the night before he leaves with his
new jacket, white cotton pants, purple
Ralph Lauren buttondown shirt, all
of which make him very happy, they
made him so happy he cooked a
scallop dinner last night and cleaned
up afterwards thoroughly and we had
a good rosé, Julia Childs recommends
rosé. With his salary as a para-
legal in a Boston law firm or at this
rate an instructor in a boys'
school or community college in Newton
or Mattapan he will subscribe to
Gourmet and the New Yorker . Julia
shops at the Cambridge shop he
shops at. Eating her exquisitely
planned menu I too felt for a change
like what I appeared to be, me not
impoverished eating an interesting
meal in a reasonably attractive
environment. I go to movies insis-
tently to estimate the differences.
I own a stern variety of selves I
Move upwardly towards, less now that
I am trying to live like me, a life
that would interest me more if
I lived it exclusively. The rosé
brought out the slightly browned
scallops and the cherry tomatoes
sprinkled with basil, the cherry
tomatoes Julia's idea, the basil,
his. He loves cooking for one or
two. Cooking for four aroused his
sympathy for me. My friend doesn't
want me to feel martyred, not the
friend with turtles, the friend who
uses words for what they can do for
her not what she can do for them.
His sympathy extended to my whole
life. My friend thought he intended
only motherhood. My adulthood,
especially motherhood, has inhibited
more than my childhood, which
bestowed the possibilities of
creation. I bought myself overalls
since money was no object buying for
him. I didn't examine the seams,
at home discovered their miserable
stitching, one row of stitching re-
moved and a new row stitched in, the
material riddled with stiching
holes, but they're cute, my friend's
word, guess which friend. Their
real violet color I believed blue until
it stained everything it touched
purple stained everything it touched
like blueberries. Like a slum
mother, I hung them on the garage
door. Heat makes you crazy unless
you're under a tree drinking. He
drinks too much, adapting to his
environment. Even to keep my choles-
terol down and minimize the risk
of coronary occlusion, I couldn't
drink one study's recommended at
least two drinks a day another study
recommends you don't drink to avoid
breast cancer. He and architecture
acolyte Steve Marchetti take turns
cooking for two. The critic panned
the violinist son-in-law of Mstislav
Rostropovich, no wonder he solos with
a symphony. I decided he played
beautiful Beethoven but lacked
maturity, no sense of the composer's
intention. The critic accused him of
an overabundance of romanticism.
I know more than I think I know. That
young Russian émigré let himself go
like a Coney Island barker barking
from the outskirts of his mind. I
admired his lack of inhibition.I didn't
admire the refusal of the well-
dressed couple next to us to let us
exit before the applause so we could
be first at the refreshment concession.
I could not yet entirely keep my
black crochet sandals on my feet by
firmly tying the string around
my ankles. I had to go to the
bathroom and wanted champagne since
I had someone to drink with and his

--excerpt from "Shopping Spree" by Phyllis Koestenbaum

read the author's Bio and Working Notes

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