On the Habit of Knowing

We meet at the restaurant early. We are not here only for coffee and tea, soup and bacon, but to discuss the plan to go forward with our project. "Project" feels like a lesser term, a vague umbrella covering the modes of in-progress or undefined medium. I think of how only a month ago he had called it a "project," then said he didn't want to call it that. At the time I had told him there was nothing wrong with the term because it is, in fact, exactly what this is.

We look at the proofs of some of the artwork for the project. Between plates and mugs we spread out the sheets on our two-person table, asking for more hot water. We spend a long time envisioning the end of this artwork. How to field the progress. Two bathroom trips, two new tea bags, our server delivering the check and asking for it back. Outside it is snowing and dark. We are asked to leave the restaurant that does not close. 

He is heading west. He is going to a surprise, just for him. There will be a shower. He has no other context for what to expect.

I head east for a reading. I am too early though so I stop in the bookstore to find a translation I had been surprised to see was available there: one copy, used, paperback, $6. 

It is no longer there when I arrive.

I pick up books and put them back before leaving empty-handed. 

At the reading I am surprised to find the space so full. I say hi to the writer who is translating Chantal Akerman. I say hi to the writer who translated the book I had opened by chance at the Peter Liversidge exhibit.

"I have something for you," he says. 

From his bag he pulls out a white bubble mailer containing a rectangle wrapped in turquoise tissue paper.

It can bend; paperback.

"You probably already know what it is," he says. 

It is a newer printing with an updated copyright of the book I had opened at the Liversidge exhibit.

I say hi to the poet whose book launch I missed. 

I am excited about my new paperback and its turquoise tissue paper. Turquoise is a variant of blue-green, or green-blue, hybrids. In some languages there is no difference between blue and green. How do you translate turquoise?

I say hi to our host and give him a kiss goodbye.

"It's good to see you."

A kiss for the writer. 

"See you soon."