May 6th, 2006
the absence of men
I write with a new pen bought at an art supply store. Today I took my time wandering around and testing the various things, feeling the texture of the erasers, inspecting journal bindings, making circles on a white pad with a yellow marker. I find myself smiling at the different shapes of ink bottles, I like the green one with the black chinese writing the best. But I don’t buy it as I have enough ink at home, even though I want to.
I am alone for a couple of days. It is the weekend of “the final shave”. bare skin, cheeks that haven’t seen light. My husband has been filming a documentary about nine men who stop shaving for six months. I look forward to the return but for now I will enjoy my alone time, (and work on my taxes).
Tonight I will enjoy Maltese dinner (as taught to me by my friend Steve who is maltese), which consists of tuna in olive oil, boiled new potatoes. some form of steamed greens (rainbow chard), sliced tomatoes and bread. It is one of my favourite meals, (my husband is not a fan so i have it when he is gone.)
Currently I sit on the front porch of a cafe sipping green tea and eating an oatmeal raisin cookie (my current fixation, I can’t get enough of them). A man in a navy blazer talks on a phone and sips white wine. A group of women at a corner table giggle intermittently, one has beautiful curly blond/grey hair and intense eyes. I secretly long the join their lively conversation. An older couple sit quietly eating matching ceasar salads with bread. Few words are exchanged. The woman has the eyes of an apple doll, sweet, yet resigned.
I have a long (eight inch) golden thread attached to the blue button on the left sleeve of my jean jacket. A remmnant of one of my worldly adventures (as opposed to the non-worldy ones). I watch it blow in the breeze. I like it there. I want to see how long it will last.
I return home to a quiet house, the men have left bits of themselves scattered through the rooms, which comforts me somehow. an unneeded tripod, a suitcase too big for the woods, an empty equipment bag. I miss them as I unpack my groceries. It is so quiet it is as if time has stopped. I can tell that lots of men were in my house because the toilet seat is in the upright position.
I put the potatoes on to boil and sit reading. This is the time of day when the sun hits my bookshelf just so and my favourite books become illuminated, as if they are the most important things on the planet.