Thursday, February 19, 2009


It's the first time I've been out of the apartment all day and I've been going stir-cabin fever crazy. My desk is set up so I look out my window at the sky and the street and the man who always seems to be on the roof opposite. Maybe he's practicing to be a cat-burglar. But on a day like this one even he's retreated inside. The snow which was swirling down this morning has turned into mean, persistent rain, and the blue skies I've been counting on have gone. It changes the mood of the whole room. Suddenly the bohemian garrott feels like a nightmare in a Ikea showroom. A showroom where you can't swing a cat. Although if I were a real New Yorker, I wouldn't feel twice about keeping some high-maintenance dog in here. A springer spaniel maybe, or a thoroughbred papillion.

We've run out of pasta which means I officially have a mission which requires me leaving my suddenly claustrophobic two-room apartment. Outside it's black, and the pavement is glossy with rain. I give the piles of rubbish sacks a wide berth, ready to run from any marauding parties of rats. Despite the dangers, I go to the bodega a couple of blocks away rather than the one on my corner. I love the word bodega. Going there makes me feel like Bill-and-Ted, off on an excellent adventure which involves crossing Atlantic Avenue. I really do spend too much time on my own here.

In this bodega the guy behind the counter doesn't spend all his time talking on his cell to Kirghistan. They also have piles of artisanal, organic bread piled up by the door. Boerum Hillites do like their artisanal, organic shit. Every time I go in I hover over the bread, looking at this one loaf of cranberry and walnut loaf. It looks really good. What worries me is that there's always just this one loaf, never more, never less. I'm tempted to make some sort of secret mark on it to see if it really can be the same one as three weeks ago. It wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility. Last time I was in America I left a red pepper in the back of my fridge and only remembered about it two months later. It looked just the same. When you buy 'fresh' milk in America you know it'll be in date for the next six weeks. They do magic, very deeply wrong things to their food here. Maybe even to this poor organic, artisanal cranberry and walnut loaf.

After I pick out some fusilli I make sure to scurry back to the apartment before Chris gets home. He locks me in every morning to keep me safe, and I wouldn't want him to think that I'd escaped.

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