Thursday, May 06, 2004

Set the stage.

Here is the scene: there is soy sauce everywhere. It's drying up on shallow plates stacked and strewn across my black Ikea table, listed for more than its retail price on my rent agreement. You might think that the smell of soy sauce in the morning would make your stomach churn, but mine just begs for more. I can't eat enough. Rice, avocado maki. Shortly following the discovery of a Japanese grocery store in the 2nd, wasabi and sushi soy sauce (a special variety) have been permanent installations in the living room. Installation: it's quite like modern art. The chopsticks, called "chinese baguettes" in French, are stained with soy and red wine. Yes: it's about consumption, it's about the state of today's youth, and it's about the Westernization of Japanese culture. A hostile takeover. Take this down.

Here is the scene: There are dishes to be done. Piles of empty plastic bags and various important documents on the big table. Stored away in my graffiti closet is one purple duffel bag (ugly, cheap). I'm thinking of this bag. It's got to be filled with things I won't need until next year: artwork, books, photographs and a rice cooker. All things that must be gathered and stored this evening at Alice's house. My friend. Her mother is fretting about what she will cook for vegetarians. Should I call and offer to eat chicken?

I want to wallow in this mess and in this time. But the song that made my brother cry in preschool has its lesson: Mumble grumble, this is no fun. You don't have to like it, but it's got to be done.

So play the record; it's time to clean. I'm leaving Paris in ten days.