In the process of looking for a new housemate a wispy twenty-something wandered through. She wore an oversized sweater though the sun was shone fiercely, and her translucent fingers stroked a large turquoise necklace.
She pronounced there was “good energy” in the apartment, then turned her vague blue eyes on me and asked, “Are you spiritual?”
This is a tough question to accept from a stranger, but I mustered sufficient vagueness and turned to direct the tour into the yard when she uttered four words that instantly halted me: “Are you into nutrition?”
The word “nutrition” hung idly in the kitchen air, and I felt suddenly she had started speaking in tongues. “Nutrition …” I could not grasp any familiar hooks on which to hang a word; my mind turned to a slow panorama of images. Cod slipping off parchment paper in a pool of steaming lemon juice; five pound jars of honey carried reverently through the L train; the wet tangle of red clover infusion; my mother’s well worn hands layering floury dough with walnuts and cinnamon.
The pause was becoming breathtaking when I finally uttered haltingly, “Yes. I wish people realized good food just … tastes better.” Her face relaxed into a smile. “I eat mostly a raw food diet,” she whispered earnestly.
And I knew this would never work.