Suddenly, the Saturday ritual – a trip across the road to the Westside Community Market – is under fire. For three weeks in a row, I’ve ignored the market. I haven’t the time to cook – not on the week-end and not on the evenings of early week. I’m home too late to brush dirt from mushrooms or peel squash for soup. By the time my evenings clear (Wednesday), I have a the Hilldale Market down the hill offering even fresher corn, tomatoes, greens.
But this seems just so wrong. During the cold months, I’d give anything for a chance to take out my basket on a Saturday and shop for produce outdoors. If you don’t do what you claim you love doing, shouldn’t you reconfigure life so that you can get back to what once made you smile?
This morning, refreshed by a Friday of no outside obligations, I pull Ed out to the market. Dinner will be late – past 10 – but that’s the way it has to be. And anyway, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms don’t take long to roast (with olive oil and garlic, 400 degrees, ten minutes).
The rest of the morning is a blur. When you have a list of tasks, all disconnected from each other and pulled together only because they’re all just a Honda motorbike ride apart, you go through it all in a hazy state of indifference.
Only the weather continues to be anything but indifferent.
And so we motor downtown to sell some clothing, and deliver a photo of mine to the Overture Center Gallery (which photo? I choose La famiglia Romana because I love all that is contained within it), pick up a replacement laptop for Ed, a backup hard drive for me... I know. After this kind of a list, one has to ask -- why blog? Why write about life if your life has become inconsequential?
But let me finish: we settle in at La Baguette, for a cappuccino (for me) and quiche (for Ed). A dreamy quiet settles over my internal space.
I read an article last night, written by a man who, in his permanent bachelor state, finds himself with too much time on Saturdays, even as his married, familied friends find that their Saturdays are booked for years into the future. There is, of course, mutual envy.
To me, Saturdays with family or even perhaps in a newly minted love affair may appear booked, but they are booked in good ways. What should never happen is what I find to be my lot right now: free days that aren’t free, but nor are they (for the most part) putting anyone closer to anything singularly special. These cluttered times will fade from memory, because no one remembers days spent on crossing off "to do" lists. That's why we make the lists: they are surely forgettable.
On a more cheerful note, late night hen-of-the-woods mushrooms and scrambled eggs are a wonderful supper. Especially with a baguette from a bakery that now forms the backbone of my better moments.