Capricorn 27° (January 17)


I don’t want to turn into the older man in the comfortable shoes, you know, the one for whom wearing Rockports is no longer ironic. And for those of us too short to age like Anthony Bourdain, blessed with those skinny legs and all, becoming a Breatharian often seems to be the only route to not being some stubby sextagenarian. I joke. But even in my youth I would live on Hemingway’s words: hunger is good discipline. I skipped meals sometimes, breakfast certainly, and lunch every once in a while. I had never been overweight then, I remember, particularly, living in Paris in 1985, 1986, ordering just a pot of tea I’d drink with lemon. Of course, that’s when I wasn’t drinking all the beer and wine; but that never registered physically then either, except in a vague, teen-age puffiness.

But it’s more than just the avoidance of certain footwear. It’s also the way ones jeans fit. I do declare I must avoid jeans altogether unless they are altogether flattering. The truth is I haven’t exercised other than walking in a long time. That said, I walk many miles on the beach which can often be tough going, not a stroll in the park. And the times I’ve been able to swim have been glorious. If I lived in London, I would surely join a swim club. Those days at the Aldwych, I can’t tell you: they pulled on my heartfelt being so much. It is my most favorite pool in all the world. If I had sick money I would get a 15K pound membership just to go there every day. Which is just over 4 pounds a day. Just under six bucks a day. Six bucks a day to swim in a pool isn’t a lot if you go every day. It’s the price of a coffee or near enough. I would give up coffee to swim in that pool. Just one thing: I don’t live in London. But you know what Diana Vreeland said: The best part about London is Paris. There is sense in what I say if you look for it.

So what to do. Well, being well hydrated and slightly underweight is my secret manorexic goal. But I am one of those people who eats so well already, and barely; I never snack or eat dessert except maybe sharing in a restaurant; and I generally avoid restaurants except when traveling, manning the kitchen, my favorite household milieu, will fairly militant precision. Seriously, I am anal when it comes to food, which isn’t a pretty sentence, nomatter how you slice it. So let’s put it this way: I’m ridiculously organized, an expert at gard manger, I never waste even the tiniest sprig of thyme. I shop for exact ingredients, I make menus, I schedule prep times for chopping for a few meals ahead, I do a little at a time, all the time throughout the day—there is always something cooking in the kitchen—such that, when meal times arrive, I need do little else but assemble. It’s one of my greatest, I won’t say only, joys.



Typos happen—I don’t have time or an intern to edit.*
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