I am aching, people, aching, for sage. I don’t know what’s come over me, but here I was, sitting in study hall, surfing around the net as one does in search of the web site that will disgust you so deeply with its content that you’ll actually shut the laptop and get something done instead, and I thought “sage,” and now it’s crippling me. I want a leaf, just a leaf, to rub between my fingers and feel the tiny velvety hairs of. I want to brush its dusty sweetness from my hands to my hair and eat an acrid corner, and make a scroll of the rest of the leaf, and slice it into tiny rings, fry them in peppery olive oil and see them curl tighter, scatter them on cornmeal-crusted fish… I think this is how I get homesick. I was trying all throughout lunch to work out what it was that I wanted. I’d gotten as far as “not chocolate” when the fire alarm went off, and then there was all the confusion about whether or not I could go back to the dorm to get my books for English. But now I’ve got time to myself again, and I haven’t had anything herbed in too long.
In the dream I’ve been having lately, I’m wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt. I’m standing barefoot at a counter covered with cheeses, slicing and wrapping them for people who are deliriously happy just because they’re in a rough-floored wine shop and it’s hot outside. I go home and the fridge is a comfort to open, not something I prepare for with an extra layer because I just can’t take any more cold. I bring out butter, onions, squash, fresh sage… late summer food. And there is a cheese to crumble into this tumble of not-quite-autumn, though I can never quite remember its taste when I wake up. I think it’s blue, but it could be something mild and unrich and smooth, like ricotta. I throw together a pie crust, no big deal, and there’s a galette in the oven now that gives off such an essence of sage that I can’t stand it. I flee the scent and the heat, walk outside in the sun for a while, pull baby carrots from the garden and rub off the dirt with a thumb before eating them whole. The sun is warm out there, not just fluorescently bright, and the dirt has a baked crust over its moist underneath. I go back inside, to the open windows and cooling oven, and sage.
It’s too cold for anything to taste very bright, and crackers are eating my soul. Please, somebody tell me… when will it be summer?