We'd been invited to an Easter dinner with L. and K. They have such an interesting set of friends, some of whom I know well...and our Thanksgiving dinners there have always been so much fun. So, worried that I was, I was really looking forward to being there and to testing out whether I could pull sentences together with any cogency.
On the way over, we stopped at Wholefoods (also known as Wholepaycheck) and for the first time in months, I was walking through a (glorious, glorified, rarified) market, wheeling a basket, picking out food. Amazing. And picking out some food that I could possibly eat for dinner, knowing that my diet is too restricted to find much from offerings for mortals. I was so hungry that I had a small preliminary meal -- noodles that were too spicy (they tasted so good) and some beef! C. had noticed it in a nearby case and the woman behind the counter carefull chose two lovely, reddish pieces that actually tasted wonderful. (I ate a small piece, savoring it.) K. picked out a chocolate easter-egg cake to take along with us, a far cry from the homemade strawberry short cake, the apple, cranberry and raisin pies that others had brought.
We got there early, actually, and had lots of time to sit in the back and talk to various people. Ten or so years ago, Bogie was the inspiration for Rosie's purchase, and he really loves going over there to visit, though I have no idea whether he has any particular passion for her. They have their own busy ways, going in and out of the house, sitting by our respective feet, wandering around. Another large, beautiful black and white dog came later - Oscar. He managed to create his own world, not bothering too much about them.
This colitis smack-down seems to have changed me. At least I hope it was. A conversation with P., a bubbly, talkative woman who has decided to accept the strength of her past experiences, no longer measure them against profound losses of a number of years ago, to live with mellowness and cheerfulness, was really inspiring. Then overhearing M's fascinating description of volunteering in a hospice, how much he gains from the relationships he develops, lead to a continued talk in the living room -- comparing notes on what we've both learned, far more than we've given, in volunteering -- may lead me in other directions toward more volunteering. It was such a relief to talk with both of these people, as it was to find someone who was studying at MIT just a few years after I stopped teaching there. She's a film editor, working on an engrossing project now, the best friend of the bubbly woman.
I generally failed food again, though the chickens that L. roasted were delicious and proved my hatred against chicken is unfounded. It just has to be organic. The food I brought tasted awful, but the sweet potatoes P. made and a hard boiled egg resting on the seductive asparagus (no, no) were good.
It was so nice to have become a real person again -- to have been able to take in these conversations, to enjoy the hospitality of L. and K.... K. and C. were, as usual, perfectly at home, talking and laughing.
What a nice day! Thank you....