I forgot to set my alarm this morning after a brutal night which stood as my just desserts for using a pharmacy that has no flat surface parking. It took three days to find a space in which to park so I could get my prescriptions. I went two of those days without bloodthinner or anti-spasmodic and my body rebelled.
I fell asleep hours after two a.m., and a long time after sending a depressing e-mail to my son. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
Now I’m sitting in front of a plate of tender falafel feeling somewhat revived. I’ve had to shrug into a sweater and wrap a scarf around my neck. They must be hot in the kitchen; they are running air and fans. But they have lemon in their water and free wi-fi. It’s Monday, it’s lunch time, and it’s the first workday of the last week of the tenth month of my year without complaining.
I think the bad guys might be winning. Yesterday I felt fine, sitting on a patio with a warm breeze on my face. I didn’t see the black edges of the world creeping towards me. But then I got online and did some research into my failing vision, and found a likely culprit — the virus, of course, just as we knew. And even though nothing really bad has happened, I sank into a kind of sad stupor, which matches the greyness of the sky, the chill of the room, and the doom of the season.
Hopeless, jittery, I look at the name of this restaurant, and I pause in my tearful reflection. I think about my grandfather and the stuffed grape leaf rolls he made. We called them “yubbra” which I’m told by my friends from Beirut has no meaning in Arabic. I don’t know where he got the word; but they satisfied my appetite, alongside pan-fried kibbeh (cracked wheat and minced meat) and his delightful, tangy tabouleh with its fresh parsley and mint. I come to this restaurant to be reminded of home; when I miss my family; and when I yearn to hear the deep throaty sound of my mother’s voice. I take some comfort here.