Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Black ass

"Black ass" is what Hemingway called his dark moods. Black ass is what likely killed him. My therapist tells me that my own depression is hardly lethal; apparently my ego provides counterbalance. Still, he says that it's something to watch.

Whatever the case, my visions seem to have brought the black ass upon me with a vengeance. I cancelled class, locked myself away, sneaking out only to buy a capon and truffles. I roasted it in, as the French say, funerary style with the truffles stuffed under the skin. Fresh sage and olive oil (xx), plus black pepper. New potatoes. Accompanied by my lovely '99 San Gimignano riserva, though my stock is dwindling.

Still this did not alleviate my condition. Ms. Puppycute came to my door. She plays by the book and probably couldn't stand for the cancelled class. I stood in my bathrobe, staring at her through the spyhole, and then I hid behind my sofa until she stopped knocking.

Finally, I called my oldest daughter, even though I don't like to worry the girls with my nonsensical brooding. They tend to fuss over me like mother hens. Ella is in culinary school and Billie is studying at the Foreign Service School at Georgetown. She hopes to join the Peace Corps and then serve in USAID. I tell her to say 'hi' to John Bolton, but she says, "Some of us need to fight from the inside." She's right, of course.

Billie Trout: Hello?

Daddy Trout: (attempting good cheer) Meine Engeleinchen!

Billie Trout: Oh no, what's wrong Daddy? You sound awful.

Daddy Trout: Nothing's wrong, just checking in...

Billie: You're lying.

Daddy: Drat! Just a black ass. No big deal. How's life, Daughter?

Billie: Daddy, tell me, are you okay?

Daddy: I'm fine. Just a little blue. This one isn't so bad. Lonely, I guess.

Billie: I'm sorry...we all worry, even Mom. Why don't you call her? That might help. She says how she misses you often.

Daddy: I'm glad she and I are friends again, but I couldn't handle that right now. Can I come to DC for a few days? We'll hit Etrusco and check out Francesco's latest menu. We'll drink too much wine, talk loud, act like rubes, snort at anyone who looks Republican.

Billie: Sorry, I'd love it, but I'm giving a paper at a conference in Miami this weekend.

Daddy: Rats. Next weekend?

Billie: I've got an exam...Thanksgiving's coming up, maybe we'll get together then.

Daddy: Isn't there a Harry Chapin song that goes something like that? (starts to sing)

Billie: Don't,'ll make me cry. I promise I'll call you every day.

Daddy: Bless you.

She ended up recommending a brisk walk while there's still a few leaves and before the winter slop sets in. How I miss the pristine whiteness of my home country, even with the forty-below days and the cabin fever. I drove to a nearby state park and did a seven mile loop, laboring over some of the ravines. I sat on a cliff watching a redtail hawk coasting on the thermals. The walk served me well. At home I rolled some lobster ravioli, albeit the lobster was frozen. A cold tomato-cucumber sauce and the last of my San Gim. riserva. Tomorrow should be better.

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