January 17, 2007
Well, I’m back from taking Joel to Providence, and it’s cold at last, a clear bright day driving and here and in Rhode Island. We went up last night after I taught the fourth graders in Mendham, had some heavy traffic getting out of East Orange, more heavy traffic over around Darien or Stamford or somewhere, but nothing to speak of from then on, not even in New Haven. Joel took over driving and we got better and better at talking together, me drifting off sleepy, him talking a lot about his visits with his friend J., the newly-fundamentalist Jew now living in Jerusalem and studying in a special Yeshiva for English speaking men returning to Israel and religious studies. This had been interesting and difficult for Joel, and for me mostly interesting, the comparison between a newly fundamentalist Jew and the fundamentalist Christians I know a little better.
We got to Waterman Street and found parking across the street from his apartment, said hi to his roommates Seb and Melanie. Everything so quiet, amazing. Joel said it was like 4:30 in the morning. Then-- and this was like some big symbolic moment for me, a new stop on the Motherhood journey-- he bought me a drink at the Graduate Center bar (where I was carded! That's a story I'll keep telling-- I think they're required to card everyone, but still...) We played darts, he visited with Computer Science friends, hung out, reasonably priced drinks, a wall of random maps, Africa next to Providence next to the U.S. very small. In the main room, a wall with big original posters of the famous Providence posters in old True Love Stories Style: "The Rich Live on Power Street" and "The Rest of Us Live Off Hope," referring to street names in Providence.
Anyhow, I had a very nice time for an hour, and then we went home and I camped out in their living room in a sleeping bag from home on their futon, woke early, read my biography of Montaigne until Joel got up, and then we went out to Modern Diner for breakfast (The First Diner to be listed on the National Registry!) where I had a great eggplant sundried tomato mozzarella omelette with home fries and rye toast (dripping with butter) and Joel had French toast with custard and a huge mound of fruit and pecans. My stomach hasn’t quite recovered, but it was really good. Then we got him some groceries and I took off. Very satisfying visit.