my birthday (Thank you everyone, and thank you, Lass, for the amazing package. I can’t wait to use the hippy soap! I still have not taken our book to the post office. The post office seems to exert some strange magnetic repulsion on me. I can’t explain it. Well, I guess I could.)
waiting 4 days to hear that M has made it to Italy and is alive. Here, I will post in full the message we finally received from her:
hey mom i just got a computer and i dont have a phone card or know where a pay phone is. im alive though and none of my stuff got lost or anything. pompeii was pretty but dry an i liked sorento but i like siena more. my homestay is a nice old lady whit two cats and a dog named yoko like yoko ono except i dont know how to spell that. ok ciao haha
N’s graduation party, which was actually amazingly fun. I was worried, because the guest list was composed purely based on whether people knew N. I tried to make sure people would know at least some other person, but then people couldn’t come, so there were some stragglers — but it was fine, great actually. The thing about giving a party is that sometimes you are so busy, for instance, grilling the meat, that you can’t go hang out with people. Sometimes I actually like that part, but this time, there was a table full of people who had not really known each other before who were all gabbing away, and I really wanted to go sit with them. I finally did — but it was like that. And K’s cousin showed up early (thank god) and helped us decorate cupcakes and hang decorations. It was the kind of party where someone you don’t know very well ends up helping with the grilling, and two other people you don’t know all that well manage to find the ketchup and mustard in the refrigerator (a miracle under any circumstance) and it turns out that your friends M and KP actually know a very good friend of G’s mother F, and it turns that you actually know her ex-husband. A lot of it had to do with the fact that B is actually, when you come down to it, a really small town (and you’ve lived here for 28 years), and also that parents often have parenty type things to talk about, and that nice people are nice and they’re nice to talk to.
Also, in another moment of planetary alignment, N’s friend AA’s whole family, including her older sister, came, which meant that my friend A’s son S (who is now a college man) had someone to talk to. The sister, Harriet, is a senior at U of C, writing her thesis on Venetian politics in the 1600s, and also a pretty lively girl, and S is interested in history, plus also goes to a small college in Illinois — so it was just great. All the kids ended up around the firepit, and K’s cousin A went back and forth between the kids and the grown-ups, since he is just about in between us, agewise.
So anyway, I think it was a success. It was blistering hot, too, which added an element of shared suffering, which was good.
Now, I think you’ll be please to know, I’ve mopped the kitchen floor. And done a lot more gardening. And I’m reading a book about Venice, City of the Falling Angels. I like his books, although I don’t know why. I think they’re sort of Vanity Fair books — they’re about interesting places, and he takes you behind the scenes to meet the people who are locally important. They’re the sort of people I would never hang out with — not being a member of society, myself, and it’s like that, “society,” as though it’s the only one. But they’re sort of interesting to eavesdrop on. The books sort of pretend that they have a story, but they really don’t. Good summer reading, somehow.
How I love summer.
Oh, and it turns out that one of my local bookstores is closing. This is so sad — and sort of unbelievable. They’d just moved. I think if they could have hung on for a while they might have made it. I just got an Italian dictionary for M there. I think they were probably the only place in town, except the campus bookstore, which has wierd hours, where I could have done that. Huh.
Okay. Got to go —