Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Next Morning

We're having a blizzard. I just took Cyrus out for his morning pee and we have about 2 inches thus far and it's sticking. My car is covered, the cafe table in front of the greenhouse has a couple of inches on it. Yesterday was warmish and sunny. Today the snow is falling fast enough to cover the green that's emerging. The buds on the pear tree are white with snow. I hate this shit.

L and I had a lovely evening, but I fear my bulldozer approach to conversation leaves much to be desired for a man of his scholarly disposition. He is a philosophy professor, retired but still teaching a couple of classes a year. He loves teaching and will probably keep teaching until he dies. But I'm nobody's student. I've read as much or more than he, and we don't value the same writers in the same way. He teaches literature as philosophy. If I were a student of his, I would be one very argumentative and opinionated student, challenging his taste and conclusions at every turn. I don't think he enjoys this much, this intellectual bully I've become. And I realize as I write this, that, like a younger sister, I am always pushing back, always trying to prove myself his intellectual equal. We disagree about one of the writers he teaches, Penelope Lively. "I think her prose is thin and her characters a bit boring." I realize when I said that, I was poking him with the sharp stick of my many years of glutenous reading. Why? Why do I do that? He is a lovely man--kind, sweet, warm. Why am I so competitive with him? Odd that even when I was twelve and he was almost sixteen we were intellectually competitive. It was important to me even then that he know I was no light weight in the reading department. I had read Lolita, he hadn't. One up for me. He had read Thomas Hardy, I had not. On up for him. Let the battle of the minds begin. And yet I do still love him. I always have and I always will.

I did find out one thing about his "new" wife that made me think I would like her--she's a fan of fart humor.

And I did not poison him with my cooking. The meal was delicious. But I'm pretty sure I spent my sleeping hours farting. I wonder if Cyrus, my old dog, notices.