After an event tonight, we all adjourn to a small bar with a large crowd. I am standing with three people who don’t know me and don’t pretend they might like to. I’m sure they are nice but small talk is a black hole: the more people are trying to be interesting, the less interested I am. There is a lack of oxygen in the room which makes it difficult to speak; I feel my face freezing and sincerely wish I could dissolve like a sugar cube into the nearest cocktail.
When I leave the air is cool and dry, where there has only been humid heat; the trees are whispering and the bangles of my necklace offer a refrain.
I suppose I’ve always thought one day I would get it: Say the right things, drink the right drinks, stand beside the right person. But there is no one I can “be” at a party to make that considered impression, that I would want to be.
When who I am, home now, finds the pasta sauce in the slow cooker is bubbling with a black sheen on top. Boil noodles quietly, quietly, must not wake the housemate.
Spicy sausage, tomatoes, heat: You need nothing more for this alchemy. I pick some greens from the yard, add a smattering of oil and vinegar, and sit on the patio reading by glow of a tealight, tomato sauce dripping down my chin.
All is well with the world.