It is hailing outside, the kind of morning to snug into reading, pull another blanket onto the couch and look up occasionally at the window. Instead, I am trying to determine whether the hail that is pinging off my nose makes an actual noise, or if that is what all these little bits of ice sound like as they skitter across sidewalks.
Is this worth it for celeriac, I wonder, seeking out the gnarled root at stands with winter vegetables next to other farmers’ market junkies who smirk into their insulated coats at the normals who only visit greenmarkets in the sunshine days of tomatoes and snap beans. I will grate the celeriac and fold in a remoulade to pair with braised fennel and lentils with carrots dressed in mustard for women I see too rarely this afternoon. If I can find the celeriac.
My favorite farmer has elephant and watermelon radishes, no celeriac, and next to me, a woman opens her egg carton to gloat about how beautiful the Araucana blue and greens are. She touches one of the eggs, my hand twitches, and I quickly catch the farmer’s eye - Are there any eggs left? - He sells me the final dozen they have brought for today, and I feel the loathing around me in line as I place my prize carefully at the top of the cloth bag. Now to the stand with piles of vegetables, some of them labeled correctly, to continue the search. Here we are, big celery roots, dirt still in the whiskers at the end. Small bag? he says. No, I have mine.
I turn to leave and see them, the family from Long Island that brings incredible seafood when they show, which isn’t often. Like someone you see across a crowded room and fervently hope is as gorgeous up close and as a person, I try not to get too excited. I walk casually toward the blue plastic basket. Yes, those are what I thought they were. Stay calm. Do not buy the whole basket. Check your cash. Not enough. (This is why I don’t wear any jewelry to the market. I would pawn anything shiny in this situation. I recognize I have a problem.)
Leaving the market, walking down the street, jittery. I am standing in front of some ATM punching in numbers. I am back at the blue basket. (Told you I was a junkie.) Dozen and a half, please, and a bag of mussels. To a passing glance, they almost look like oysters, and that’s the trick. I want to grab people - uncinch their jacket hoods and earmuffs - and whisper the secret. In this country, scallops are separated from their shells, dozens of eyes, and bright orange roe long before they arrive to the fishmonger. I think that’s what gets me, we don’t even know that those scallops are processed. Opened at the table this afternoon, I will sear a few to sauce with butter, and very late tonight I will eat at least one raw, which is dangerous, as the best things often are.
A few more days
A final Hi meeting
The local neighborhood bar has a quiet time between six and nine. It is a place that specializes in coffee, beer and seasonal menus. There is just enough of each for a satisfying snack and effective buzz. After the time when the laptop lids close and before the social gatherings start -- there is a sort of twilight*. Often this time is a fugitive ground rife with creative inspiration and meditative work -- of the kind that results in personal reward.*twilight may refer to civil, nautical or astronomical variety depending on your social or terrestrial condition
A man positions his mouse on the edge of his browser window. He clicks, holds and drags the viewport first left then right. The content of a video game promo micro site responds and adapts to the available space. To the man, this is more delightful than the game itself.
A man laboriously moves his piano down three levels onto the subway platform. Classic vocals and strided chords -- he played so well I swore he was blind. Oblivious to the heat on that August stage, he was most in touch with his audience -- whom he elevated with his music.
A woman should do exactly as she pleases no matter what a man may think.
As the Dalai Lama once said, "It is a time when there is much in the window, but nothing in the room."
"No one understands me," she said. Her grandmother was silent for a minute. It seemed she was searching for an answer in the star speckled sky. "But no one understands anyone in this world, darling. We are all unique. It is what gives us a sense of wonder."