Went walking early, down to the alcoholic bakery to buy bread and croissants as one does on a perfect Sunday morning. The sun was bright, but the air had a mouthful of biting cold, the most by far this winter. As we crossed Church Street the wind took a deep breath and blew steadily down across us like those contrails you see in wind tunnels flowing around a new car they’re trying to sell you on. I was pushing the off-road stroller (thick tires, cup-holder) without gloves and as the liquid in my eyes began freezing, my hands felt the pain of a cold fire. Ice burn. With the understatement of my upbringing I turned to the Missus, who was huddling along behind me like a miserable cyclist getting wind protection during a cheap bike race, and mentioned: “Blimey, it’s parky. “
“Blimey, it’s parky? ”
“I mean, crikey, it’s nippy. ”
This last syllable dripping with a woman’s sarcasm which, as is documented, weighs more and cuts far deeper than any conjured by those wearing the boy genes.
Words, separating us and bringing us together. The connotations of one thing overlaying the meaning of another. My father, bless him, could find no successful euphemism for defecation. When in charge of my training in such arts as a small child, he would inquire as to the successful completion of my business. I attribute this fact to my subsequent emotional remove when it comes to the thought of working in an office or wearing a suit and tie.
Anyway, it was internationally parky. We scurried into the bakery, collected our goodies and some hot chocolate. Of course, it’s not really an alcoholic bakery as such. I don’t even know what that would be. But we call it that because the profits it makes go to help women in substance abuse programs. I guess we could call it the crack bakery or the heroin bakery, but the alcoholic just seems a little more homey. It’s certainly very good.
We rushed home to read the enormously collected newspaper that is the Sunday New York Times and later there was poshcorn, which is what we’ve always called the popcorn you season with the very expensive salt. Reminded me of Bulgaria and the black bears in the mountains and the decayed old tourist camp where I first had salty popcorn, after growing up eating only the caramel kind. It seemed so Soviet in some way. Harsh, proletarian, delicious. Happy days, long gone.
Three from Canetti:
-His head is made of stars, but not yet arranged into constellations.
-Rulers who want to unleash war know very well that they must procure or invent a first victim.
-All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams.