Today, Steve’s car would not start and my iPod (the only electronic device since Sandy I had not needed to replace) was taken from my car along with my phone charger. We are finally sitting down together tonight after a long and frustrating day, and fantasizing about a future date (we are thinking next summer) when we have no problems to solve or belongings to replace.
Next summer I will cup a Golden Jubilee tomato, feel its readiness in the taut skin, and twist and tug it till it’s really ours. I’ll bring it up up up, to Steve on the deck buried in Kafka on the Shore, the book he put down after Superstorm Sandy, and he’ll look up and say, “Wow. Did we restock the cheesecloth? I could strain that and make us some cold tomato soup with the crème fraiche I picked up at the market yesterday. You know the one, in our own hometown, that we hadn’t been to in almost two years because they don’t sell frozen meals?”
And I will say, “That sounds heavenly! Are you going to want to use the red ones for anything? I was thinking of slicing them with some of Pasquale’s mozzarella, you know, the salty, moist chunk of joy in our regular-sized, properly calibrated refrigerator where dairy doesn’t go to die?”
And he will say, “Yeah, you can put it with that 20-year aged balsamic we can now afford to buy.”
And it will go on.
“What are you doing with the cherry tomatoes on the new sealed countertop that they cannot possibly stain?”
“I was going to make a salsa for my lamb burgers. Did you still want to break in our new grill tonight on the new deck with the water view?”
“Of course! You use the cherries, I’ll grab some Roma to simmer for my 20-minute marinara on your new range with the flame that goes down so low I could sit on the grate to eat my pasta.”
“Did you want to leave the house at all today?”
“Nah. Why do anything different?”
“Yeah, I figured we’d continue to have a perpetual open house, to make up for the year and a half when people only stopped by our basement studio to give us things, and left after five minutes of sitting awkwardly on a storage bin politely biting into chalky cheddar on soggy Triscuits.”
“Who’s coming by this weekend to park in the garage and sleep in the loft?”
“Are you really asking, or did you just want to say the words ‘garage’ and ‘loft’ again?”
Maybe a little of both.
Just as long as we are never forced to speak the words “dumpster” and “patio” in the same sentence. Ever. Ever. Again.