October 24th, 2006


Gooseberry jam

Some two plus decades ago, I was a junior in high school.

I was not living at home.

My mom had been dating a man I'll call "George" for some time, and things had become increasingly tense for me at home. He kept a smile on his face when he looked at me, but it was tight and his eyes burned with anger and loathing. With my mom, I couldn't seem to do anything right. I did well at school, I was what most parents would have thought of as a good kid (though prone to wearing a lot of black), but at home I was just seemingly a constant irritant.

I wound up living with a family of a friend of mine for about five months. They had six kids and my friend was off at a religious boarding school for whatever sect they followed. Things were financially very tight there and they didn't have a lot of sweets around the house - they just couldn't afford it. At some point this put me into a food hoarding mode, but this is another story.

One thing they did have was a box of tiny pots of jam they'd been given as a Christmas present. It wasn't very useful as the pots were quite small, but I was okayed to have the ones they hadn't already finished off. One of these was a pot of gooseberry jam, and I loved how deliciously tart it was.

It was years and years after before I found gooseberry jam again, at a QFC in Seattle. It seems it wasn't as tart as I remembered it, but still, I was excited to just be holding a jar in my hand. And I bought a pot at the Sainsbury's a few days ago, and sat eating a scone with this delicious jam on top Saturday morning while I was watching the seagulls sliding down the Thames with the current. "We eat them by halves," Wechsler told me, and though I'm normally not concerned with doing things the English way, I couldn't help but see the advantage in arranging my scone so as to increase the surface area available for jam application.

Some time after I'd come back home, I found out that my mom had wanted me to leave because George had told her that I was the thing keeping him from moving in with her. I guess he thought she would never kick me out. I left, but he didn't move in. It turns out it wasn't really me keeping him from living with her; it was just an excuse for him to buy time. Later I found out he was married. By the time I was back in the house, they weren't dating any more, and my mom was depressed but didn't seem to hate me so much.

Later they started dating again. I moved out for good two days after I turned 18.

The sun is shining, but at work time stands still

God, I'm still not totally over this cold. I'll probably get a new one in a week or so. And I'm sleepy and bored and my dinner date has cancelled and I'm at loose ends tonight, which probably means I'll go home and have leftover Indian food for dinner and read.

Just up, Allison Bechdel has posted the picture she took last night of her audience at the ICA. I'm in the fifth row back on the aisle, big grin and orange shirt (the one I'm wearing in this icon). You probably won't even be able to see me, but I know it's me. It's the first picture that's been posted of me since I've been here. I really miss having a phone that I can use to post to my blog. Isn't that sad?