Archive for Prose

Bindo and Bacall

Posted in Meanderings with tags , , , , , , , on January 17, 2009 by 1writegirl

You ask what romance means to me, and the answer comes easily enough if I close my eyes and remove the artifacts of personal experience. I am a throwback to a bygone era, a Bacall kind of girl, who responds to penetrating glances, crooked smiles and confidential winks. I would tear open a long box tied with a ribbon to find a dozen perfect, white lillies wrapped in tissue paper. I would dine with you in a continental restaurant late at night, at a corner table, dimly lit, so close to you our knees touched beneath the tablecloth and the feel of your fabric against my bare skin, tantalizing, caused my heart to beat faster than even the wine could mitigate.

I would walk with you in the warm rain; feed you chocolates, the ones you had given to me, while watching old re-runs of The Avengers; waltz across a dance floor held tightly in your arms; and hold my breath in anticipation as you whisked me away for the weekend to I knew not where. You would ask me to marry you and slip a ring on my finger before my eyes returned to size, before I could catch my breath, before I could find my voice, Yes!, and believe it all to be real.

When I rely instead on memory, or the teasing, fleeting promise of it, what I see is you gazing at me with one raised eyebrow. I feel your hands cradling my face as you lean in to kiss me so slowly, so softly, our breath is one. You play a song for me on the guitar, and once in awhile, you even write one for me. On a regular basis, you speak of me in poems that you share with the world. Your fingers graze mine as we curl up on the couch to watch a movie, and my breath comes faster as I anticipate what is to come, later. At two in the morning, when neither of us can sleep, we whisper and laugh like two carefree teenagers, limbs sprawling, intertwined, beneath soft, warm cotton. You bring me coffee in bed; you envelope and guard my dreams, secrets, and silly fantasies; you cook me eggs benedict. You confide in me, champion me, trust me, and believe in me. You would take me home to Mother.

My son adores you. He seeks you out, his face lights up when you smile at him, and he glories in your approval. My son, who is not trusting of grown men, has allowed himself to be himself with you, without fear of repercussion, disaster, or abandonment.

My dog deems you alpha.

You, my love, are what romance means to me.

Food for Thought

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2009 by 1writegirl

My significant other, “L”, is on a mission to “get healthy.” In preparation, he purchased a king-size, multi-function juicer/blender, bought five pounds of carrots and oranges, and dusted off his yoga mat. I think he might also be on the lookout for a worthy pair of running shoes. His goal, if I understand it correctly, is to lose about 20 pounds, have more energy, and be more focused. While I think he looks great the way he is (picture Anthony Bourdain meets Nicholas Cage) and have no complaints about his energy level (my car verily sparkles since he detailed it last weekend,) or ability to focus (he’ll listen to me read and re-read my latest children’s book for hours!), who am I to stand in his way to a healthier lifestyle? I support him 100 percent. In fact, I’ve even considered joining him in his mission. After all, I share – in theory anyway – a deep and abiding respect for juicing and yoga.

Notice I said, “in theory.” It gets tricky when I take into consideration to what lengths “L” is prepared to go with the juicing and yoga-ing (he is the only person I know who has managed to transform yoga into a verb, pronouncing it suavely enough yoging, as if the “a” were superflous). While I sometimes think of myself as a closet vegetarian because I’d be pretty content for the most part to eat fish, with an occasional chicken dish and special occasion red meat entree, I find it difficult to envision drinking rather than eating my meals, barring some sort of all-body cast or the affliction of tetanus. When he said he was planning to cut out his morning cup of coffee (french roast!), a shudder ran down my spine. I felt weak at the knees, and sent my son running to the bathroom in search of smelling salts.

I consider how far removed from ascetic my personality is. I am not a fan of self-denial, at least when it comes to matters of the palette. I am one of those people who takes immense pleasure and delight in the sensations of the taste buds. Carrot juice is an acquired taste; chocolate, butter, and lobster are not. I have been known to lick the spoon that dipped out the sour cream; spread mayonaise on both sides of my sandwich; cool my oatmeal down with half-and-half or even, if I have some in the fridge, heavy whipping cream. Life is short. Am I prepared to give up the little pleasures that, however small, immeasureably and consistently enrich my life? If I died tonight, would I really want to realize that my last meal consisted of liquid vegetables? Wouldn’t I demand a do-over? In times of pain, boredom, anxiety or duress, it is the thought of rack of lamb with rosemary or brie on sourdough that compels me to keep on keeping on, that allows me to resist the temptation to see life as utterly and insanely futile. The fact is, I see food — good food, that is, as I’m a great believer in quality over quantity – as one of life’s redeeming features. “Like Water for Chocolate” comes to mind.

Don’t get me wrong. I go to the gym regularly, watch what I eat (“Moderation is the key,” Mom always said), and have been to more than one yoga class (even if the ‘downward dog’ does leave me lightheaded, I try it again each time I go.) I limit my alcohol intake, am drug-free with the rare exception of an ibuprofin or two, and think about, if I don’t actually practice, the possibility of meditation as an antidote to stress (I like to think that fantasizing about a vacation in South America approaches meditation.) I just don’t know if I can be as healthy as “L” is intending to be without losing my joie de vivre. Will the benefits outweigh the losses? Will my sense of humor suffer for it? Will I still be fun to be around, a kick in the pants, the life of the party? Will my sense of self remain warped, or will it shrink down to size? I don’t know if I could bear that.

Perhaps I’ll try limited doses of juicing and yoging. A day here, a day there; work it into my life, like vitamin supplements or eyebrow waxing. If I like it, I might choose to do a whole week now and again. And if not, well… let’s just say I’m not throwing out my stash of Gourmet magazine just yet.