Dear Diary: The Lives of Others


Allow me to apologize for failing to file a midnight entry yesterday. I was too tired up to write up anything of general interest, and everything that I had done during the day had involved a member of my immediate family on personal terms. While I don’t want to suggest any crises or deep disturbances, the day was fairly intense — which is why I was too tired to think my way around the problem of not being able to write a diary entry without violating the privacy of others.

Even Will. When Will was an infant, I felt free to project all sorts of meaning upon his expressions, knowing full well that I was indulging in sheer fantasy. But Will is not an infant anymore — even if he can’t sit up or crawl. He’s a little fellow with a rapidly expanding personality. He’s just going to have to keep his own blog.

This isn’t to say that everything he does is off-limits. But the ordinary stuff more or less is.

Happily, today was filled with fit-to-print events. If only they were interesting! The Aeron chair that I bought on Monday was delivered by Sam Flax at about three this afternoon. At first, sitting in it, here at the desk, simply felt different — almost disappointingly so. Even when the chair had been adjusted to suit my frame, it was more unusual than pleasant. Only later, when I sat down to write the Daily Office, did I realize how comfortable it is, and how uncomfortable all my working chairs have been up to now. In my late teens, I had a crush on eighteenth-century style that made electric lamps “impossible.” I got over that fairly quickly. But my devotion to Enlightenment seating was protracted to unenlightened lengths.

So far as capital-e Ease is concerned, the new chair is just about as welcoming as my bed, and for the first time ever I’m in no hurry to finish what I’m doing and escape the desk. Who knows what prose-style improvements the Herman Miller classic will wreak.

Quatorze had dropped by to help me with the chair, and we took care of a few other things. After the delivery, I made a pot of tea. Then Quatorze headed for the West Side while I turned north, on a round of shopping errands. The weather, cool and wet, didn’t bother me while I was out in it, but the moment I entered the building I felt damply soiled. Cleaned up and in fresh clothes, I was a new man.

At the moment (I’m writing a bit early this evening, just to be sure that I write at all), two chunks of veal shank are simmering in broth and mirepoix. I’ve had a bad record with jarrets de veau this winter, buying the meat with no particular meal in mind, freezing it, and then defrosting it on uncertain afternoons, only to shove the package into the refrigerator because I was too tired to cook the contents. Inevitably, spoilage would ensue. I was very tempted to repeat this sorry tale this evening; I was late getting into the kitchen, and we won’t be eating until the verge of eleven. If nothing else, however, the apartment is filled with an appetizing fragrance.