Friday, December 10, 2004

Deconstructing Remembrances of Things Nutella-ed, or I’d Like to Teach the World to Spread

The Politics of Nutella, IHT

Ah, so many sweet, early morning breakfasts with gooey and nutty Nutella spread across slices of bread or eaten directly from the knife as it exited the jar. My forays abroad have always brought out those tendencies inside me to deny all things américain and, like the honest chameleon, adapt, adapt, adapt to my surroundings, surrounding myself in the local colour (as it were…) so that I am one with all that is, which (simply put) means I eat several kilograms of the good stuff when I’m in Europe. And like the beautiful Europeans (and my inner Euro-Frankie), I don’t gain an ounce.

Breakfast this morning with Tami & her family at El Jordan was just as tasty and just as glocally-defined: migas a la mexicana. And a huge pitcher of agua de horchata to go. And like my fat compatriots (and my inner fat-Frankie), I feel stuffed and bloated now.

Turned in grades for my government courses last night. I have to give my humanities final Thursday, but until then (and afterwards, until mid-January), I’ll be busy catching up with my word quota for the novel as well as working on smaller projects & goals. I love my students, and I’ve already started missing some of them, knowing I probably will never see most of them again. Pebbles in the ocean. Water in water.

Wednesday I spent the majority of my energy and time working toward not giving in to my sour mood brought about by minor professional setbacks. When it came time for bed, I started reading long entries from old journals & notebooks. Such funny stories & events, and forgotten poems, songs, and pieces of music! We were up laughing and reminiscing until past midnight, and we went to bed much happier. Here’s a poem I wrote on the ferry from Okinawa to Fukuoka on December 29, 1998:

East China Sea

I’m done
With not knowing the good I should do;
With knowing the bad I have done.
Though certain neither is much concerned
With paying 500 yen for bad coffee &
Texas toast (or writing bad poetry)
On a slow boat from Okinawa.
There hasn’t been a good war
In my lifetime.
But even I feel destroyed
And rebuilt like
Europe, like Okinawa:
The grass doesn’t grow so deep there yet.
The bullet pits in the graveyard,
Buried in the shell of a tortoise.
The sun shines on the empty islands,
But my hands freeze.

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