By nature independent, gay, even exuberant, seductively responsive and given to those spontaneous sallies that sparkle in the conversation of certain daughters of Paris who seem to have inhaled since childhood the pungent breath of the boulevards laden with the nightly laughter of audiences leaving theaters, Madame de Burne's five years of bondage had nonetheless endowed her with a singular timidity which mingled oddly with her youthful mettle, a great fear of saying too much, of going to far, along with a fierce yearning for emancipation and a firm resolve never again to compromise her freedom.
I once had a dreams of becoming a beautiful poet, but upon an unfortunate series of events some of those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again, sparkling and broken.But I didn't really mind, because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted, and then losing it to know what true freedom is.
Because cooks love the social aspect of food, cooking for one is intrinsically interesting. A good meal is like a present, and it can feel goofy, at best, to give yourself a present. On the other hand, there is something life affirming in taking the trouble to feed yourself well, or even decently. Cooking for yourself allows you to be strange or decadent or both. The chances of liking what you make are high, but if it winds up being disgusting, you can always throw it away and order a pizza; no one else will know. In the end, the experimentation, the impulsiveness, and the invention that such conditions allow for will probably make you a better cook.
As soon as I arrived I made an attempt to find my host but the two or three people of whom I asked his whereabouts stared at me in such an amazed way and denied so vehemently an knowledge of his movements that I slunk off in the direction of the cocktail table--the only place in the garden where a single man could linger without looking purposeless and alone.
The formula I've figured out: Stop being so damn picky and let go of the mental image of an ideal; talk to more strangers, because it builds confidence and helps you feel more connected; be open to every opportunity, and when you do meet someone you like, keep dating around. And there's the mother of all lessons-the one I'm still working on: follow your instincts and even if you're wrong about him (or her), you'll know better for the next time.
She was smart and terribly determined, this girl-her will was pure steel, through and through-but she was as human as anyone else. She was lonely, too. Lonely in a way that perhaps only single girls fresh from small Midwestern towns know. Homesickness is not always a vague, nostalgic, almost beautiful emotion, although that is somehow the way we always seem to picture it in our mind. It can be a terribly keen blade, not just a sickness in metaphor but in fact as well. It can change the way one looks at the world; the faces one sees in the street look not just indifferent but ugly....perhaps even malignant. Homesickness is a real sickness- the ache of the uprooted plant.