Monday, April 6, 2009

Wax Around The Cheese

Almost midnight Sunday night - to my surprise I'm
still alive. In fact, I feel quite chipper as I
nibble on cheese and crackers and sip some sort of
exotic brew - half tea and half lemonade and all
to the good, say I. These little round cheeses in their wax
certainly do delight in every way - not only the taste when
you finally get to it but the whole unwrapping process with its red
crackles and crinkles. Red is the key, red and
the whole Nantucket mystique. There's no way all this
tea and lemonade can come from that
tiny island; maybe maybe they drink a lot of it there, or
maybe it's as snobbishly superior to all other cool drinks as Nantucket is to
all other places one can visit. Personally I prefer the channel islands
off the coast of southern California - but Nantucket - oh, you know,
all those whalers, all those widows and their rooftop walks. Martha's
Vineyard with its blueberries is a really great place to be too, at
least for part of the year. There's a great merry-go-round in town with a
brass ring and there are community sings every week in a big barn. Com-
munity sings are the best, with the words up on a screen and a "follow the
bouncing ball" over the words to keep everyone together. And all this
with a little whole-wheat cracker and a tiny Edam cheese; I popped a
hole in the mesh around the cheese with a pen. Once I met a guy,
though, who though he'd met everyone there is to meet had never been on
Martha's Vineyard and, learning that I had been to summer-camp there,
and knowing that his girlfriend had lived there, thought this would be
a bond between us, not realizing that the campers were the bane of the
residents's existence. I had nothing against her of course but I sure
got the scornful nod of dismissal. Never mind, I thought, I was the
Best All-Round Camper then and I can be a good camper now, & I'll bet I
can swim better than she can, too. And memories of hot
blueberry-picking afternoons, hearing the bell-like sound of each
berry dropping into the pail, until the bottom was covered; eat a
berry, drop a berry in the pail, eat a berry, drop a berry. And back
at camp, singing the "Indian Love Song" while turning the freezer
handle for hours to make ice-cream to put on the pie. Although I know,
of course, that it was wonderful, I don't even remember eating the pie.

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