And then Saturday the little grocery store was in fact re-opened, with eggplants so pretty they couldn't be real, and we bought some and traded eggplant recipes, and also bought onions the size of your brain, and some bizarre nut thingies from Israel. And she said she was stocking up, that this time they're really going to have everything, even the foul unfiltered things that Friar (she called him "your man") smokes. So that's nice.
And we go to the video store and they say that they've ordered Mission:Impossible because we asked for it, and we go to the wine store and they're like heartbroken to be out of veltlin, but they have some chardonnay that might do the fruity white thing right for me, because I need wine that tastes like spring these days, and oh! I forgot to mention that on the way out in the morning our next door neighbor was telling about her son the doctor.
On the way home we walk past an old woman who is prone on the sidewalk but there are three people around her already and one has a cell phone so we just keep walking.
And at the pharmacy the Slovak pharmacist has the prescription ready, and I want to tell him how I am much more foreign than him, and how it's not his accent that trips me up, but my own stupidity, but I decide to be happy he remembers us and give him The Big Smile and we take the box and go.
I can't live in a village, really. I need movie theaters and a ballet and a train station and an awareness, at the very least, that other cultures exist. Yet what is most terrifying about a city is that the anonymity becomes too much, that you feel swallowed. And in the winter I maybe forgot that that there are people here who watch me because they are watching out for me, just as I am for them. That I live in a city that is just a collection of villages. That it is a privilege to walk to the store to buy arugula and walk past the pizza shop, where I don't know his name but we're practically ty-kating, and buy pizza with "Indian chicken" that I can eat on the way home.