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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 …

threading the needle (the birds)


That familiar feeling washes over the morning  - of being pulled in opposite directions. At one end, the petty, twisted mechanisms we cross paths with in life, the foul, grotesque result of miserable people trying to make sure everyone they encounter feels the same as them. It is a form of narcissism, this selfish cloud. It is hard to outrun a cloud, sometimes. At the other end is a tiny creature, a growing ball of new smiles, hands outstretched, eyes that grow curious, an enduring stare that does not blink. This little person that was not here a few months ago, at the center of our rhythms, guided by her ability to sleep, to be bathed, to poop, to eat.

I never forgot the clock I call baby time. Every time I wake E up, I think of those mornings we spent when she was the same pale-skinned lump of needs and big eyes. I think of walking around with her late at night, singing Desmond Dekker songs because that was what brought her peace.

We never forget those times, but there is nothing like doing it all again.

Now, I am walking with V in the stroller and she is not sleeping. She needs to. She wants to. Every curve of the path, every pebble is an obstacle. Will she thread the needle, and close her eyes? I look for noisy children and steer away from them. Out of nowhere two men with a chainsaw appear and I veer into the opposite direction before the throaty cough of the machine begins, and the buzzing into tree limbs brings her back to eyes fully open.

Those petty people, they are not here now. Their shadow cannot reach so far into this leafy suburb. I can only focus on the way V's hands jump around, finding a Michelangelo pose, one pinky frozen in the air as her eyes do surrender to this smooth asphalt, the chirping of at least two different kinds of birds, the smell of fresh cut grass, the low wet splash of a few leftover rain puddles.





Comments

marvelous, again. and always in that magical sense of the word, Marco!
liv said…
Ahhh, run away with them, bring them home and kiss them both for me.

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