January 27, 2010


"Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off." - Raymond Chandler

Some of my favorite fellows are leaving in these 48 hours. I've gotten used to the sound of Tama's laugh, or the way Dave came barefoot to breakfast every morning. You can't sentimentalize these things. The commitment is to the work, not each other...still. 

The upside: my irrational drive to make each meal (contrary to my usual eating habits) for the sake of conversation will probably ebb. Maybe I can skip a few lunches in return for no interruption between 10 AM and 6 PM. Maybe I can work all not and not feel guilty for missing breakfast. Given the weak coffee and today's lunch options of pizza and cheddar-cauliflower soup, that seems pretty doable.

When I turned in my meal card I listed all my allergies, as asked. But I also wrote that I was not asking for accommodation. When something is safe, I eat it. When it's not, I don't. I've made no bones over a few salad-only meals. Yet last night, I poked my head into the kitchen to introduce myself to the chef--who just returned from a trip--and upon naming myself, she didn't say Hello or that must be tough for you. 

"Oh, yeah," she said, flicking her hand with a flash of recognition. "That's too much." 

Too much...what, exactly? For what?

Ah, ignore my grumpiness. The closer one gets to the end of a residency, the more you pick at little things. It's the subconscious strategy to become grateful to go home again. 

--AND...after finishing this post and dashing to dinner...not only had the chef put aside a plate of plain spinach for me (otherwise, tonight's salad was infiltrated by goat cheese), but she pulled me aside to warn me that the fish would not be safe tomorrow. So maybe I'm not too "too much." Maybe I just caught her at the wrong moment last night. Oh VCCA, why must you make it so hard to leave you?

*This quote is from this slideshow, on "Famous Literary Drunks and Drug Addicts." I enjoyed the catalogue, but it seems like a weird marketing ploy. Is anyone going to actually look at this, then say "I must have that portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald!" Who, by the way, had my second favorite quote: "First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you."


bill said...

Interesting take on residency social dynamics.

"Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?"

- Frost

Jessie Carty said...

i don't know what i would have done if someone had said to me that is "too much" eek! glad you still had something to eat though :)