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Had we but world enough, and time.

Fast Eggplant and tomato quiche

9-inch pie shell
½ cup heavy cream
3 eggs
1 baby eggplant, diced
Diced tomatoes
Minced scallions
Olive oil

1) Mix eggplant with salt and olive oil
2) Pour into pan, toss with scallions (eggplant still firm)
3) Add tomatoes into eggplant mix (or other desired vegetables)
4) Line pie shell with vegetables

Tossed vegetables

5) Beat three eggs, add heavy cream, a pinch of salt

Eggs and heavy cream

6) Pour mixture over pie shell
7) Bake in preheated 350F oven for 30 minutes

Serve hot

Again and Again, However We Know the Landscape of Love

There is a great discrepancy between the interior of the apartment where my paternal grandparents live and the neighborhood of skyrises surrounding their building. The washed-out building façades are scraped raw like skin to reveal hazardous cement cracks and streaks of dirty laundry water like human tears. A precariously heaped mountain of waste in front of our building has just crumbled under heavy rain—from ten floors above the neon plastic bags and the bright watermelon shells almost look pretty. When the sun comes out the damp heap will swarm with maggots and flies, but while it rains the weather is bearable and the breeze is steady and cool. The inner circuit of my grandparents’ neighborhood is a road forever stamped with spit, gum, and garbage thrown carelessly from rooms high above. Nothing looks cleaner than was a few years ago, although admittedly pristine would be a difficult look to achieve when the drooping sky casts everything in a dustier shade. I notice only a few differences: the new air conditioning machines sitting out on the ledges of every apartment window, still white from the department store and the small parade of fancy cars encircling each building in the neighborhood. The old preschool playground I can see to the left is exactly the same as it was eight years ago. The barbershop in front of the playground gates has lost its signature barbershop roll and still has not been painted to look a bit more welcoming for patrons, since its only regular customers are the elderly looking for a trim to affirm that their hair is still growing. The biggest difference is beyond the neighborhood gate, where the highway is congested by five in the morning, buses wait splattered with colorful advertisements for Olympics merchandise, taxis dart in and out seeking business, and motorcycles with horns replace the former school of rickety bicycles with bells. The constant rush of traffic, punctuated by angry horns and engines, never quiets. The city truly never sleeps. In all its smog and smoke, I have never seen a true sunrise and sunset to mirror our most instinctive pattern of sleeping and waking. Here is the face of urban China.

HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME. Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.

For the past few days, I have been in a toothless lethargy. My cheeks are swollen, I look like Alvin the chipmunk after being slapped by his owner Dave, and I have consumed a whole bottle of Advil in two days. In a wisdom-teeth-extraction-induced frenzy to find and own every U2 song in existence, I found the following CD:

“Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of U2,” the title reads. The cover is the same as the “Best of 1980-1990,” only the boy is a bear drawn in disgusting pastels. Why would any sane baby be lulled to sleep by a lullaby version of “Sunday Bloody Sunday?” That is my question. Please answer, and discover the meaning of life.

During quarantine/house arrest I have also discovered that I passionately love Mexican literature. I hate all other literature at the moment, especially books written by dead white men. I only want to read novels about Mexicans, written by Mexicans. Only not in Mexican, because I can’t understand. I mean Spanish. Then I read a little bit of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and all old white men were redeemed once again. Andrew Lloyd Weber was a talented fellow, because who reads fifteen children’s poems about cats and then decides to write a full-fledged musical about them? Someone should write an absurdist musical for “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” featuring Sir Ian McKellen as the stopper, Mike Myers as his little horse who thought it queer, and Cate Blanchett as the snow.

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

About five hours ago I had four impacted wisdom teeth removed, a surgical process otherwise known as death. Yesterday night I googled every morbid website available for worst-case scenarios–“17-year-old dies after removal of four wisdom teeth.” One of the most comforting posts, typed up by user ANUSLOGAN, read “omgomgomg bleed you just drip blood and drink pools of blood ew gross.” Wikipedia lists “wisdom teeth” in about thirty languages before it even mentions impaction or extraction or the physiology of teeth and jaw. Getting my שן בינה out (foreign-looking characters to be read right to left), getting my зуби мудрості out.

I also learned after seeing the most recent Indiana Jones film with my parents that my mother feigns sleep whenever all non-diegetic elements suggest that a Mayan man with poisonous darts might spring out from behind a totem pole. And that Mayans were taught magical skillz by a number of divine aliens from Mars, and that Harrison Ford is 66 and spawned a mini-Indy. It must have been great fun to play the extras in the film: strip naked and run at senescent Harrison Ford while blissfully embodying an indigenous stereotype.

All the diplomas hanging in the dentist’s waiting room were crooked, and today before my surgery my obsessive-compulsive impulses drove me to begin furious adjustments. I noticed then that my orthodontist’s portrait made him look like an emaciated Ralph Fiennes on crack, or maybe just Tom Riddle in the transitional stage between puberty and Voldemort. Intravenous sedation is also known as SSotP (scariest shit on the planet), because I was out the moment Dr. Pubescent Voldemort pricked my arm.

Nothing beyond this is worth describing because torrents of blood did not gush from my empty sockets and I did not have hallucinations about carnivorous mushrooms. There was no shrieking of omgomgomg bleed you just drip blood and drink pools of blood ew gross. Everything that passes through my mouth tastes of gauze, including the tub of mashed potatoes I just inhaled.

Everyone should milk recuperation for all it’s worth. It is just too great, excluding the pain. I lazed on the couch watching every bad daytime series available. I watched a midget rip off his shirt, pronounce his love for a slutty woman, and denounce his former tall gay lover a la Jerry Springer. I watched kitties in trees being rescued on a local news channel. Then I watched Barney the big fucking friendly dinosaur, whose voice is infinitely lower than it was at the show’s inception.

And now for a non-sequitur, because I am unhealthily obsessed with finding magic in the mundane:

The Owl in the Attic and Other Perplexities

I am a fan of lists, especially cynical ones, pretentious ones, or undeniably weird ones.

Here is a list of oddities accumulated and behaviors adopted after my first year of college. No raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens here, though maybe the occasional bright copper kettle and warm woolen mitten.

1. Berryline, that irresistible little shop somewhere near the intersection of Bow and Arrow Streets in Cambridge. By most conservative estimates, I must have spent over $100 on little dollops of fruit-flavored yogurt.

2. Gchat, the indispensable replacement for AIM. I change my gchat status multiple times a day. Invisible is the new online.

3. Facebook stalking, incontrovertible proof that I no longer have social skills.

4. Large trashbags in the corner of the common room.

5. Reading obsessively in order to make up for lack of true political activism, then writing angry responses to extremist Facebook groups.

6. Singing all the time and everywhere, regardless of quality of voice. Or quality of song.

7. Eating veggie burgers with white bread from a panini machine. Only when the other option is congealed lamb gravy, of course.

8. Fretting nonstop about work and not doing any of it. Also known as procrastination.

9. Napping, oversleeping, and panicked calculation of how many minutes to allot to reviving oneself from a death nap.

10. All-nighters. I have all night (or morning). It’s all okay. I feel GREAT.