Sunday, November 5, 2017


I've been reading a book on the couch all afternoon, eating oranges and putting their peels on the radiator. Now it's dark, and outside somewhere there's an acorn in the frozen soil, where a squirrel buried it, sleeping custard-colored in its shell. 

Far from worrying I'm too slow, I wonder why I've been going so fast.


The Crow said...

This is beautiful; graceful. poetic, visual.

Fresca said...

Thanks, Crow.

ArtSparker said...

Does your place smell orangey? I've been reading through some of my mother's old books recently. Kind of smitten with Max Beerbohm.

Fresca said...

SPARKER: I squeeze the peels into the air to perfume the room.

Zuleika Dobson!

Krista Kennedy said...

Love. Th we beautiful sentences reminds me of a much longer piece by MFK Fisher concerning clementines on radiators and winter light.

Frex said...

Ah, thanks, Krista---I did not know that passage. Found it:
From Serve it Forth:

"I discovered little dried sections of tangerine. My pleasure in them is subtle and voluptuous and quite inexplicable. I can only write how they are prepared.

"In the morning, in the soft sultry chamber, sit in the window peeling tangerines, three or four. Peel them gently; do not bruise them, as you watch soldiers pour past and past the corner and over the canal towards the watched Rhine. Separate each plump little pregnant crescent. If you find the Kiss, the secret section, save it for Al.

"Listen to the chambermaid thumping up the pillows, and murmur encouragement to her thick Alsatian tales ofl’intérieure. That is Paris, the interior, Paris or anywhere west of Strasbourg or maybe the Vosges. While she mutters of seduction and French bicyclists who ride more than wheels, tear delicately from the soft pile of sections each velvet string. You know those white pulpy strings that hold tangerines into their skins? Tear them off. Be careful.

"Take yesterday’s paper (when we were in Strasbourg L’Ami du Peuple was best, because when it got hot the ink stayed on it) and spread it on top of the radiator. The maid has gone, of course – it might be hard to ignore her belligerent Alsatian glare of astonishment.

"After you have put the pieces of tangerine on the paper on the hot radiator, it is best to forget about them. Al comes home, you go to a long noon dinner in the brown dining-room, afterwards maybe you have a little nip of quetsch from the bottle on the armoire. Finally he goes. You are sorry, but –

"On the radiator the sections of tangerines have grown even plumper, hot and full. You carry them to the window, pull it open, and leave them for a few minutes on the packed snow of the sill. They are ready.

"All afternoon you can sit, then, looking down on the corner. Afternoon papers are delivered to the kiosk. Children come home from school just as three lovely whores mince smartly into the pension’s chic tearoom. A basketful of Dutch tulips stations itself by the tram-stop, ready to tempt tired clerks at six o’clock. Finally the soldiers stump back from the Rhine. It is dark.

"The sections of the tangerine are gone, and I cannot tell you why they are so magical. Perhaps it is that little shell, thin as one layer of enamel on a Chinese bowl, that crackles so tinily, so ultimately under your teeth. Or the rush of cold pulp just after it. Or the perfume. I cannot tell."

– M.F.K. Fisher