the last embassy
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4 May 2002 (Saturday): on the back stairwell

There is something delicious about loneliness, when the dosage is measured right. It illuminates parts of the psyche usually hidden, too easily masked by the presence of a lover or good friends.

Séverine has decided that I'm all right, so far as humans go. I know this because she dug her claws deep into the legs of my jeans this afternoon, while I was giving her a headrub. I'm practicing my French on her, for no particular reason other than an inexplicable belief that all cats understand French. Quoi de neuf, Séverine? I ask. As-tu faim? Je peux acheter un peu de lait pour toi, si tu veux. She mews, then starts as a man comes up the stairs. N'aie pas peur, chérie, c'est un ami, I tell her, though I don't know that for a fact myself. But sure enough it's a neighbor, a Russian fellow named Dobrin, and just like me he crouches down and offers his hand gently to her in greeting. He's middle-aged, with a warm smile and creased hands. He drives a taxi. I now personally know a Russian cab driver.

I get the feeling that I am living some part of Virginia Woolf's A Room Of One's Own. Which I haven't read. Which I should read. This is an excellent excuse to go to that lovely bookstore across town, the one with ancient wooden staircases and rooms that open into rooms that open into rooms, an endless maze of secret passageways. "It's one big fire hazard," I said to Soren once, "in a good way. I mean, it's all wood and paper, it's dry and musty...it's everything that the physical experience of buying books should be."

Minor epiphany of the evening: pupusas taste a hell of a lot better when eaten with the pickled cabbage. ("Ohh, so that's what that's for. Duh.") Also, the family-run taquerias around here make a mean horchata.

posted by enjelani @ 11:06 PM PST