Friday, February 5, 2021

Last night I made a beautiful meal: pork loin braised in milk, squares of polenta fried with green onion, and a salad of chiogga beets, spinach, and pecans. It tasted very good and was also a visual delight--the red and yellow beets . . . the crisp golden polenta . . . the bright onions. Looking at it was almost as good as eating it.

Now here we are at Friday again. In a couple of minutes I'll heave myself off the couch and drag the  recycling to the curb. I'll take the laundry off the cellar lines and start a fresh load in the machine. I'll answer some emails and wash the breakfast dishes and clean the ashes out of the wood stove and make the bed and sweep the kitchen floor. Probably I'll chatter with my Chicago son, who usually calls early on Friday mornings. Eventually I'll turn on the computer for my Zoom yoga class. And then I'll try to do a little bit of writing until/unless Paul gets up.

And I'll stop and stare at the vase of pink tulips I bought yesterday. My eyes are hungry for spring.

Nothing ever happens; nothing is new. But I am trying not to malign myself for chronicling the tedium. It is a satisfaction, at least, to have a clean kitchen. And a pretty meal. And folded clothes. Small tokens of what could be called civilization, though it's impossible to use that word without cynicism. A certain sort of civilization, anyway, built on the backs of housewives.

I feel like I've forgotten so many things. How to drive, for one. I had to buy gas the other day, for the first time in months, and I got flustered about the gas pump. I've also forgotten how to be with a group of people. I've been invited to a socially distant, outdoor birthday party to be held later this month. It will be safe, and there will be people I know and like, and I am already terrified. A party? I don't know if I can manage a party.

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