Rich brought me a rose. We’d met up at our seats to see the simulcast opera. He’d just come from working a fundraising event, and filched the red rose from a table setting to save it from being thrown out. I put it in my purse. All evening I felt special. My husband gave me a rose.
We went to Costco. Albuquerque was too hot already. We got a good deal deal on discount coupons and went to Yannis, my favorite. Campus was deserted. The city had that slightly sad quality of loneliness, mixed in with its usual pleasant bustle. We sat on the patio. I drank a glass of retsina and thought about how I’d rather drink a glass of peasant wine than fancy. I think I don’t care about wine, but this tasted like that late afternoon—faintly bitter. I could feel the world spinning around as if I were at the center.
A friend was looking at my back garden. He’d said no, he’d just had lunch, no need for a snack. He reached out and pulled one small leaf off the glorious hanging nasturtium. And ate it. I didn’t ask, but I know it tasted fresh and peppery. I’d been meaning to add them to salad, and his spontaneous gesture reminded me.
More orange things appear in the back yard. An orange cat eats a mourning dove, fights with another cat, and digs in my flower bed. I go out to scold the cat. But I end up petting him, saying how beautiful he is, praising him from growing up from a kitten. He wears a little collar, but we seem to be in his turf, too.
I have been reading the collected Czeslaw Milosz for almost a year and a half. Or pretending to read it. It sits in the pile and I skip over the poems in search of more narrative. I’ve read well over a hundred books instead of finishing it. I am now on page 566. It says: “I describe this for I have learned to doubt philosophy/And the visible world is all that remains.”