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a peaceful protest

I was 16, and the thought of being forced to mention God as part of the pledge of allegiance was too hypocritical an act for me to play along with. Each day of high school began with this mundane recitation, as most people just stood with their hand jutting from a hip, the other dangling across their chest as they counted out the seconds until they could sit back down. They leaned against desks, and talked through it about what party and where it would be, if there would be a keg or a bonfire in the woods. I recited the words, omitting the "under God" part as a sort of half-baked protest. I was raised to flaunt my family's ramshackle atheism, as a choice of smug pride. We knew better, was the prevailing logic.

But one day, I could not stand and say any of it. It felt so rote, so hollow, so devoid of choice. There was no law that said I was required to say it. I knew this was my right, a form of free speech. My homeroom teacher was a legendary drinker, a trash-talking re…

just an avocado and goodnight

Woke up late, the sky already a bright pale blue. The house was still clean. Well, clean enough. Fed the cat, drank the coffee, checked the messages and then outside my jacket open to a soft wind. Marching down the avenue listening to Pet Sounds on the headphones, thumping my hand against my leg as the stores say "sale".

And here the little vegetable stand, Angelica asks we what I am cooking and I say guacamole with grapefruit and almonds, quesadillas with homemade tortillas. She smiles blandly, pretending to understand. Mexican food does not exist here. I could just as well say I was frying up meteors.

"For who?" She asks.
I smile.
She nods back, and puts an extra avocado in the bag for free.

At rinock, the place is choatic - the slick floor always a perfect way to end up on your ass. I buy bulochki and take giant mouthfuls of the soft, fragrant bread. Here is my cheese lady. She has a giant space between her two front teeth. I taste three options, and buy half a kilo of the saltiest, creamiest one. It feels heavy in my hand, soft and wet.

At home I am suddenly tired (after making the chocolate mousse), and take a nap in the clean living room, with the cat curled up on my knees. The floor is smiling at me.

Three o'clock and I'm knee deep in dough and roasted hot peppers, cleaning shrimp, revising the cocktail sauce with some paste I bought in Chinatown the last time I was in New York. The avocados are lined up on the windowsill like sleeping wild animals.

I'm playing the CD I made for her, loud in the other room. Did I say too much? Not enough?

And then it's 5 when she's supposed to get here and she's on time which never happens in Moscow, or really anywhere. I am going down in the elevator, trying to see if i have any giant hairs sticking out of my head that I might have missed, hoping my breath smells like ginger, or cinnamon. And she is already inside, with a noisy bunch of keys, a giant purse, her nervous smile, black hair to hide behind.

She is rolling her eyes, eating slowly, her feet curled beneath her. The sky is dark, and we talk long into the night, as I keep making her cups of coffee. We never do watch that film.

Later, I clean the snow from her funny little car. It's an impossible stretch of time, these seconds when a goodbye kiss could present itself. The moment passes, and she offers her cheek.

Her perfume hangs in the air as she gets in and drives off.

I think she'll like the CD.

Comments

The Expatresse said…
Oh, yay for the successful date!!!!
Rabbit blogger said…
thanks, miss lux..."move over, walking wounded"
brenda said…
Hallalujah! Period!
Anonymous said…
Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)
Rabbit blogger said…
anonymous, for writing inquiries - you can contact me at: marconorth@gmail.com
Anonymous said…
I didn't understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?
Rabbit blogger said…
anonymous - well, "I think she'll like the CD" is a sort of wish that the CD i made for her expresses everything I want her to feel, to understand. As I could find the right moment to express myself physically, I just had to leave things with a bit of faith...and as you will see in the later entries- - everything did fall into place.

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