Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Uneventful Day

Indeed, there is such a thing as caffeine rush. It starts with a cup of tea. Black, strong, fragrant, milky. It looks innocuous. But underneath its opaque veneer there is pure energy. Energy of the mind, not of the body. I sit here inert and slouched, like a folded person. But my mind is effervescent. It branches into myriad directions at once and I cannot keep up.
What was that movie we saw last night? They have a sale at Belk? What shall we have for dinner?
I’ll be damned if I know who is asking all these things, but it is not me.
Silvia, who is playing this song?
I am sitting here quietly, minding my own business.
It’s Cake, Cake is playing. They are light, kind of like Modest Mouse.
I am chaos on the inside, equanimity on the outside. Nobody knows.

Yesterday was the day when everybody cooked. I made two stir-fries, Dibya made mashed potatoes, Bill grilled chicken and Khushbu made fried rice. The day before, Khushbu awoke in the middle of the night with unshakable culinary impulses. Four in the morning found her busily whirling edibles in the kitchen, to Bill’s dismay, who saw the spectacle and crossed himself. The kitchen is becoming the most popular room in the holiday house. Presently Dibya is boiling water for what I surmise will become hot chocolate. And it is only little after midnight. The night is young; I hear the pots and pans shuddering in their cupboards with resigned panic. They will get no respite this summer. We eat perpetually, obsessively, excessively. Matters of food override matters of the soul, even though Southern cooking is dubbed “soul food.” We eat as if we are trying to stifle some other need, to smother other preoccupations. We eat as if to forget.

Dibya and I walked by Wesleyan today. We received exactly three honks and two vulgar howls from drivers. It was a slow day. Wesleyan looks forlorn and in denial, like a septuagenarian running on the side of the road. The lights are out in the library. The parking lots are deserted. The gates are locked. If there are any people left on campus they are secluded in the cores of these buildings like mummies under the balsamic effect of air conditioning. It is not that hot. In fact it is peachy, if I may. But Americans complain all the time about temperature. It is as if they are made from a different kind of dough than the rest of us.

We walk home facing the sunset. The sky has the color of my favorite smoothie. We arrive home by eight. So... what are we having for dinner?

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