Thursday, August 23, 2012

things I wrote


I wake to the sound of scraping. Harsh, abrasive scraping.
Ed! Do you hear that?
I look and see that there is no Ed. Not in the farmhouse anyway. At 6 in the morning, Ed’s on a ladder, doing the scraping.
I read on the Internet that if you work before dawn, you wont disturb the wasps.

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I might as well be up too. He scrapes, I water the flowers.

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And finally we eat breakfast.

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Outside, the light is brilliant, the truck farmers' crops are reaching an obvious state of wonderfulness..

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I hadn’t planned on working on the grand re-edit of my book until later, much later. But I couldn’t resist. And as I worked along, I thought that perhaps, to be thorough, I ought to reread my childhood diaries. (I began writing them when I was eleven.)
Ed, would you go with me to storage? Storage is a place where stuff is kept. Stuff that no one wants or needs and at the same time, no one has the heart to get rid of. True, I would throw most of my family's storage away, but I know my family regards me as unsentimental in this regard. So we have storage and the stuff stays there and no one ever looks at any of it. Except that today I want the trunk – the one I brought with me from my early years in the States, the one where I would store childhood diaries.

I can’t open the lock at the storage place. We work our way through all the storage rooms in the building. Oh oh. I was working the wrong lock. Ed opens it, we’re inside.

Oh, there's the steamer! The trunk that has it all! We haul it to a space where I can open it.. Everything around us is dusty, accumulated from years of indifference.

I open it. Letters. So many letters! When you travel away from your family, your homeland, your friends -- you write and receive letters. I seem to have kept them all. Thousands of letters!

But no diaries.

I glance this way, that way. No, they’re not here.

We leave. I need a pause. We go to Paul’s, we go to the Fitchburg market – distractions all. And darn good distractions! At the market, we buy a baguette from our favorite here – La Baguette...

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...and we buy corn and we admire the exchange of chicks. These guys.

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No, not chickens. Turkeys.

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I ask the kids if the birds will be big and grown by Thanksgiving. Oh yes, they get big, they reassure me.

Still later: 

In the evening friends stop by. Ones who do not mind that all we have to offer is garden tomatoes and curds.

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Because Thursday is market day and therefore we always have fresh curds on hand.

And much later:

I ask Ed – that plastic bin in the basement – is it yours?
I open it and there I find the journals. 

I start reading.

It’s humbling to read what you wrote at the age of eleven. And twelve. And thereafter. You like to think of yourself as open-minded, insightful and hardworking. At eleven, I was none of the above.

I don’t have it in me to cook a real dinner tonight, so I scramble eggs, cut up tomatoes and cucumbers and call it a meal. Sometimes our meals are very uncomplicated.