The State Of Our Union

The Malpeques were deliciously briny, and I didn’t have to listen to the president mispronounce “nuclear” once.

My father, having read my previous entry, “Blue Monday,” suggested I not watch the State of the Union.

“Order a nice bottle of wine,” he suggested. “Have some oysters; January is still a good month. And skip the speech. No reason to get upset, and you’ll still have a smile on your face!”

Seemed like a logical suggestion to me. And then came the clincher.

“And send me the check. It’s my treat!”

And so 9:13 PM ET found Abbigail and I at a corner table by the window at Atlantic Grill. We started with a glass of wine (for her) an amber ale (for me), and a dozen oysters (Malpeques, Captain Cooks, and the aformentioned Kumamotos). Being Restaurant Week, I went with the prix fix: a Hawaiian shrimp roll (with papaya, jalape–o, and a miso glaze, followed by dobo rubbed mahi mahi (with fire roasted pepper and a fingerling potato hash, drizzled in an orange-mango vinaigrette). Abbigail enjoyed the horseradish crusted organic salmon (though it was the
pumpkin ravioli that clinched the deal). We finished with a banana caramel sundae (spice ice cream and caramelized bananas on cinnamon oat crunch toast).

Delicious? And how. Decadent? You bet.

Back home, I avoided CNN, flipped through a back issue of New York, and slipped into a deep, peaceful sleep with a large, caramel-fueled smile on my face…

I avoided the television again this morning, pulling on my shoes in the relative quiet of the pre-dawn. The New York Times greeted me at the doorstep. The headline — “Bush Insists U.S. Must Not Fail in Iraq” — spiked my heartbeat. “‘We?’ I thought. ‘It’s your war, George. And you already have.’

I slipped my earbuds in my ear, and pushed play on Wilco’s “Jesus, Etc.” which I had specifically selected to ease me into my day.

“Don’t cry,” Jeff Tweedy sang.

You can rely on me honey
You can come by any time you want
I’ll be around
You were right about the stars
Each one is a setting sun

Thanks, dad.