more or less

THESE HAVE BEEN rainy, dreary, gray and weary, despondent, doldrum days. In the Tartu Town Hall Square or raekoja plats, they are erecting an ice skating rink for the winter holidays. It was there in lovely, lush, backlit Pierre, a French café, that I met with a lady from Reykjavik a few days back who wears white skirts, drinks her espresso with cream and honey, and has two homelands (!) She speaks Estonian with a gust of an Icelandic accent too, and gets excited about sounds, words, phrases, and expressions. Her eyes get excited as well. We used to have a mutual acquaintance, but I haven’t heard of or thought of her for months now. Our mutual acquaintance has drifted out of view and, perhaps, does not wish to be thought of, by me, or located, by us. For a long while she was really deep under my skin, and my outpourings to her could have filled several volumes of a psychologist’s field journal or been serialized in The Saturday Evening Post. But she’s gone, I must admit, floated away. Like a cloud. Tonight, I went to see M., the witch down the street, and she made me tea, and even let me use her restroom, which is through the bedroom. She doesn’t like to let clients in the bedroom because all the comings and goings might interrupt the natural positive flow. I spoke a lot, and then we held hands and prayed, or rather reprogrammed my mind. M. sent me away with pockets full of apples. These are the women of my life, and, you know, I cannot say they are boring. I suppose I will eat an apple now, and plan my morning espresso with honey and cream. I have a few volcanic rocks I stole from Iceland the last time I was there. Maybe I will set them out at breakfast to set the mood, like a little Icelandic shrine.

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