Beautiful & Elegant

by jkatejohnston

21 July 2013

Dear Max,

A few days ago when I told Teresa about Obama’s talk, she said. “If I were black would you be afraid of me?”

“Honey, I’m afraid of you now.”

“Because I’m Mexican.”

“Because you’re you.”

Teresa thinks my diary makes her look illiterate, incontinent and bitchy. I think she looks hilarious.


I have a note here. “If you let me have an extra movie night I’ll take your books to every library in town.” I’d ordered five copies of my food book, planning to take it to bookstores to see if they’d take it on consignment. This now seems so hopeless and stupid, but Enzo asked me about the books, and I told him my plan. He’s the one who substituted libraries. We don’t go to bookstores. (Pay for books? Never!) We go to libraries.

I chose my food book because it’s the only one with a subject apart from myself. It does occur to me now and then that my chosen genre—fan non-fiction imitating James Boswell and Quentin Crisp—isn’t exactly popular. And since I’m not willing to change, even for Fame, I should probably just accept obscurity. But I do get bright ideas now and then. And then drop them.

By the way, Enzo did get the extra movie night, and my books are still stacked on the shelf near my desk. I didn’t give in on the movie night. If I give in he senses weakness and then drives a truck through it. He’d be demanding a movie night every night forever and ever. Teresa gave in, and she has enough authority that she can do that, and yet her ‘no’ still means no. She has great reserves of natural authority.


Enzo just woke up: “I had the second-sickest dream of all time. I was in Colorado in 4th R, and there was a playground like our playground, and I found a garter snake and then we followed it and there were tons of snakes. I almost stepped on a cottonmouth. And I think I touched a really dangerous snake. It was yellow. There was a super steep slide and I was the first to go down it, and snakes were coming up the slide. And in the back I saw something beautiful and elegant. An albino rosy boa. It had red eyes and orange spots.” I asked if the dream was scary. “No. It was cool.”