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Saturday, December 11


Created: December 11, 2021 at 12:53 PM

Last edit: December 11, 2021 at 12:54 PM

started writing this on Thursday night, wrapped it up just now. i was like…in a rush? kinda tired? so excuse poor writing lol j wanted to get it down

On a cold, rainy night, the Coop Fountain is eerily quiet. The store (cafe thing) itself is as warm and loud as ever, but a few booths and tables are uncharacterstically open. I sit with my notebook and recollect this beautiful ultimate week Thursday that just passed by.

I slept at 5:30 AM last night after talking with Ally, and myself via journal entry, and sending some messages to Vivien. I decided to skip my 9 AM SJN/Yappie call, waking up around 10 to find that Gina wasn't yet awake, and going back to sleep approximately until she came into my room around 10:50 AM. We caught the 11:08 bus up to Trader Joe's.

Walking to the bus stop, I was mesmerized by my surroundings. The chill, the wetness in the air and on the village streets, the reddening leaves sprinkled on the ground: I was transported to downtown Andover, to Boston Chinatown or Newbury Street, to the Upper West Side on Amsterdam or Columubus, quant shops and sidewalks amidst the never-calming bustle. The bus, too, evoked a cross between Nordic coach rides through New England and M4s rattling down fifth avenue.

We got rice, snacks, avocados, bell peppers, a cucumber, and curry spices at Trader Joe's. After messages from Hanah and Allen, I ran back in to get more snacks and flour. On our way back, my sister messaged that her piece was being played by the New York Philharmonic. I rejoiced and raved about Melody to Gina. "You must be so proud of her," she said.

A cold walk to Oldenborg later, I wasn't sure how many people would show up. We saw Xuehuai and Nhi on the way, who told us they had lunch arrangements already, and Michelle and Ed, who said they would come. I started cooking rice and cutting avocados. Soon Jahazel showed up, then Allen and soon enough the whole crowd of 9 or 10.

A messy kitchen gave way to Allen's layered eggs and messy sushi rolling out in the lounge area. The vegan tuna and salmon were a bit disappointing, but the cheese slapped. A glaze I tried to make and Allen fixed made the sushi enjoyable, and pulled double duty with the scallion pancakes later. As the scallion pancakes began to be made -- impossibly fluffy, flavorful, and crispy -- the single cutting board came to be in high demand, shuffled between the kitchen for rolling and the lounge for sushi and cheese cutting. At some point Gina and I put together little cheese-salmon-nutritional yeast-scallion crackers, which were such bangers that we made them until we ran out of crackers.

Eventually, approaching 4 PM, activity wound down to violent but largely unsuccessful attempts to make mochi. I called for clean-up and started tossing paper towels away, and as usual those of us who were left diligently joined. We were left with blocks of tuna, salmon, and cheese that I took back to Wig in a paper bowl.

I wrote in my Yale application that cooking feels like home, that it brings people together. Increasingly cooking has been a way not just to recapitulate past comfort, but also cultivate new joy, perspective, and connections -- Ben Laufer, Magali, Peter, Allen, Gina.

Allen and some others got boba after leaving. I would've loved to join but napped and then worked instead, spending another night-morning with Ally.

I think about how life is good and full of joy. Reflecting on the work I haven't gotten done and the developments that have found Michelle and then me in quick succession, I wonder if her outlook on the meaninglessness of life has changed.


Made with ♥ by Samson Zhang, Laura Gao and others