Yesterday started with three hours of staring at bottles in an empty wine shop (I was behind the counter), but that was redeemed by the lunch that followed. We were going to go to a coffee shop, but decided against small, public spaces and having to pay for something you can do much better at home.
So at a friend’s kitchen table I was served a good, simple meal: sliced mushrooms with a hint of olive oil, lemon, pepper (from Elizabeth David), a salad of leaves from the garden, avocado, mini corn, more olive oil and lemon, and bread. There was conversation which, with the food, restored me to some sense of self. The powers of a kitchen table are something else.
Later I returned for more from the same kitchen: roast lamb, steamed green beans with garden leaves and Danish blue. Piece incroyable: baby leeks braised in red wine (also Elizabeth David). The meal was not at the table but in a garden with herbs and a fig tree, and there were parents and children and some bottles of wine consumed.
Driving home I thanked myself for resisting the temptation to see no one and do nothing but stare at a television screen and I also wondered about the stars that I care little about. Not only the real ones (I had been chided for showing no interest in the comet that is in our skies these days) but also the mumbo-jumbo of horoscopes. Traits of the Cancerian are sometimes all too obvious in me: the comfort of home, family, a fig tree (knock yourselves out, Freudians).
And then of course there’s Eliot:
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.