The weather is changing. The atmosphere, like all other fluids, resists change. Being constituent parts of this atmosphere, I’m willing to bet we resist it, too. Everyone acts just a little slower nowadays.
Yesterday was a lazy, lazy day. John and Abby and I went over Paul’s, as it was Monday and that’s what we do on Monday’s. Ellen cooked up this pasta sauce from scratch. She won’t mind my giving out the recipe, I’m sure. She gave it freely to me.
Heat up some oil in a pan. Throw in five to seven finely chopped cloves of garlic. Stir in twenty (small; gosh, I’m not good with produce. In an emergency I couldn’t tell a stalk of celery from a leek.) sliced tomatoes. Let them cook until everything is the right consistancy. Add some fresh basil — they have a plant in their kitchen; Abby has one in her single room appartment on the eleventh floor with no access to a kitchen, but she has the plant nonetheless. Join with pasta and serve.
Before dinner Abby and Jon and I slouched into position in the living room. Abby took charge of feeding Gracie, who is now nearly six months old and has the staying and jumping power of an olympian, while Jon closed his eyes a while on the couch. Alice joined him; he was in her customary napping spot, after all. Between the hardwood floor inside and soft falling rain outside, it was a lazy, lazy day.
I had a vodka martini on the rocks. Then I had a margarita. Jon had moved to the kitchen to chat with Ellen, while Paul and Abby and I contemplated a mint julep. A friend, the same who had supplied them with the basil plant, had also given Paul and Ellen more than a few sprigs of fresh mint. Without an apparent use, the mint, we thought, might be wasted. But without knowing just what goes in the julep part of a mint julep we were lost. Luckily JC, who lives just downstairs, was a bartender who had made a few juleps, mint or not, in the past.
Paul returned with a bottle of soda water. It was the only ingredient we had reasoned must be in the mix. Keeping with the culinary theme of this post, a mint julep consists of crushed mint, sugar water (think simple syrup), soda water, bourbon, and ice (which serves to keep the mint from floating to the top. This, as we found, is crucial).
Abby and Paul disappeared into the kitchen after dinner to prepare drinks. Eye-balling the ratios and completely neglecting the soda water, Paul emerged with three glasses. One for me. And two for Abby, Jon, Paul, and Ellen. Grace, being too young, had been put to bed upstairs. I finished my drink on priciple but too slowly. Everyone else had given up and put theirs in the kitchen. I took mine to go in a steel Harvard Summer School complimentary mug. Paul generously poured what remained of the other two in with mine. I sipped the entire ride home.
But the night was not over. Abby came over. Having recovered from her Southern sweet tea, we cracked open a bottle of riesling I had in the fridge and read livejournals until we were out. “I have some beer upstairs,” Abby offered. God, I love her. Smart, beautiful, and generous. I expect good things for her.
We retired the wine glasses and broke out the pilsners and poured. By this time, we were a little hungry. Uno’s Pizzeria has half-priced apps from 10 pm until closing Sunday through Friday. There was no question about where we should go. Another 22 ounces of beer and an order of Tuscanny bread and boneless buffalo wings later, it was closing time. And Lisa, a regular, had passed out in a stall in the bathroom. This left Kimberly, one of the watiresses, quite unnerved. Abby did what she could; it was she who had discovered Lisa in the first place, and we left. By three o’clock, it was time for bed. I bid Abby adieu and now it’s a full twelve hours later.
I’m off to meet the sisters Dionne to study at Diesel Cafe in Davis. November isn’t getting any further away, you know. The tip of one of the trees outside my window has already begun to turn and the color is spreading.