I like the particular way the sunshine is rolling into my office this afternoon, inviting me to come out and play. I dislike the frazzled air within the office, complicated by tensions about money, suspicions, deflected accusations. I hate seeing faces frozen with anxiety, and want to throw a bit of sunshine in their face, like a snowball but filled with warmth and that Vitamin D that everyone is aching for.

Next week it will feel like a new universe. I will put on my floral dress, I’ll put on every floral dress and do a spin in the office, wait to see if anyone notices. I will wear all of the bright colors and spread a picnic blanket on the floor, invite everyone for crepes with fresh berries and a cannoli or two.

The fruit man sets up every day outside of the office, rain or shine, bundled up to offer us the fresh produce he has garnered from the farmer’s market. I wonder about the connections he has made, talking to the workers. Maybe he knows the Spanish word for ‘cantaloupe,’ or maybe there isn’t one. Maybe he has been friends with the farmer in booth 47 for 22 years, and he relies on the selection of oranges that appear during the winter months. He knows the turns in and out of the market by heart and feels very carefully the bumps on the road, so as not to spill the apples out of their bags. He knows the ripeness of the avocado from just one touch. He tells me that the red plums are ripe, and tart. My dad likes plums.

Apples aren’t very good in February. Have you noticed? The texture feels more like biting into a piece of plywood… maybe, maybe not that severe, but there is a chalkiness to it that dries out my mouth. I think about the unseasonliness of the ‘fresh’ produce we have and how an apple tastes best from the orchard in the fall, with a few germs from all of our hands as we pass it around and sigh “mmm.”

Yesterday I ate sambar and dosa, comfort food from the kitchen of my friend’s mother. I thought about how doubly comforting it is that I get to sample comfort food from this globe. Today a friend commented about the places that tumble into places in this neat little partitioned globe that we call home and mused on her unique experiences wandering around a bit. I feel disappointed that I won’t get to wander in and out of the details of everyone’s settings; I think about how sad I will be on my deathbed as I look at the map of unreached territories. I rip the dosa with my fingers and dip it into the sambar, tasting comfort in the South Indian dish that I will make again, glad that this particular experience can be put into my wooden recipe box and tasted again.

 

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