Dad says that everyone invented baklava. It occurs to me now to wonder what that means. Aunt Aya rolls her eyes.Your father? He is the worst of the worst. He thinks he cooks and eats Arabic food but these walnuts were not grown from Jordanian earth and this butter was not made from Jordanian lambs. He is eating the shadow of a memory. He cooks to remember but the more he eats, the more he forgets.
Whenever a state or an individual cited 'insufficient funds' as an excuse for neglecting this important thing or that, it was indicative of the extent to which reality had been distorted by the abstract lens of wealth. During periods of so-called economic depression, for example, societies suffered for want of all manner of essential goods, yet investigation almost invariably disclosed that there were plenty of goods available. Plenty of coal in the ground, corn in the fields, wool on the sheep. What was missing was not materials but an abstract unit of measurement called 'money.' It was akin to a starving woman with a sweet tooth lamenting that she couldn't bake a cake because she didn't have any ounces. She had butter, flour, eggs, milk, and sugar, she just didn't have any ounces, any pinches, any pints. The loony legacy of money was that the arithmetic by which things were measured had become more valuable than the things themselves.