Wishes & Kisses


“Is he dead?
I jump off my Vespa and race past a fire engine, and ambulance, and the F.D.N.Y. scrimmage blocking my street.
There, in front of my apartment, is my brother’s body, sprawled on the sidewalk.”

These are the opening lines to
Wish, a novel by Melina Gerosa Bellows, and so far I’m really enjoying it. I’m only able to read it in snippets – I’m still trying to finish The Master and Margarita for book club. Although the opening lines sound grim, the book then turns into a chronicle of a woman’s life, starting in 1974 and it has these great little ‘time capsules’ at the beginning of each chapter that sort of put you in that time and place.

Melyssa and I went to the author’s book event this evening at Border’s. Ms. Bellows is apparently a D.C. native – I think she works at National Geographic? – and there were quite a few people there that she called on by name. She read excerpts from a few of the chapters and played snippets of songs that were highlighted at the beginning of those chapters. Although I wasn’t really cognizant for the first time period (I was only 2 when “Me and Bobby McGee” was popular and 8 when “Anticipation” was all the rage), I more or less pegged the release dates of “Like a Virgin” and “You Oughta Know.”

While we were waiting for Ms. Bellows’ talk to begin, I practiced my 2-circular needle knitting. I mentioned that Holly showed me how to do it; I did NOT reflect on just how tiny size 0 needles are. They’re approximately the diameter of toothpicks. My eyesight isn’t the best to begin with – squinting at tiny stitches with tiny yarn on tiny needles doesn’t do a whole lot to help. This photo’s a little blurry but you get the idea: pencil v. needle. Getting started is the hardest part – I should be able to get a better picture once I’ve gotten some more rows on the needles. Not sure whether I want to work on the baby blanket or the starter sock right now. Well, there was a minor incident with a caramel-filled Hershey’s Kiss and wool, so I should clean that up before I start anything else.

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