walking in the warm April rain
Monday, April 15 2019
At some point in the night I woke up to the sound of strong, unrelenting winds. They were so consistent that they didn't even howl. They just blew. Strangely, though, they only lasted for about ten minutes and then died away to nothing, their sound lost in the plinking of raindrops on the gutter.
At around noon, I took a break from the workplace and went to do an errand for Gretchen at the Red Hook branch of our credit union. At her recent readings, she'd put out a bowl asking for donations for various programs that try to get books to the incarcerated, and she'd collected something like three hundred dollars, and that all had to go into the bank. When I stepped out onto the workplace's front porch, I heard the loud metallic patter of raindrops, suggesting that I should probably drive. But that porch and roof always reflects conditions from 20 or 30 minutes ago, not the present. And by then the rain was coming down slowly enough to walk in. And it was warm. Walking in the first warm rain shower of April is always a good idea, and so I did. After I did my bank business, the plan was to just get some snack at the corner gas station, since my two main restaurants are closed on Mondays. But then I saw the Golden Wok and remembered how good the food we'd had there on Jewish Christmas had been. So I went in there and ordered Mixed Chinese Vegetable in Garlic Sauce. I took it back to my workplace and ate it at my desk. It was a surprisingly large amount of food and had cost only about half what I pay for a burrito at nearby Bubby's, though it was a bit sweeter and greasier than I would've preferred. Still, it was nice to get some broccoli and tofu. My body misses those things if all I've been eating has been carbohydrates and peanuts.
This evening we would be entertaining a pair of guests: S, a rather famous practitioner of a certain type of yoga and her companion (I don't know if he's actually her husband), David. Gretchen had spent much of the afternoon preparing a fancy three or four course meal, and when I came home I contributed to the cleaning jihad. We haven't entertained guests in awhile, and our house had grown pretty nasty. One of the things I did was clean up the archipelago of dried splotches of cat vomit. I also cleaned up the clumps of catnip and cat fur in the laboratory, though making that space presentable was a lost cause in the time available. In the inevitable house tour that would be happening, it was just going to have to be the physical manifestation of my burgeoning creativity.
When our dinner guests arrived, Gretchen was on the phone in the middle of a big argument with our Brewster Street tenant about an illegal above-ground pool she'd installed and that someone had recently complained about, as if there was any question at all about that pool being able to stay.
S (who actually knows the one-named rock star) had brought a bottle of red wine from Sting's personal vineyard in Italy. This particular bottle was bore the Roxanne brand, and there had also been a Message In A Bottle. I asked if if there was a Don't Stand So Close To Me. She said she didn't know.
We did the usual crackers & dip socializing in the living room, though only Gretchen and I were drinking the Stink wine (it was good — even Gretchen thought so, and she often finds red wine "too tanniny"). Fairly soon, it became obvious that I have been (at times) a reasonably prolific artist, something that seemed to surprise S. This to to a tour of the upstairs, which lingered (as these things always do) in my laboratory. Unfortunately, people seem to have totally forgotten about Ahmed Mohamed, and so my Ahmed Mohamed clock no longer gets the laughs it used to. I'd cleaned up a large mass of dehydrated cat urine back on Saturday, which made the laboratory much more pleasant than it otherwise would've been.
After that, dinner began with a course of delicious creamed cauliflower soup. Later there was a mushroom quiche and an arugula salad. Nothing in any of the food served tonight contained any aliums (onion, garlic, or relatives in the lily family) because of a prohibition with origins in Hare Krishna.Furthermore, nothing had been heated in a microwave oven because S & David harbor concern about the damage of radio waves. At one point Gretchen asked me what I thought about all that, and I assumed she wanted me to say what I really thought, because she already knew my opinion. I said that I didn't think such waves were harmful except (perhaps) within an actual microwave oven. I further stated that given the size of the waves used in a microwave oven, it would be difficult for them to escape unless there was a very large hole. But I knew there was no convincing anyone of the benign nature of something that they believed to be dangerous.
The conversation moved into the living room and continued late into the night. Gretchen had suggested I go watch last night's season premier of Game of Thrones over at Ray & Nancy's place when they watched it at 9:00pm, but that seemed to assume our dinner guests would've left by then. She supposed them to be early-rising yoga types, but she supposed wrong. At 11:00pm I politely excused myself and went upstairs, and they continued to hang out with Gretchen in the living room until 12:30am, which has to be something of a record. Meanwhile I lay in bed with my headphones on watching that Game of Thrones episode on Rabbit, one of my Compaq 2740ps. As I did so, I found myself thinking it to be a bit more schlocky and melodramatic than I'd remembered it. But it's still plenty watchable, if only for the visual spectacle of its nearly fully-imagined world. One thing that often goes unexplained is how these massive armies are kept fed, though at least today this food requirement was at least mentioned in passing. As for the dragons, they eat "whatever they want."
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