getcher hand outta there. you'll gum up the werks.
  hot damn, ethel. looks like it werks. and yes, mike golay lives here.
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Whinge

Thursday is Tokyo
posted: 03/27/07

It's been nearly a month since I dropped you off at the airport and you flew away on one of these little jaunts that you do. This has been a long escapade, though, hasn't it?

Tonight I cooked. Again. I've been cooking since you've been away, which is a little joke between us and everyone else, because us and everyone else knows: I don't cook (but you do, and quite well). But now I do. I've been watching Anthony Bourdain on the TV (something else I don't do but something that you do quite a lot, and also quite well) and I've read his book, which I started reading that time at the beach when you brought it and I wouldn't stop until I was done and you still haven't finished it and it's your book and I know how it ends, and now I cook. In your absence it seems I've become more you than me. Which is fine. You have much better hair.

I've been cooking various things, and defrosting various trinkets in the freezer that you've left (merci), so this mixes in a little variety between what I've learned to do for myself on my own by trial and error (recipes: why bother?), which is basically heat up some meat, cut up a few veggies, and drown all of it in value-priced wine (both at the time of cooking and thereafter). So far I haven't burnt anything, which is something I always imagined was the cook's worst fear. The burning. If anything I've not burned things enough, which is where Mr. Microwave comes in. Gotta kill the creepy crawlies somehow or another. I judge my cooking skills at this point chiefly by how many times I have had to go to the hospital. At this moment the tally is something like 0 for 12 on the E.R., which is pretty good, I think. And anyway, who would drive me?

Tonight I made a pork chop, some asparagus and a mess of sliced mushrooms and coaxed it all down with pinot noir. I ate whilst looking over the remains of the Sunday Times, a paper I only rarely read these days. I am remembering our last time in New York, which was in that small but very smartly appointed apartment so kindly opened to us, that quick weekend in June when we swooped in and out. Gosh it was hot. We spent some time in Brooklyn and had a nice dinner at Supafine with Cabot and Lorca and Adam. And I am remembering - of course - a decade ago when we first met in that city. This evening, while consuming my latest dish, I opened the Travel section first, reminding me also of you, and I leafed through, just scanning mostly. A story about au naturel bars à vin in France. (Great line: "The highly recommended [wine and price ommitted], was a wine so natural it was turning to vinegar, an illustration of the fact that just because a wine is natural doesn't mean it's superior." Amen to that.) A piece about dining in San Sabastián. Adam says we should go there, and I believe him. I'd like to go back to Nice as well, but these things can wait. No rush. I flip open the Book Review and I am reminded also of trying to impress you with the things I had read at that point in my life 10 years ago.

I don't think it worked.

I have been reading quite a lot lately. Who's to stop me? Making my way nightly through bits and pieces of The Accidental Connoisseur, Lawrence Osborne's great book about, among other things, terroir. Slices of the Times Magazine. Making the occasional tracks through Powder magazine (okay, I read it on the toilet). And far too many meaningless emails. I can never seem to get away from those.

People call to make sure I'm still alive (presumably), but only occasionally. Which is enough, I suppose. It's always a little startling when the phone rings. I play guitar, per usual, I practice. I am presently fumbling through a china shop of high-strung horrors: butchering Bach, performing the Heimlich on Handel, skewering Paul Simon. Not a bad time to have the ears several continents away.

You and I spoke on the phone today, post-Verizon customer service hookup, and you mentioned that I sounded "very far away." If you were to download Google's Earth software, install and launch it and then fly from Maine to Japan (as I just did), well... yeah it sure does seem pretty far, all right.

In a few days you'll be back and I'll probably try to cook for you (I predict cow, which after India is probably all right, I'm thinking). You'll likely be quiet as you eat, and after, like you usually are. I will know that what I made was edible at best and potentially life-threatening at worst, and I'll probably phone ahead and make sure there's an available ambulance in the general vicinity.

There's a good chance I'll go have sushi tomorrow night as I've more or less exhausted any ideas I have in the kitchen (or become bored or psyched out by any still lingering), and plus... I have the craving again. This will almost certainly work out nicely as I can't imagine you'll want anything approaching Asian food for the next month or so. I'll go ahead and get my fill.

You're the best thing that has ever happened to me and I will be very, very glad to have your sleepy head back home.

It's Thurdsay and you're in Tokyo. But really it's Friday for you and that means you're just a little closer to LAX and then Cincinnati (whatever code that is) and then me.

You're my wife and I'm pretty much happy as hell about it.

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