This New Year, Let’s Go

It’s a new year and I’ve been in LA since January 8, 2011, a little over a year.  Since then, I’m relearning that this city of lights is for the most part constantly sunny without the east coast notion of “seasons.”  What a change from those wintry days in Bronxville when the sun vanished for days.  The most drastic change in LA weather appears to be the shift from afternoon sun to sunset when the sunny warm temperature suddenly drops resulting in a chilly ocean-cool, which in retrospect, provides a nice balance of warm and cold.

The year for me though really wasn’t about balance.  It was filled with rather tumultuous  shifts.

Above all, the most difficult was leaving the academic Sarah Lawrence College bubble and landing into the real world.  A world without dons (advisors), and one without students dressed in a liberal splash of colors, tutus, bright pastel colored skinny jeans, and wild styled hair—oh and let’s not forget the vast gay population.  The real world is also one without passionate academic rhetoric and stories from times spent in “the city” (NYC).

Moreover, being a student at SLC is like being a student at Hogwarts.  Because of this, perhaps the hardest part now is not being a part of that magical world anymore.  Naturally, I crave that magic, that abstract world of painting, theater, dance, music, big grassy lawns, hills, black squirrels, and ferociously cold coat-and-scarf- weather.  But it’s OK because I’m living at home with family near the beach in Santa Monica.  A place where Ocean Avenue is a few minutes walk from my house and from there, I see the ocean everyday—a complete blessing.  A place where I’ve been frequenting the most rigorous and exciting yoga classes that give me a holistic mind and body workout, resulting in strength, flexibility, love for all beings, peace, so much sweat, and pure amazingness.

I am hoping that my passions for intense athletic yoga classes, amazing organic artistic creative foods, writers like Haruki Murakami, and foodie writers like Sophie Dahl—that all of these loves come together resulting in a liberal arts career path.  One that is constantly changing, that is exciting…maybe one of my stories will excite people and make them smile and hopefully offer something new.

“This New Year” is the title of Big Tree’s second album that came out last Autumn.  Big Tree is a band composed of SLC kids, most of whom I’m acquainted with, and I have been fortunate enough to have seen them perform many times on campus.  When they play everyone is excited.  It’s such a treat and experience to see such talented and passionate musicians create a unique sound of jazzy rock that is loud, sweet, and just great.  Go to bigtreesings.com and you’ll see what I mean.

“Let’s Go” is one of Free City’s popular themes that they’ve put on their hoodie sleeves and sweatpants.  I’ve liked Free City for a while and I currently have a “This New Year” album poster on my wall and next to it I put a Free City “Let’s Go” sticker.  Hence, the title of this post.

It’s especially important to not simply think in terms of “go” as in going and doing something like one thing after the next, but rather to be selective and focused with how we spend our time.

A year goes by in a woosh.  It’s 2012; the year of the dragon.

For me, I need to think: Work experiences. Let’s Go!

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Delights from Tavern

22 September 2011

A dreary, chilly, overcast, Autumnal day here in Santa Monica.  A perfect day for a cozy cashmere sweater and some good soup.  There’s nothing like that first bite of warm soup when it’s cold out—especially when it’s simply just good.

And so it just happened to be that I ended up at Tavern on San Vicente on this perfectly seasonal kind of day.  Tomorrow is indeed the Autumn Equinox—the first official day of crispness, apples, and leaves! (Well in NY it will probably be like that).

Back to Tavern, I’m there, and a new person is working there, turns out she used to be a web editor for a couple years at Bon Appetit.  I’d love to contribute or even create my own food magazine that is all about whole, fresh, organic, incredibly artistic looking and unique foods that are above all yummy and healthy.

For now, I’m being such a good taster!  I got a mélange of lovely things that are all perhaps seemingly disparate but to me it was like looking at the sky, seeing pinks and purple, and thinking ah this is great.

First up is the soup du jour: Split pea with curry and crème fraiche:

the crème fraiche adds a nice splash of dairy in the split pea that is bursting with curry flavor. The taste of curry is most pleasant as it adds a lovely twist to what is usually a boring soup just on it’s own. This unique version also has carrots, potato, onions, and corn—an array of well chopped vegetables that are of course tender and add to a sense of heartiness.

Next, sald time! Soba noodles with an amazing lemony sesame dressing, red peppers thinly sliced, carrot shavings, chopped cilantro, and cabbage.  Mmmm.  A fresh, light, fun salad to eat, soba is like angel hair almost, making it even more fun to twirl around and just enjoy. The sweetness isn’t too much and it’s not overly saturated in dressing, the balance is nice, the vegetables, the texture, it’s a light lovely eat. Love the addition of cilantro, it really gives it a kick of freshness that compliments the soft smooth noodles.

Lastly, sweets!  Chocolate honeycomb. Now, on first look this reminds me of the famous candy bar by Cadbury’s I used to get in London or at Tudor House in Santa Monica, the beloved and filled with unpleasant ingredients, Crunchie.  Honeycomb coated in chocolate is just utter yum. This one, I was told is made with corn syrup and other simple safe ingredients. First bite had the perfect crunch, the honey is hardened and airy with holes, the chocolate is dark and a good quality.

And then a totally different sweet. Vanilla macaroon.  Don’t try cutting it, it just falls apart and gets messy. Tastes fresh—like it was made just today, and it’s not super hard, And! It has a good vanillaey meringuey bite. The vanilla filling is satisfyingly perfect if you’re in the mood for that pure vanilla taste.

For me, as a chocolate lover, it’s the chocolate honeycomb that I had to go to for my last bite.

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Whole and Yummy Breakfasts

Over the past week I’ve set about making  a couple nourishing and sweet breakfasts that beg to be written about.

The first, is vegan buckwheat blueberry pancakes!  I used Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s “Pancake” recipe from her awesome book Vegan with a Vengeance and modified it to a more healthy and well, let’s say “nourishing” recipe.  Instead of using all-purpose-flour I opted for a grainier, denser, and in short nutrient packed flour—buckwheat.  And, I chose grapeseed oil instead of canola oil, which I hear is better for far more reasons.  And my last modification was hemp milk instead of a rice or soy milk, simply because it’s creamy tastes great and seems to be much healthier than the former options.

Here is a picture of the pancake batter! I got really excited because the buckwheat and hemp milk together smelled like a healthy, nutty, and whole nutritious miracle. 🙂

After getting into the perfect balance of heat and timing while the pancakes were on the stove I started cooking two at once and because they were small I had to be patient and repeat the cooking process several times.  I almost felt like a chef at a café…almost.  My parents saw me cooking away: putting oil on the skillet, timing four minutes of cooking time on each side, and flipping over each one.  The fact that I was happily cooking and modifying recipes into my own made them super ecstatic.  YAY for happy parents.  Below, a couple lovely circles becoming golden brown.

A while later, during my slow afternoon process of meticulously cooking pancakes, there was a generous stack of chocolate chip looking pancakes waiting to be enjoyed with creme fraiche, good honey, and smiles.

The second yummy hearty warming breakfast is aptly in the winter section of Sophie Dahl’s first cookbook.  Nonetheless I had to make it: a porridge with honey, dried apricots, and crème fraiche.  I used almond milk, and instead of manuka honey I used my current favorite honey, a Hawaiian organic blossom I recently bought and every time I try it I think “heaven.”

In other news, I’ve been listening to KCRW’s “Album Preview” station online, and have been thoroughly enjoying the live session with Fleet Foxes, Lisa Hannigan’s new album, and the unique new music from St. Vincent—who will be at The New Yorker Festival coming up soon.  While writing, reading, and thinking, it’s great to listen to this station…good ole KCRW. Hannigan’s album is particularly amazing so you must check it out. The track with Ray La Montagne is bliss.

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Summer Reading

As summer comes to an end in Santa Monica, figs lots of figs keep showing up at my house—a bag from a neighbor, some from an aunt.  More and more apples too are at the grocery store.  The air is cooler and crisper and the heat and harsh sunlight is disappearing.  I’m still yearning the perfect Autumn in New York—where on the hills at SLC the air is much fresher and the huge mountains of leaves that appear everywhere are inviting and fun to just-so-happen to walk into.

Right, so here is a review of a few books that I’ve read since July.  Each one is really quite different from the other and all are well written:

 

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

This book is about tasting the feelings of foods that in turn offers many issues for the protagonist, Rose, and it is also about her disconnected and peculiar family.  Each member in her family has distinct traits that set them apart.  For Rose, it’s the fact that since she was nine she realized that she can taste the feelings of the person who made whatever she’s eating—any kind of food—she can trace the food back to where it came from and what the cook was feeling while making it.  This is all interesting but makes enjoying food nearly impossible until she finally finds a haven of good, wholesome, and unproblematic food.  Her brother, appears to have aspergers; he is strong in math and sciences and barely socializes.  His random acts of disappearing and even literally becoming a part of his chair (his body being connected to the chair legs) offers an intriguing magical element.  Rose discovers her mom’s secrets from the food she makes for dinner and that further complicates their relationship.  Rose’s relationship with her crush, her brother’s only friend, George, is the perhaps most intimate one, and yet she can’t be with him because he ends up getting married.  The novel on the whole, is melancholic with a unique and fascinating plot.  The ending does satisfy and the strong writing mixed with those strange curious elements encourages me to read more of Bender’s work.

 

Life Would be Perfect if I Lived in That House by Meghan Daum

Daum’s memoir is simply fun—with many laugh-out-loud moments.  It’s delightful because her voice is so honest and real; on the book cover Curtis Sittenfeld says, “Wonderful…It’s like having a no-holds-barred conversation with your smartest, funniest friend”—I must agree with that.  So what is it all about?  It’s about living in a plethora of very different places ranging from being a kid in Texas, then moving to New Jersey, then on to Vassar dorms, to living in a flat in NYC, and a lot more other varied experiences.  Indeed lots of moving takes place.  And with each move and new experience the reader sees growth and transformation.  She takes risks and constantly puts herself in new and often challenging situations; her dedication and willingness to take those risks without any help are encouraging.  I particularly took inspiration from her days of living in an apartment with roommates in NYC, working, and being independent—something I’d like to eventually do one day.

She follows her dream of living on a farm—like in her old favorite books Little House on the Prairie—when she lives in Nebraska for a year or two.  She has enough of a rural setting and then moves to California up in the Santa Monica Mountains—ironically quite close to my family’s house.  The solitude and heat she experiences there is uncanny and certainly not the right place for her.  Her obsession with moving, with finding the perfect home, with living in a place she loves, propels her into a crazy and unhealthy lifestyle.  She never is satisfied and settled until she grows older and learns from all her myriad accommodation experiences; at 40 she says, “I’m beginning to see that there’s more to life than moving.  For instance, just being alive” (242).

What I’ve always loved about her writing is her sharp sense of humor and voice, which I discovered a few years ago when reading her then-weekly (now 3 weeks per month) Opinion column in the LA Times.  I remember sending her an email telling her that I was studying at Sarah Lawrence with a focus on literature and writing, and found her writing to be such a treat.  She quickly responded, saying that my compliment had “made her day.”  Well, this memoir truly made my week—it’s fun and thoroughly engaging.

 

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

Murakami is a genius; he is a phenomenal writer, who like Jhumpa Lahiri, uses his Eastern culture to create miraculous short stories.  Each one is potent and engaging from start to finish with prose that is simple, light, elegant, and cut down to just-the-right-amount, and each one distinctly connects to the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake.  His story with the talking frog stands out for how he adeptly blends imaginary and real worlds.  This one was particularly fun because, how often does one get to read a story about a frog talking to a man, trying to get him to battle with a giant worm underground in order to prevent an earthquake?  It’s remarkable and fresh to say the least.  His story, “landscape with a flatiron” ends rather hauntingly with a bonfire on the beach that a young girl and an older man are enjoying until the girl drifts off into a deep sleep, and the story ends–on a note of silence, darkness, and light.  The ending of the peculiar “all god’s children can dance” is also dark and eerie; it ends with the protagonist in the middle of no-where and alone with the sounds of a siren and the wind, and the words he says: “Oh God.”  These kinds of scenes draw out the beauty of Murkami’s images; they are all strange and distant yet so familiar and tangible.  It’s hard to put this slight book down.  Apart from creating fascinating stories, this collection is a reminder of the trauma and lives that were ruined from the earthquake.  Moreover, it was lovely to read stories with characters that all have East Asian names.  Murakami beautifully takes the reader into his culture and his imagination with meticulous skill and a captivating voice.

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Cosmic Cocos

I discovered a new organic cereal that kind of tickles my fancy and it is called Cosmic Cocos. Oh how wonderful it is to have these little cocos with almond milk! A great treat.

Anyways, one of my new favorite cafés in LA is Joan’s on Third. It reminds me of Dean and Deluca in New York and maybe that’s partly why I like it but also it’s just always really good—both the service and the food. I sauntered in on a warm spring afternoon, a couple days ago, hungry and ready to just eat. I first sampled the soups of the day. There were three: zucchini with jack cheese, lentil, and gazpacho. The zucchini with jack cheese was just enough green with a touch of dairy that gave it a new and fun kick and the lentil was traditional but equally yummy; it was a hard decision. I thought for a few minutes as the server behind the counter was smiling, patient, and constantly ready to help. I felt like lentils would be the right choice since I’ve been focusing on iron rich foods. So, lentil soup it was. A cup of lentil soup to be precise. Something else in the case of marketplace food caught my eye though and I just couldn’t resist: lasagna pomodoro—a vegetarian lasagna with spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese—mmmm.

I sat down with a number on my table and the food came out within a few minutes. YAY. I cut into the giant block sized serving of lasagna and everything in that dish came together beautifully—the vegetables, the goat cheese, sauce, and pasta. The goat cheese, a nice change from the traditional ricotta, was a nice lighter and unique touch. The pomodoro was thick and all in all it was nourishing and rich. As was the lentil soup. After the first spoon of soup I was super satisfied. Everything was hearty, nourishing, and good. Maybe even great. Wholesome, fresh, tasty…just how a good meal should be.

Afterwards, I had to go over to the bakery station looking for something small but also something that would hit the spot. I got a handmade dark chocolate truffle to-go. I got into my car, sat down, took a bite, and all I could think of and say to myself was “heaven.”

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what do you LOVE doing?

Last week before my bed-time I was watching the film Julie and Julia.  It’s a movie about love and food and cooking and writing and to top it all off it’s set in two vibrant cities: Paris and New York.  I love it.  It’s so “me” and inspires me every time I watch it.  Meryl Streep’s performance is superb—of course.  The way she says “do” throughout the story is amusing; it’s like an enthusiastic hook.  “Do” is indeed an apt motif in the dialogue of the film.  The movie is all about creating, about doing what one loves, about achieving goals and accomplishing them.

 

A scene that begs to be posted here connects to me and my post-college-figuring-out-career phase that I’m in right now.  And so, here it is…

 

Paul, Julia’s husband played by the fabulous Stanley Tucci, is enjoying a meal at a French restaurant with Julia (Meryl Streep). Julia is thinking about getting a job: “I don’t know what to do!” she says.  “Well, what is it you love doing?” Paul asks.  “EAT!” she says then smiles, and they burst out in laughter.  “You’re so good at it!” Paul says.

 

Subsequently, Julia enrolls in classes at Le Cordon Bleu, and during the rest of the plot she is cooking, smiling, working hard, and above all having fun.

 

For me, my passion in books and writing is one to consider as a path to take.  I’m a literary person who loves reading The New Yorker and great literature like Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals which I’m nearly done reading.  Eating Animals is thoroughly fascinating and well worth everyone’s time since we all have to eat and the topic of how animals are treated has now become one that is crucial as factory farms are destroying the planet and our health.

 

Going back to Julie and Julia, that scene.  I picked that out because it made me laugh and is tangible to all of our lives.  Most importantly, when thinking about a job one must think about what one “loves.”  I have many hobbies and love the creative arts in general.  When it comes to picking out for example the classes I chose to study in college, I focused mainly on the Humanities and Creative Arts: literature, philosophy, poetry, and fiction workshops—all of which rely heavily on words, on the text, on discovery through language.

 

What I’m arriving at here, or trying to, is that right now, it makes sense for me to get a job in a literary writer-ly place where I can meet writers and gain more understanding in that fiction writing and publishing world.  It would logically make sense to be in New York.

 

In the meantime, there are more Sophie Dahl recipes to explore, more library books to read, and as always plenty of yoga.

 

Namaste!

 

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My story, “Ravishing Night”

Hello, It’s been a few days since I last posted…I know I know…tisk tisk.  I’d like to write more often so no worries–a more consecutive writing rhythm will come.  In the meantime, here is a little treat.  A story I wrote for class, a Fiction Workshop, last April.  Wow, it’s already been almost a year!  Looking back at it now makes me feel good and I hope it makes you feel good too.  Without further ado, here’s a story:

Ravishing Night

ONE

The sky was pink and violet, and the boats were moving away from me on Lake Como into the distance, where buildings of all colors are lined up one after the other.  She appeared then—her arms waving at me from the turquoise water.  The tip of my brush had just dipped into the red paint on the pallet beside me when her face and honey colored arms caught my gaze.

Was she in danger?  No.  She was only distracting me from my work: smiling at me, showing off an impeccable freestyle stroke, showing me—in short—that one can have a lovely time in the lake.  I am painting the nature of this Italian landscape—the bright lake getting darker as the sun fades, the trees with too many branches, the fragile yellow flowers.  But this girl is in the middle and causing a scene.  She is the heroine of this story.

The birds fly away.  The sky is turning into a mélange of pink, violet, and orange.  She swims towards me.  I pretend I don’t notice and continue to mix colors, to make long deliberate strokes with my brushes.

“Hello,” she says.  I’m now close enough to see the finer details.  The tattoo of a small bird on her arm, the tanned skin, the lips red and plump, the brown eyes, the red and white stripes on her bikini.  “Hello,” I say, like the busy man I am.  She wraps a towel around her and sits down on the cold sand.

I sit beside her and start smoking a cigarette, before putting the pack away I offer her one but she gently shakes her head.  For the moment I am pleasantly distracted from my task, allowing her to wrap me into her overwhelming presence.

“Allow me to introduce myself,” I say.  “My name is Filipo.”

She smiles and excitedly says, “Pleased to meet you.  My name is Emel.  It means “diamond.”  I’m from Istanbul and am finishing a year of studying at the local culinary school.”

“Wonderful, wonderful!” I exclaim and then blow smoke to the side up into the darkening sky, away from her radiant face.

“Yes, it’s been a joy exploring Lake Como and learning in such a beautiful setting.  I’d like to be a chef and open a restaurant,” she says eagerly.

“Magnificent!”  I say.  “I love creating things too as you can see with my colors over there.” I point off to the array of brushes and palettes sitting beside the wet canvas.

We chat until it gets too chilly and I can’t help but say, “Would you like to join me for dinner in my villa?  It’s a couple minutes walk from here.”

She looks up at the dark blue sky then at her hand, which is playing with the ends of her red towel and then sweetly says, “Yes.  I’d like that very much.”

 

TWO

She is staying nearby and goes home to bathe and I hope she will dazzle me with a chic outfit.

The doorbell rings at precisely eight o’clock.

“Buona Sera!  Good Evening!” I exclaim with as much Italian warmth and gusto as I can while taking in her sumptuous presence.

Her heels touch the stone and she says, “Buona Sera!  I love your purple shirt, that suit is great, and those Fred Perry loafers are divine!

“Grazie, grazie, you are so kind, let’s get comfortable shall we?,” I conjecture.

I lead her into the living room; we walk by the marble staircase, vintage mirrors, an endless amount of paintings—some Monet, some Rothko, among others, until finally we arrive at the pinot noir colored leather couch with an array of reading material sitting at its edge.  A GQ is opened to a page on suit ties made of hemp.  A new-looking copy of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past sits next to a stack of Italian literary journals and today’s daily newspaper.

“Would you like a glass of wine perhaps?”  I ask her.

“Um, yes, that would be nice thank you.”

After returning with two glasses, I sit beside her on the couch and learn more about her “story.”

“Do you swim often?” I ask.

“I enjoy it immensely.  In Istanbul in certain areas wearing a bikini is not allowed.  People give you looks or tell you off for not being ‘modest.’  As a Muslim it’s been hard dealing with the rules and a culture constantly changing in mores and traditions.  I find it much easier to be free here on the lake and in the village among a community that has been so embracing towards me.”

“Indeed,” I remark. “I could do with more swimming in my life.  There’s something about being submerged fully in water and nearly naked that excites me.  It’s a whole other world.  And like you said it is freeing—rather therapeutic and calming.  Thankfully, this lake is quite clean.  We have strict rules about pollution here.  It’s a pity that many areas are so filthy!”

I notice her agreeing with what I’m saying and smell food from the kitchen.  I also notice how late it has gotten and beckon her to join me for dinner on the patio.

THREE

Outside, the air is pleasant with a slight breeze and an-all too comfortable summer night warmth.  Candles are lit and have been positioned neatly along the dining table.  Above, the sky is clear, showing a full moon and a plethora of stars.  The night couldn’t get better.  The food that awaits us would make things even more interesting.

Bon appétit!” I say to her with a childish looking silly sort of smile.

We start with bruschetta.  We laugh at each other, for being so messy.  The chopped tomatoes fall onto our plates with each bite.

“Ah, there,” I say, as I manage to eat the next few bites in a neater and more familiar Italian manner.  “Why am I so nervous?” I think to myself.

Her joie de vivre takes me back to the present and as we relish each bite we equally enjoy conversing and laughing together.

When the cook brings the salad—arugula exploding with vibrant seasonal vegetables—I notice her face get brighter as she says how much she loves salad.  “Yessss,” I think to myself.

We dig in and she starts telling me about her cooking classes.

“Some people are astonishingly rude in class!” she says.  “I prefer walking around the village and interacting with locals like you who are far more exciting.  People are competitive in class and there’s an overall sense of individualism.  Why can’t they come together and learn to collaborate?  In the end it will surely be more satisfying.”

“I know what you mean, Emel,” I say.  “Egos tear people apart and you can only go so far with that.  I noticed you looking at the paper on the couch.  Did you see the article on the organic farming law?  All Lake Como farmers must use soil that is free of chemicals and pesticides.  Such a difference it makes when eating something that is completely natural don’t you think?”

“Of course, she says excitedly.  “In our kitchen at the school, part of our mantra is ‘Real Food Daily,’ we can only use natural and fresh ingredients and I totally support that,” she says matter-of-factly, and then forks the last dark green piece of arugula, getting a walnut, tomato, cucumber, and dressing all in her wide mouth.

Subsequently, the main course arrives: a plate of a small portion of veal next to a bit of capellini pomodoro, and a mix of asparagus and artichoke hearts drizzled in extra-virgin olive oil.  The plates are colorful and of course lead us into another realm of excitement and flavor.

She asks me about my paintings—how I started out as a painter and if I always knew I wanted to paint.

“Well you see, I was never introduced to it.  My parents had high hopes of me becoming a doctor and getting myself into a prestigious network of society. Instead, I fell in-love with Proust’s eloquent sentences and the collection of modern paintings at the local Muaritzio museum just down the road.  It’s an airy space filled with refreshing and unique paintings that conjure an abstraction and yet a language I can connect to—if that makes sense.”

I cut a piece of veal and swirl some pasta onto my fork.  She simply says, “Wow.  That’s so interesting.” I finish chewing and tell her about the first painting I ever did.

“It was five years ago.  I was twenty-two and on vacation with friends in Capri.  The Mediterranean Sea was under our warm feet and giant rocks were looming in the distance.  I painted the lonely rocks but added onto them by creating a world—making an epic scene.  None of us knew what if anything happened on those rocks.  But I’m a dreamer and in the end, it was worth it.  It sits in the living room above the piano just over there,” I say, and point vaguely towards a window beyond sight.

The night gets both darker and quieter.  We hear a cat meow and the leaves of the trees rustle.  We’ve been sitting outside for three hours!

We finish eating and I suggest going back inside where it’s warmer.  I get some homemade chocolate gelato and two cappuccinos from the kitchen and we enjoy the final part of our meal, dessert, back inside near the couch.

As we share gelato from the same yellow colored bowl she tells me about her big family and her decision to get some peace and space from them while in Italy.  I love her smile and the way she takes time tasting each bite.  I am observing her meticulously and loving everything about her.

 

FOUR

She is going to go home soon.  I know this and dread the thought of seeing her leave when I am growing so fond of her.

Sitting there like children without any more gelato, but with the sweet taste of chocolate on our tongues, we look at each other in silence.  I lean in, closer to her neck where her straight hair falls; the smell of her scent is rich and beckoning.   I kiss her gently on the cheek.  My hand grazes her soft face.  Her fingers run along my neatly trimmed beard.  My mouth makes its way to her mouth and we’re in harmony, kissing for several minutes.

What will I do when she returns home to Istanbul? I already worry.

She says, “Let’s do this.  Let’s be in the moment and see where this takes us.”

I smile.  Colors explode in my mind.  I have an idea for my next piece.  My blue eyes gaze into her chocolate eyes.  The gold-brown of my skin is warm, hungering to feel her touch and be close.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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