Yesterday I didn’t have yoga after work and I also didn’t have any food in the house. A quick perusal of the produce section at New World indicated that broccoli was expensive but that asparagus was (kind of) cheap because we’re finally getting into spring, and then in a flash I recalled that I had some wine in my fridge from Saturday night when Daniil brought wine over, and I also had some Arborio rice in my pantry from my former flatmate who moved to Germany and I didn’t want to waste food, and also that I had some Parmesan cheese in that very same fridge. “Risotto,” I murmured to myself, feeling up to the challenge. I had never made risotto before. You’d think I would have, but no. And I was kind of in love with myself in a very stupid way, too, as I walked home, you know, like Go me! Look at what I’m doing with my Monday night! Starch, vegetables, and butter, that’s what I’m doing! It just all seemed very exciting, this Monday night rice dish, and I was already imagining the comments on my eventual status update.
So I got home and put some music on and got all the stuff together and grooved around. The last of the sun was shining in through the window and my new little iPod speakers were just loud enough and I really did shake my booty at the stove. Risotto-making went like this: rice, oil, onion, wine, broth stir broth stir broth stir broth stir broth stir broth stir broth stir broth stir, asparagus (already cut in perfect little rounds because I prepped everything beforehand, with inordinate pride in my thinking-ahead-ness), butter cheese lemon juice pepper and oooooohhh, girl. I would have twirled around with my bowl in one hand and my fork in the other but my kitchen is a little too narrow for full-on twirling. “I want to marry myself for making this risotto,” I tweeted instead.
I’d got a text from my friend Jez as I was stirring, saying he’d just got a new visa (because four years in New Zealand and immigration is still a huge topic of conversation amongst about half my friends) and he had a bottle of champagne and all his buddies should come over to his and Megan’s house, located conveniently a couple blocks from mine, and drink it with them to celebrate. “Hmmmmmm,” I thought to myself, stirring stirring stirring. “How can I make this night even better that it already is?” (Did I mention I’d already done a load of washing? I was on fire). “I WILL BRING FRESHLY BAKED COOKIES OVER TO JEZ,” I shouted aloud, and turns out I had just bought some brown sugar when I was getting the asparagus and so off I went as soon as I ate a bowl and a half or actually maybe two bowls of my delicious and delightful risotto that I couldn’t stop bragging about today at work. Two kinds of sugar, a hundred and twenty-five grams of butter, and pretty much all the oatmeal and raisins in the house later, I was running around trying to do the four thousand dishes in my tiny sink and regretting my choice to wash my jeans and trying to figure out what to wear over to their place since a) Megan is notoriously adorable and fashionable and I wanted to look nice-ish for her and b) I was still technically in my pajamas. I ended up going with a red jersey dress that is basically a nightgown, my robot/lightning bolt hoodie since my other nice plain grown up hoodie was currently on the drying racks along with my jeans, and Chucks with ankle socks that sort of matched the dress, but only sort of.
“Jez I brought you some cookies here Jez look cookies they are still warm from the oven Jez see I made them look Jez look look cookies look!” Jez let me in the house anyway and Megan went “This cookie? Loves my mouth right now” and Julie went “These aren’t burnt, they’re… caramelised!” I took off my shoes and had a couple sips of champagne but then gave up and just went for a cuppa tea and we all talked about de facto visas and religion and makeouts and mortgages and what everyone’s doing for Christmas and New Year’s. Jonas walked me home and I saw my creepy neighbor which I didn’t enjoy very much but everything was okay and I even had some leftover cookie dough to put in the freezer for the next time I want cookies (which turned out to be about thirty minutes ago). Giulia and Filippo and Rosie posted very funny comments, in Italian, on my status update about my amazing risotto that I dreamed about all day today, even a little bit during corpse pose at yoga. It was warm enough that I didn’t have to sleep with my three hot water bottles.
I wish a lot of things about my life a lot of the time. I wish I were doing some type of really important and meaningful work. I wish I could sing and play guitar and be in a band, because my latest idea is that I should totally be in a band. I wish I were effortlessly fascinating and devastatingly gorgeous. I wish I had a better fashion sense. I wish I could write something other than this blog. I wish I could be with everyone I love at the same time, even just for like a day.
And I know everything changes, and that everything’s already changed, and will change again, over and over. This time last month I was crying myself to sleep pretty much every night and waking up every morning sick to my stomach. This time next week I’ll be on a beach in the Kingdom of Tonga getting ready to snorkel with humpback whales. This time in two months I’ll be either in Malaysian Borneo for some macro diving or in Cambodia visiting a friend I haven’t seen in years. Who knows what will happen this time next year, where any of us will be, who we’ll be with, what we’ll be doing.
I don’t even spend that much time speculating, anymore, about the future. I have ideas about what might be some cool things to do with my life, but beyond that it’s opaque. I don’t know how long I will stay in Wellington, or if I will ever go back to the States. I don’t know what I’m going to do about work or friends or long term investment strategies or turning forty in five years. It’s ridiculous and a little precious and maybe even aiming too low but I just want to have this, here, now: silly evenings where I dance around and make myself a nice dinner and then run over to a friend’s house with cookies right out of the oven. I just want to keep my eyes open. I just want some things to stay the way they are, for a little while.