On Friday, a friend and I had a dispute over the meaning of life.
Tata: We cannot get together even for dinner for at least a month. Life is fucking short! This sucks beyond belief!
Friend: We have – like – fifty years. What’s the rush?
If he drops dead in less than three decades, I will be royally pissed – especially if we finally have reservations.
Anyway, it was as if this conversation changed the progress of time. Where weekends usually fly by, this one passed at an almost geological pace. Even the kittens seemed to agree. It was too hard for me to talk on the phone with friends. The speed of life at other places felt out of synch with the quiet of my apartment, so when Daria called to report that next weekend she’s having a barbecue for baby Fifi’s second birthday, it did not occur to me that day would ever come.
My solitary weekend habits picked up mostly where they were left off almost two months ago: Saturday, I made yogurt and set up bread dough to hydrate overnight after a walk to the grocery, drug and health food stores. Today, I baked bread. The online instructions for the clay pot Dad left me hinted the pot could be used to for this purpose. I thought the first loaf I baked would either turn out goopy – that’s the technical term – or into a cinder. Instead, I got a loaf of bread that is beautifully moist with a crisp crust. I could hardly believe my luck.
It is a sign of this moment that I keep thinking of questions I’d like to ask Dad. Mayonnaise irritates my stomach a little. I wish I’d asked him to devise a handful of summer salad recipes for me – not because I can’t do it myself but because he loved culinary puzzles. This puzzle is not much of one, really: kind of like the little sailboat cut into four curvy pieces.
It’s just as well, then, that I spent my weekend coming to a point of quietness. All talk does not bring us to accord. Or dinner.