lay in bed watching episodes of the West Wing before bravely facing a party I didn't feel up for. But the strangest thing happened. I found myself making small talk and enjoying myself—in spite of me.

My best friend is going through a bit of a rough patch, so we left the party to see her to the subway, then Peter and I met his new girlfriend for dinner. We sat at a sidewalk cafe on the Upper West Side, and it was one of those springtime Friday nights in New York that fill you suddenly with optimism and activity.

Needless to say, I came home and the birds started squawking. I went back to the party and the Pinot Noir and met the Cinematographer. Who talked to me for hours about philosophy at Oxford and taught me how to say "rosy fingered dawn" in Greek. The man was a gentleman. Even my shrink would say so. And he can't wait to see me again. All he could keep repeating was, "Where did you come from?"

Take that, G.I.Q. You no longer hold the patent on erudition. Other, smarter men than you will put their arm around me and say, "you are nothing like twenty six year old women."

So here I am at home. I could easily have finagled a speedy turnaround first date, but for the life of me, all I wanted was to be at home by myself. So I took a nap, got a haircut, threw open the windows and made dinner. I made broccoli, steamed and tossed with balsamic vinegar, with pignoli and goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes. And I made my first ever tomato sauce from scratch. Because reading about the peace that sauteed garlic can bring inspired me to. I sprung for good spaghettini from the Italian deli, chiffonaded the shit out of a bunch of fresh basil, and topped the whole endeavor with cracked pepper and grated parmigiano reggiano. And it was delicious. I sat on my couch and ate and wrote and desserted on pistachio gelato and bitter orange chocolate.

Turns out, I can make a big involved dinner. Even when there's no one around to eat it. No need to fret or rush.

Sometimes a girl just needs to cluck about her own kitchen. Even on a Saturday night.


Anonymous said...

you know, i mean no disrespect, and i love reading you, but i can't help but notice that for a woman who complains of loneliness and unattractiveness to the other sex, you certainly get kissed a lot by men. me, i'm just a girl in a rut with no prospects or parties to play cinderella at. you my friend are always running home from the ball with only one shoe, and then wailing in misery that your life has no purpose, until the next prince charming shows up - which usually takes less than a week, tops. i wonder what would happen if you really allowed yourself to be alone for more than four consecutive days? ah, but then, what would you write about?

Scarlet-O said...

@ anonymous. pfft. i love your lifeshape gabby. you're anais nin with a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

i agree with anonymous number one.

Anonymous said...

I agree with S-O

Anonymous said...

Ladies, is one to believe being able to be kissed by random men, in anyway staves off lonliness and does feeling unattractive have anything to do with the reality of whether or not others find you attractive. I for one find no discrepancy in the this writing. It is a world many women inhabit in this time of post sexual revolt and I am thankful that someone can express this better than I.

Hannah Miet said...

I like what Scarlet-0 said. A sense of humor and a little more kick, punch, truth written in chalk on a streetcorner kind of shit.

Nin is wonderful, but only in small doses and I think you could hack it long form.

"It was more or less soft-core porn with a little Buenos Aires tourguide thrown in." I really want to read this.

Your big involved dinner made my mouth water. I don't make food for myself, ever, and all too often mistake swiping my credit card for a solo dinner for romancing myself, staying in my head, not diverting the course, etc. I'm trying to work on that.

I like kissing in kitchens, and also this post.