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I believe in artichokes

Italy did ruin me. After that first trip I came back disgusted by bodega coffee, which now smelled of old socks. Before, it was just fine. I rolled my eyes at red sauce joints, detouring old standbys like a stranger. If eating can be seen as a religious or spiritual experience I had been to the mountain. In time I would return on pilgrimages, always holding the simple pleasures in my thoughts.  An artichoke, methodically fried in good olive oil, with some salt. Black truffles, good butter and fresh pasta twisting around the back of a fork. A very cold and tiny glass of porto bianco sipped in a Genoa bar, with my friend Federico. A man cleaning sardines on a block of wood in the street. A woman selling green figs that she wraps into a newspaper cone. I have thousands of these memories, these artifacts. But I live in Moscow, where there has been an embargo for years now, and there is no population that expects perfect mounds of fresh cheese. They ship powdered palm oil here, that gets …

the old place


Passing the old place, a phantom wind runs up my leg and across the back of my neck. I have not been here in eight years. I do not go closer than the driveway. There is the bald spot of lawn where my Weber stood, where E rolled around on a blanket as I slow cooked ribs on Saturday afternoons. The house looks clean, under a fresh coat of paint.

There was a light on the corner of a building that turned on when you walked under it. E would be in my arms long after the sun had gone down and I had to be careful or the light would wake her up.

I can admit it now. I talked to that light. It was a familiar presence in a broken life. I waited for the telltale click and the bloom of shadow and the click of the timer that would turn it back off in a few minutes.

I told that light may things. My fears, my wishes. I called it friend. I can remember telling it goodbye, looking up at brick and metal, talking to a piece of hardware.


Comments

liv said…
sentimental journey

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