Thursday, March 13, 2008

Words Of Flesh And Bone And Leaf And Flower

We've been doing the back and forth thing lately, Sara and I, caught in this odd cycle of work. For a few days I worked late, and to catch up, when I was finally home with the kids she would stay late. Funny thing is, everything seems amplified when we live like this... In some sense it's harder (especially the 12 hour days, one after the other, that keep me on my feet cooking like mad until I sit down in the car for the ride home), but in a way, I like the pace. Days like these my legs and arms ache with each movement, everything I do seems timed to the second, and I hang on each bite people lift up on their forks... waiting to see how their face changes, if they snap into focus.
Days like these I'm taut like piano wire in the kitchen, but when I walk in our front door aching and burned, home is a fairy tale. Past our front door, I can hear the kids padding around in their socks upstairs, and can almost feel them in the air... and for a while they're perfect... telling me about their days so fast that each word spills over into the next. If it's anywhere after eight o'clock Sara is, of course, lying in bed with her laptop at the ready... but on days like these with the goofy hood of her pajamas pulled up tight she still has the same smile that knocked me over when we met eighteen years ago. Tired as I am it's days like these I'm electric, and when everyone is asleep I want to write like Beryl Markham (or at least her husband) and have every word that's typed out be true and worth the telling. I want to start lifting again... I want to buy a duck press even though I have never had the need to press a duck... and want to learn how to play the Sitar on the off chance that someday someone needs a Sitar player, or marijuana is legalized, whichever comes first.
Then there are the days when she's late, and for a few brief shining hours the kids are just mine, and I can mold their little brains in ways that Sara would never put up with. This week, for example, I played "Are you gonna be my girl?" at an absurdly high volume often enough for Sam to learn all the words (and Lily a good chunk of them), and played old Underdog cartoons on YouTube until long after the point when they should have been getting ready for bed. Plus, we put whipped cream on a few foods that never, ever, should have whipped cream put on them. A noble experiment, sure, but believe me, not something we'll repeat.
When it comes down to it, I like these weeks a bit more every now and then. Sure, I'm tired, sore, and bitchy - but all of the effort makes the rest of my life shine a little brighter when I walk back into it. Plus, I get paid...
And to top off a week like this, I couldn't have asked for anything better than the enormous package I got from my new friend Amelita. A while back we started talking a bit about this and that... food stuff, for the most part... and she suggested we swap a few goodies and start a little USA-Australia food connection. I sent a package a couple of weeks ago stuffed with a few fun things from work, some spices and quinoa, some Tastycakes, etc... and lo and behold today I got a box in the mail absolutely stuffed with TimTams, dried mushrooms, jams, spices, chocolates, pink salt, raspberry tea, jelly crystals, olive oil... and almost every other category of food you can imagine. An entire dining room table full of stuff as a matter of fact. I restrained myself and waited until the kids were home before I opened it, and let our little Australian cornucopia spill out in front of them so that we all could root through it. Plus, she sent along a book of photographs of the town and beaches of Townsville, where she lives, for us to flip through while we munched our way through the box. Perfect end to a perfect week....

1 comment:

Squishy said...

I am so glad your enjoying my parcel. I think I got a bit carried away but well worth it. I hope that nothing got broken? I made chili powder with those lethal chilies you sent me. Wow they are awesome.


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