Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cynara scolymus

None of these are quite the right message, though all of them are true. What is the way to write
"We live in different worlds, speak different languages, value different currencies, eat different foods, read different books, but, here, the recipe for a scrumptious cake, the combination to the safe at the downtown bank, the key phrase to the local speakeasy, all of this I give to you, the only knowledge I know how to share"?

Instead, I doodle a bit in the borders of the paper sack, slosh some of the mediocre coffee onto the napkin, listen to the old men at the next table over discuss the talking points of congressional impasse without contributing to any further political change. On the margins I start a to-do list, to email the office of Bernie Sanders and show appreciation, to call my grandfather, although then I remember that he died five years ago, and my glance falls again on the unwritten postcard.

If the recipient were someone else I would write of all the magic that my grandfather held in his hands, the building of stone walls, baking of bread, nourishing of fig and apple trees and rose bushes, making of sausage, designing of houses, conducting along with mono recordings of Bernstein and the Boston orchestra, all with a thumb that was grafted onto his left hand from a piece of his hip after the misfortunes of Iwo Jima. But this is not that postcard, my love letter to a grandfather pontificating on politics and compound interest and drinking sweetened coffee and biscotti is different, materially different, from the postcard I am writing from a borrowed table to a person who may simply be a projection of an idealized life.

reading movie review! A reason to appreciate the season, what with a new Terry Gilliam due over here sooner rather than later, and a full-length stop-animation claymation number in French (with subtitles). Bliss.

not so blissful