Kneading Water’s subheading says that it’s a blog of:
Largely made-up stories and thoughts of little consequence…
And yet, with the way “Kneading Water” wrote American Nightmare, any viewer/reader of her blog may well await her future posts eagerly.
American Nightmare is more than a pleasant surprise, when one would stumble across it on the blogosphere. Rare is the blogger with a flair close to Hemingway proportions, and this American Nightmare post reaffirms this writer’s faith that there are still artists out there.
Kneading Water, the blogosphere awaits your future works of art!
Repost of American Nightmare after the jump.
She spills red wine on my friend’s antique tablecloth. In a frenzy, we are trying to rush the spill to the sink. She talks incessantly, mixing apologies with instructions, but it is hard to follow her rapid mumble. Unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the house, she is clumsy. My friend is annoyed.
We are at a Thanksgiving party. She claims it is her first, and the cranberry sauce and the sweet potatoes bemuse her. Having played the part of the clueless foreigner myself, her cute little remarks about American oddities do not charm me. Yes, yes, they eat in their cars, sip tea from paper cups with plastic lids. Men wear white socks with dressing pants, pants that have shrunk with years of dry cleaning.
She tells us about her move from France about a year ago. She lies about the timing. We had a similar conversation over lunch, also attended by her husband—a fanged-toothed Dane with the presence of a wilted lettuce—and that was easily two years ago. Having dismissed me as a third-word riff-raff then, she does not remember.
The post-spill commotion is now over, and she resumes her monologue on the shortcomings of the American life while gulping down Chesapeake Bay oysters. The cheese is so rubbery here, she informs us, and there are only three cuts of meat. Carpets are charged with static energy. Things are too shiny.
Next comes a long list of refined, cultured things, missed by the uncouth folks of this country. The list is suspiciously long; one part local things, one part stuff too ancient to be find anywhere. I concede the point that buying cheese made with fresh goat piss is next to impossible here, but put any aspiring chef in a well-stocked neighborhood grocery store and you will observe a candid assessment of availability in France. With its three varieties of sea salt and twelve feet long mushroom display, my local Wegmans is better than Disneyland.
I can quickly sum what I think are her true objections to a life here: the banality of the United States offends her. She cannot stand being a part of a large middle class, and the competition it brings from those whose looks and lives are so different from hers. She is not used to sharing the neighborhood with exotic people who smell of cardamom or fried fish, or finding in fine restaurants loud customers who talk with their entire bodies. In her world, such people live on welfare, tucked away into projects, away from elegant city centers, away from the beautiful people.
She has a 19-year-old son who is starting Columbia next year. He and I discover that we both like Wilco and read Luis Sepulveda. He is very cool.