The good: My friends, who have kept me fat and happily fed through the most painful experience of my life. I wasn’t out of the ER more than 12 hours before the first party; even Gary settled for pizza-and-salad delivery from Pizzabolla after I canceled our date at Maremma (and that was one serious tradeoff). Donna did a Zabar’s run for me one night and turned up on another with the most amazing crab, avocado, arugula and artichoke pesto sandwiches on grilled bread; the leftovers kept me going for days (Valerie brought the “I have a dream” hat with the Chimp behind bars). Monica imported jerk chicken from Beacon for one lunch and a little feast from Homespun Foods there another afternoon: trout salad, marinated mushrooms, olives and eggplant plus cheese and crackers. Next afternoon I was lurching home from an emergency consultation with my unnervingly youthful orthopedist when I ran into Susan just after she had dropped off an exceptional assemblage of chicken, orzo, olives and lemon, all in perfect harmony. Joanne brought bakery indulgences; Wally schlepped in from Brooklyn with a Greenmarket/co-op spread of grilled tuna, asparagus, potato salad and strawberries. Mme X arrived with two pounds of hand-selected See’s and later lured me out for a massive cheeseburger at Landmarc in the dread TWC, then somehow got me to walk all the way home, my most exercise in 10 days. But Don gets the purple heart for putting his life on hold and moving in the first two nights, inadvertently placing himself in the path of the breakdown that was certain to erupt. And he managed the impossible — he brought me just what I needed, guacamole and enchiladas from Gabriela’s with my Food Section gift card after first letting me cry myself senseless thinking food would make everything all better before conceding that for once its powers were limited. At least in the hands of friends it’s a whole other antidepressant.
The bad: The miserable puffy bitch at the Greenmarket on 97th Street who, when I hoisted my market bag onto the table to support it while picking out what I wanted to buy on our first encounter this season, jumped up and shrieked, “Don’t touch the strawberries!” I obviously had only one hand/arm free with the scary-bruised other in a sling and just said, “I’m sorry — I’m not very stable.” And she yelped again, through her pig lips, “I don’t care. Don’t touch the strawberries!” When a silly basket of berries warrants more concern than the walking wounded, you gotta wonder. I came home fruit-free and crying and realizing we don’t need the big Holy Foods opening on Columbus around the corner from the market. Assholism has already taken root.
The ugly: Percocet. No wonder Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat idiot. [Early June 2007]