Archive for February, 2003

February 23rd, 2003

» orgasm, on a plate

If you are ever in Ormskirk, England, go to the Left Bank Brasserie.

We arrived shortly after noon. We were planning to go to the Cafe Bar, which also has excellent food, because they offer really good specials on Sundays, but they weren’t open. The town is severely dead on Sundays. So we went over to a pub that supposedly serves food all day, but the bartender told us they didn’t serve on Sundays and pointed us across the street to Left Bank.

It’s a beautiful place. The chairs are covered in a soft mulberry purple suede, the walls painted in bold but soothing colors. Our waiter Paulo, from Portugal, was surprised to learn we were American, and called over the other waiter, Ludwig from Germany (around Munich). We were there from around noon to two, and we had a grand time with them.

I had the best food I’ve ever eaten. I’ve been supposedly writing this entry forever now, but I keep getting distracted, so I’m going to make this last part short and sweet.

A generous serving of melon with a cluster of berries (raspberries, currants, etc), with a light drizzling of fruit glaze and powdered sugar. Garlic cheese bread. A smooth, sweet red wine from southern France. Grilled chicken in marsala sauce, with potatoes cooked with leeks and fresh vegetables marinated in all sorts of good things (olive oil, I think, plus pepper and basil). For dessert, chocolate cake with berries and chocolate sauce and chocolate ice cream, and orange and cinnamon creme brulee.

February 18th, 2003

» day 34

Still no proposal from the shower curtain, despite promises made during those first weeks here. Stupid molesting sheet of semi-plastic.

February 10th, 2003

» going back

I am the one who lives with the ocean
It’s where we came from you know
And sometimes I just want to go back

I’m trying to discover myself again; I’m trying to find me. And I guess that’s what foreign journeys are always stereotypically about — finding yourself, having some great epiphany, coming back changed. I doubt I will. I doubt it will happen for me like that, but who knows.

Tonight I want to be the person I was in fourth grade. I want to be able to be that girl again.

One day I said to my best friend K.V. that I wanted to be friends with M.G. and S.J., who were the two most unpopular girls in school. I had found out about the concept of popularity that year, when M.A. and I, who had changed out of our suits slowly that day, were the last girls left in the locker room after swimming. She informed me that she and x y z were “in”, but I wasn’t. It took me a while to figure out what being “in” meant, but when I did I decided it was stupid. I hated it. My fourth grade self decided that people were people, and M.G. and S.J. were people I wanted to know.

(This moment I remember perfectly. It was on the playground behind the school; K.V. and I were standing near the dome, on the blacktop. I was looking out over the green, green lawn at M.G. and S.J., and I was turning this idea of popularity over. I was wondering who gets to decide, and deciding that maybe it was me. Being so thoroughly of this conviction that I was completely outside of my own life. Turning toward K.V. and thinking she would understand.)

I lost almost all of my friends that year. All of the popular people whose homes I had been welcome in — R.S., A.L., K.K. That year I learned to be scared, and I began to learn not to trust.

And it happens, I know. Kids are absolute shit to one another; adolescence is brutal. There’s still part of me, though, that does (and always will) wish it wasn’t like that. A part of me that wishes I’d really made friends with M.G. and S.J. and stuck by them, and appreciated them as the beautiful people they probably are today. As a fourth grader I wasn’t strong enough to do that completely.

And maybe now, over ten years later, I’m still not. It’s not even the same question anyway. Luckily “in” and “out” aren’t the way they used to be. It’s just a question of how shy I’ve become, how much I will let my introversion protect/cripple me.

Maybe this is too much late-night honesty. Too many hours of introspection. Tomorrow the light will be different and maybe I’ll be comfortable on my false legs again, miles from the ocean.