Wednesday, 7 October 2009

If Libraries and ShowBiz be the Food of Love......

There is something about the half hourly rumble of a train and its horn passing through the station next door that propels me into the dramatic getaway section of a black and white detective movie. As it punctuates my evening I can envisage the smoke, the glare of its front beam and the to-die-for sultry close ups of leading ladies and their men impeccably dressed and lip-sticked smouldering under the heat of being discovered for their crimes. Whatsoever they may be. There is something about the view across the way (once you get past the air conditioner the size of a small studio directly infront of our window) that harkens back to the tenements of 20s America. I can see windows infront and above me and its enough to give a bit more soul to our building. There's that train again screeching through the night. It brings my fantasy of being a real live living breathing travelling circus a little closer to life you see. A convoy of trucks is not quite the same as having our own train but still. Imagination will fill the cracks reality exposes. Despite all the newness of this particular location I was delighted to spy another one of those gold US Mail boxes by the elevators this morning and have made a promise to myself to use this one. Actually I find myself in the unprecedented feeling of having almost an entire evening to myself. Our little man was so overcome with his day that he passed out on my lap at dinner around 6.30 (oh no, does this mean I am going to see 5.30 again this morning?!) after only a few slices of mouthwatering-fresh-from-the-oven-bread dipped in olive oil. We had found ourselves stumbling across yet another gastronomic find (blessed be Cory's per diem which allows us to enjoy such treats!) around the corner from the theatre. After passing an hour or so watching - wide eyed and intensively alert to all his father's movements - the troupe's publicity photo call on stage and in costume we had built an appetite. I think the amazonian dancers overwhelmed our boy. One in particular seems to have etched herself somewhere deep in his psyche. When Sam first met Beth (who beautifully plays an upper class New York socialite, fiance to Dr Frankenstein) in the flesh he recognised her from a picture message Cory had sent a week or so before hand. When she came back into Cory's room with her illustrious flaming red wig on Sam seemed uncharacteristically bashful and by the time we past her in the corridor with her full ruby sequined jaw dropping glittering gown on he was positively speechless and barely caught her eye. Add to this the fact that towards the end of act one when we watched the show in Providence, he asked where the red lady was I think we can safely say some impact has been made on the young soul. I can understand the allure of the older woman for him. They seem to have the time to listen to all his musings on life and laugh wildly at his jokes. Hang on. I have just stumbled upon the discovery that an almost three year old male's needs aren't so different from their grown up counterparts after all? How can you compare the wide eyed expression of joy that Beth casts over Sam to the changeable and unrelenting demands of her three year old counterparts. I'm thinking specifically of one Talita, the petite Brazilian beauty he met over plastic fish and sweetcorn at the tail end of Alphabet Time in Hartford's public library in the play kitchen section. The luminous glassy room, the stacks of books, what better place for the sparky meeting of freshly grown and burgeoning intellectual minds. Her mother Carolina and I watched as they played together, Talita making clear demands on where each item should be placed on the rug and Sammy taking great care of her needs by asking her if this was the right spot on every item he pulled out of the wooden play food boxes. Suddenly the weight of a mother's responsibility makes my shoulder muscles tighten. I watch him attending to his new friends and feel torn between the feeling that we are helping to nurture a very caring soul sensitive to the needs of others and predisposed to co-operation and the fear that in fact I am so utterly controlling that he must needs seek and be drawn to the kind of women that abuse their power (I can tell you she barked out her orders in a most forceful manner, in true three year old style). Later at the nearby cafe (freshly roasted beans on the premises and mouth watering tea. Yes, tea, served in an iron japanesey pot on a small ebony tray with a cup that had two handles on either side. I am a sucker for details, somone once attributed that to the cluster of planets in Virgo in my chart but I will try to keep personal astrological facts out of this to minimise offence) he put his arm around her. I, wrongly, interfered adding, "That's nice Sam, you can give her a hug." He looked me square in the eye and without diffidence or a hint of provocation he plainly replied, his arm frozen in its chosen position of comfort,"I am not hugging mum." The young couple looked up at me with a fleeting earnest look of pubescent love and just as I etched it to memory they broke into a tickle fight and threw themselves back into three year old and the couch. I love the juxtaposed way mock adult behaviour sits alongside the oblique sense of realism in a three year old. Whilst we were sat in the auditorium this afternoon Sam told one of the company managers that the cogs on the set were like the wheels on Harvey the crane engine (Thomas fans will understand) which is absolutely correct. In the next breath he asked the same man whether he lived on stage. He told him he lived under the stage. Sam held his gaze for a moment. I could see his own cogs turning to figure out what that meant exactly. Then dinner was called and we were onto salivating over thoughts of pasta and such. We did end up in an Italian but this was as far away from spaghetti and meatballs as you can get, not that I don't love a good spaghetti and meatballs but seasonal leaves with caramelised walnuts, goats cheese, wild cactus fruit drizzled with a Tahitian vanilla bean vinaigrette, it ain't. This is what started our feast. It was followed by grilled artichokes Roman style (they certainly made me want to be prone and draped in a loose fitting toga) and home made ravioli and a divinely delicately cooked sea bass laid over fresh roasted vegetables (already miss our allotment, we had those stripy beetroot ready to pick just as we left) and potatoes that so creamy they seemed to be made entirely of butter. I was sold from the moment they served Cory's iced tea in an oversize wine glass and presented me with a small liqueur shape glass on which to merely balance a slice of lemon to flavour my tap water with. We finished of with a "Triticot of Signature Deserts". I figure that my daily quota of egg to keep my iron in check also includes a rich chocolate souffle disguised as some sort of cocoa bread pudding right? I mean the doctor told me to eat eggs, she didn't say don't eat chocolate or don't eat chocolate and egg together. What more pleasurable way to ward off anaemia? Still I will compensate tomorrow at the farmer's market - our new friends have told us to catch the 61 bus with a dollar and 25 cents each to get there. Here we plan for Sam to meet Talita (we'll see if it was true friendship or just the glow of the early afternoon light) and her mother and baby brother once again and enjoy the fruits of local farmer's labours. I hope to bring back an armful for our bimbo too!

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