Paying real money for things to drink still feels impossibly luxurious, even now, a decade into making a salary high enough to regularly pay real money for things to drink. I don’t even think about getting the juice anymore, I just get it. I put a can of lemon lime seltzer from home into my lunch bag this morning. Eating in my office in the twelve minutes between therapy and the refdesk, it was like I was practically in France.

I thought I grabbed a lemon yogurt but it was plain. The best part of the lunch, obviously, was the chunk of cheese, part of the block of manchego that belongs to me and only me in the refrigerator at home. I read S.’s chapter for the book she edited with B. Resonating all over the place, and incredibly brave. I put blueberries on my salad and they were so much better than my usual handful of raisins.

The day was absurd, running from place to place, had to get from here to there on time, the burden of K. and O.’s plane tickets, I couldn’t relax. It’s a disease. So lunch was what I could grab in the thirty minutes I spent at the May Day Labor Council Kickoff Party, no sandwiches, just cubes of cheese, these cheap blocks of cheddar that for some reason I love, they taste like being young and eating cheese in the back of the car, all salt.

J. had a bunch of us over to talk about what’s been happening, I can’t believe what kind of housing you used to be able to buy in Brooklyn. Would that it were 1985.

The meeting was held in Brooklyn instead of Middletown and that made it a much more palatable event, not nearly so much driving, just a shuttle train ride and quick walk to S.’s house where we enjoyed D.’s traditional spread along with a couple of soups that S. made. That lentil soup, is it a mandatory recipe for people on the left? I swear I’ve been eating it and it has tasted the same since 1978.

K. told me to eat the mozzarella so I did, with bread and a cut up tomato. O. asked for a bowl of lettuce with carrot sticks–really–so he ate that. Our first meal without her, I felt heavy with it but O. was all cheer. Is it December 22nd yet?

K. bought too many cucumbers for cucumber sandwich day in O.’s class, both predictable and omg I love you so much, and so we ate cucumbers for lunch, lots of them chopped and mixed with mint and yogurt, arugula on the side with cheese and toast. K. proclaimed of the round of goat cheese, It tastes like feta! I asked, Is it goat feta? She said, All feta is goat feta! If it’s about food I don’t know a thing about it.

K. and I got the Perfect Picnic and it was pretty close, turned out to be a fantastic thing that the ferry was so far away and ran just once an hour. O. had the chicken tacos, E. had the empanadas, ended up coated with them really.

Mom and S. in the kitchen finishing dinner, L. swanning around being five, A. drinking wine on the couch, J.’s telling me the rules of UFC: No biting, no eye gouging, blood that impedes visibility will stop the fight. 

The pickings were gruesomely slim at the Ulster Travel Plaza. I just could not bear a Roy Rogers chicken sandwich. Sometimes I can bear it and sometimes I can’t and today I just couldn’t. A guy wearing a Subway sandwich crew shirt held the door for me as I walked in. I would have killed for a Subway veggie sub. I grabbed this and that from the travel store area and combined it with a peach from the Mennonite farmstand at the rest stop up the road. It had more choices, but was closed due to a water main break.