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I Have Eaten the Anchovies December 21, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
11 comments

Deloney posted, after reading Helen: “My ear is pierced but I don’t wear an earring. I was reminded of this when I heard that Helen is on Twitter but she doesn’t tweet.”

I responded: “I have a small jar of anchovies in my cupboard that I haven’t eaten, and I have no idea why [I haven’t eaten them].”

Then Deloney wrote an anchovy-based post.

Last night I opened the jar of anchovies. I put them on a pizza with roasted brussels sprouts and butternut squash and goat cheese and fresh rosemary.

And it was good.

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It’s the Shoes, Part 2 December 14, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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I am a woman both sentimental and practical. A sign of this is that I’ve had the same pair of felt-soled wading boots for more than twenty years.

Sometimes my husband will ask me, “Don’t you want a new pair of boots?” But there’s nothing wrong with my boots. They may look faded and worn, but they work, and the felt soles are still in good shape. Plus, I like them. They’re old friends.

Old friends that I may never wear again. Come April, it will be illegal to wear felt-soled boots in the waters of Vermont.

I get this. Truly, I do. Felt provides invasives—particularly Didymosphenia geminata—with an excellent opportunity to attach themselves to something and migrate to new waters. Thing is, these past couple of decades, I’ve really enjoyed spending more time on my feet and less time on my butt. I will deeply mourn the death of felt and the loss of my stability.

I will buy new boots. I will pray that they will be grippy sans felt, but I am under no illusions.

Oddly, the last trip my boots made into Vermont waters was not a fly-fishing excursion but a stream hike with some gal pals. Everyone else was wearing river shoes or sandals, but I, knowing the river bottom, and wanting to be with my boots one more time, was the gal who was either (a) making a fashion statement or (b) clearly not making one.

Afterward, we got out of the river and sloshed along the road, stopping briefly at the cemetery to visit a friend’s grave. In Sioux’s driveway, I removed my felt-soled boots, maybe for the last time. They dried in my mudroom. They are on their long dry home. RIP.

Visage December 4, 2010

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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I’d never seen John Berry’s face.

Back in the mid-1990s, I was in his house once. He wasn’t there. My co-workers, Deb and Tom, were taking me on a birthday picnic to the U.S. National Arboretum. We stopped at Tom’s house on the way, which was also John Berry’s house.

My memory is beautiful dark woods and perfect furniture—rather English-gentleman chic. I once bought a painting because it reminded me of how those rooms felt.

At my birthday picnic, Tom gave me a papyrus painting of birds, a souvenir from his trip to Egypt. It now graces my office wall.

I moved to Vermont. One morning, as I was cross-country skiing on my NordicTrack, the phone rang. It was Deb, and I picked up. “John Berry called me this morning,” she said.

Which meant that Tom had died.

Tom died of AIDS, just before the drugs got good.

A month ago, Deb and I were at the arboretum once more. I was in DC for the Stewart/Colbert rally. Molly and Paul (my ride) wanted to see the bonsai before heading north, so Deb (my bed-and-breakfast) drove me there to meet them. I gazed rather wistfully toward the National Capitol Columns, remembering our picnic.

This past week Dan Savage was on the Colbert Report to discuss It Gets Better, his online video project aimed at preventing suicide among LGBT youth. Gay adults talk about how life does improve.

I was watching this interview at the gym during my workout. There I am, minding my own business on the elliptical cross-trainer, when they run a clip from the project—and it’s John Berry, now director of the Office of Personnel Management and the highest-ranking openly gay man in U.S. history (whose name has now twice found me with an elevated heart rate). John mentions the string of important posts he has held, and says, “You can be whatever you want. You can love whomever you want. But only if you first love yourself.”

And that was the first time I’d seen John Berry’s face.

Just like Tom, every hair is in place.