Tuesday, December 25, 2007
It’s Christmas. We write. I watch the Power Puff Girls and trudge through Pale Fire, which is interesting, then not, over and over. We call people at a dollar a minute. Not bad. Or people call us. We say hi; we listen to kids in the background. Kids who are talking, burbling new words and roughhousing, or settling into adolescence. Across the street the girls are in school, in recess. The last sheep in the yard still bleats. Will anyone eat her? We decide to get out. We go to a restaurant with clouded windows called L’Aubergine. I have “trio of crepes” – one mushroom, one spinach, one broccoli – and a Sakkara beer. J has chicken teriyaki and a weak screwdriver. New Age music in the background and colorful walls. Mostly Europeans here, a mishmash of language. The waiter says “Happy Christmas.” Then to the vegetable seller, who has a fresh batch of asparagus and spinach. He is wearing flip-flops too big for his feet. The air is crisp. No Christmas music, no snow, but cheerful out here. Many restaurants have put up little trees and tinsel. The streets are less populated, so we can feel something, maybe something from the past that we wouldn’t recognize. A little boy, maybe four, wears a gallabeya and sits on the hood of a car. The gallabeya puddles around him. He swivels his head and softly says hi and blinks and smiles. We swerve into a store that sells rugs and bedding. An old man in a brown sweater says, “handmade, handmade.” We buy.