Yes it’s roasting but at least the candles haven’t melted yet and taken that deep bow to lie right down on the dining room table. It’s like something out of Beauty and the Beast when that happens. Next the teapot will scream and throw its apron over its head, which come to think of it is what I was doing all day yesterday though until this year I hadn’t worn an apron since 7th grade when we made Prune Whip in Home Ec class. None of that June Cleaver stuff for me I always swore. We Woodstock girls, we wiped our hands on our pants is how I saw it – at least until the year my girl Annie went to culinary school and made aprons look good. She bought a real one to live here for when she comes over to do her magic. Then out went my novelty apron with the frazzled cartoon lady standing at a messy stove crying “The Cook Needs a Kiss!” In came this plain cotton one going clear down past the knees like the hemline of a nun.
I had it on yesterday because I was making tender morsels for my former student Richard whom I hadn’t laid eyes on since he sat in my Accelerated English class back in the 70s when I was at the height of my wearing-green-fingernail-polish-as-an-effective teaching tool phase. (I was in that phase but my how I loved every kid I taught. I still have all their test grades; still remember where each one sat.)
Richard is here from Paris where he has lived since he turned 21. He and his partner Sasha spent the day coolly sailing on the ocean. I spent it sweating like a tea-cake. All day on the errands I ran, people were walking slowly, hollow-eyed as extras in a Tom Hanks war film. They looked like they were wading through hip-deep water as they crossed the steaming seas of asphalt to get to their cars.
Everyone looked that way yesterday – everyone but these two, standing serenely by the side of the road. I zoomed past as they feebly waved. I saw them in my rear-view mirror; screeched to a stop; backed up; and bought me some lemonade. And aside from seeing warm and handsome Richard and his lovely Sasha and preparing for them the berries and the goat cheese and the young rosé we turned out to be too hot to drink it was hands-down the best thing I did all day.