I’m at Far Leaves in Berkeley, where I used to spend every Wednesday afternoon during my last year of college. They’re in a new location now, but the Monk’s Blend is as fragrant as ever, and the blood orange shortbread as crisp and melting.
This morning I drove my parents to SFO. They’re going to North Carolina to watch my youngest sister’s club tennis team play… sectionals? I don’t know what it is exactly. Anyway, they go every year. One year the event was in Arizona, and I want to say another year was also in NC. I wanted to go with them this time, but flights out were so expensive, we couldn’t do it.
Yesterday we moved out of my aunt’s house, where we were staying for the past two months, and into my parents’ house, where we will stay until we leave for Toronto in two weeks. My room is a mess of boxes and books and painted sketches and nearly every article of clothing I own, from old pajamas to the dress I was married in.
Last night I dreamed Kato had a side job as a clothing designer on Etsy, and I tried on an outfit she said was for “riding.” It looked like a combination of a dress and a coat and it had two pieces, top and bottom, and it cost $88. The top had an attached capelet and the bottom had what looked like a bustle. In the Etsy listing it appeared to be made of thick, bright blue fleece, but Kato said it was silk chiffon; in the sample she had me try on, it was stiff charcoal wool felt. It looked gorgeous and modern and sculptural with only a hint of vintage flavor. I said I would buy it.
We had dinner last night at Erik’s parents’ house. After the meal and the fruit, Erik and Elbert were talking about the latest cancer research, and when the conversation became technical (proteins, cells) I spaced out and then noticed the patterns of light and dark and steam around the pot where Mom was cooking meals for the week.
The Far Leaves lady has just remembered that I also asked for a tea egg, and has brought it to me with apologies. I thought it would be cold, but when I went to peel it, the steam burned my fingertips. This is the way I have eaten many tea eggs — straight from the pot — so the tender fingertips are as familiar a part of my history with these eggs as the taste of salt and Pu-Erh.
Haircut later, and then shopping for gifts for Toronto friends (if the weather is good), or writing at a café, and then dinner with Kay.
Thirteen more days until we start our journeying.