January 30th, 2004


yesterday ...

I broke down crying on the bus ... Daughter #1 and I were on the 36 heading up to pick up Daugther #2 at daycare. Daughter #1 excitedly pointed out that RA Sushi was finally open, replacing the attractive, but poorly targeted, Sushi Doraku. She knew right away that this wasn't the right thing to bring up, since the main reason that I'd been keeping tabs on the space, was to have another restaurant in the neighborhood to go to with my Mom. After working for my Mom for 20 years in the food publicity industry, going out to restuarants, especially "new" "hot" restaurants had always been very much a part of our life ... initially for scouting event locations and chefs to feature at events for our food clients, and then "just because"... although this had become less and less an option over the past several years, both due to The Girls, and my Mom's declining health/mobility since her back surgery. When my Brother's family was out for Thanksgiving, though, we did manage to get her out to 3 or 4 restaurants over that week. At our peak at MTC (the P.R. firm), we'd probably eat out 7 times in a typical week, in between luncheon meetings in "our company cafeteria" (our offices were in the building upstairs from the world-renowned French restaurant Le Perroquet ... always a draw to clients come to us rather than us drag off to their offices!) and various other restaurants. Of late, my Mom was lucky to get out for a "fancy" dinner once a month, although she and her gals would do lunch fairly frequently at places in the neighborhood on the way to the hair salon, etc., so she probably got out at least once or twice a week.

Those days in the P.R. firm are like a lost "golden age" to me. Aside from the obvious passing of my Mom, I've also been faced with my inability (so far ... but hey, I've been actively looking for work for over 3 years now!) to find a job back in that niche. It seems so far away now ... almost a dream, or a fairy tale.

Of course (and here comes Mr. Negative Brendan taking over the keyboard), everything good goes that way ... when good things are around you they are shadowed and tainted by the stressors and pains and headaches of just making it through this life, but then, from a distance in time, when the "background noise" of all that other crap gets filtered out by hindsight, one has only LOSS ... the profound ache of what is no longer here. My whole life has been like this ... "in the moment" I am swamped by my inability to "fit into" the human world, so no matter how good a particular slice of time might be, it is woven into a matrix of stress and anger and fear and hurt, and can not be truly savored and one might hope it would be ... and all too quickly the good bits blow away in the rush of days, to be replaced by the long grey stretches where the nightmare of daily life is the ONLY reality that seeps into consciousness, and then when one is reminded of those things that made life tolerable, they are simply GONE (and like Grace Slick's pre-Airplane band The Great Society, "conspicuous only in its absence"), the only trace is the pain of its not being "now". And especially once gone (like both Le Perroquet and my Mom), the pain of not-in-the-now reflects over and over in self-referential circuits of loss and ache and agony and regret.

Hey, wouldn't I make a fun restaurant reviewer these days? bleh. By the way, Le Perroquet not being open any more put a serious crimp in my Mother's post-mortem plans, as she always said that she wanted to have her ashes set up in Booth #1 once she died!

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