So I had a birthday on Sunday, which began with my customary breakfast of a single eclair, eaten after a long, rapturous turn on the swings, watching my legs extend themselves into purple shadows on the sand and feeling my arms get all sweaty in their chains. I had cleaned all the rainy Saturday before, arranging medicine bottles in closets and hanging exotic red-and-gold curtains made out of a couple of saris, so I felt inclined to be indolent & mostly solitary on my birthday. I talked to my parents on the phone & thanked them for their gift of half of a Loeb's Classical Library & bouquet of blue iris & huge orange daisies, and Mother sang while Daddy played the harmonica. And the MB sent a crate of pomegranates & instructions on making pomegranate chicken.
In the afternoon I walked alone in a polka-dotted dress and a pair of T-strap shoes to the local movie theater, and it was a wet-looking but clean-feeling afternoon with a green park in it and prematurely-lit lamps and the smell of afternoon tea in the air and I felt awfully good about the birthday, and I told some of the people I met on the street that it was my birthday, and they appreciated it. Afterwards the evening was too beautiful to stand, with secret corners of houses full of tiny pansies, and lit windows, and I almost didn't want to go to my birthday dinner with the IR and Eunice and Lillian and Cromwell and French Jennyfer and Polly, but of course I did. I wanted to go to the Asian restaurant where you can look at people in the restaurant from the bathroom, but Jennyfer convinced us to go to this mosque that is actually also a restaurant and teahouse, so we all sat on cushions against a blue-and-white-tiled wall in a vast, blue-and-white-tiled room & ate those Moroccan dishes with prunes and pine nuts and other vegetables in them, and lots of couscous, and afterwards sat around drinking tiny glasses of mint tea and eating baklava in a different room, & grew languid and satisfied.
At one point we were so relaxed that Eunice asked me why I wouldn't see Stephen. Apparently he had asked her to put in a good word for him.
"I mean, I don't know what happened between you guys," she said, "but really, I'm totally sure it's a misunderstanding. Stephen is a really, really great guy. I mean, if I didn't work with him, I'd date him myself."
I suppressed the uncharitable thought that sprang unbidden & unjustified to mind, which was that if I'm not beautiful enough for Stephen, Eunice most certainly wouldn't be. I said, "I don't know, Eunice. He's pretty lousy."
"Well, would you at least come over sometime when he's over and kind of give him another mini-chance? He's really such a cool guy."
"Eunice, even the thought of him makes me uncomfortable and weirdly sick, and you know that's unusual --"
The IR leaned forward over her enormous belly and said, "Fuck that shit, Nonnie. What's happened to you, you some kinda pussy?"Posted by anonymousblonde at juin 03, 2003 08:04 PM