__ I decided to wait and go to the bookstore to find the quote. I'd follow my usual plan for the middle of the day—until the light turned right for photographing the moors and the ponds I was interested in. I'd read the Times, checking for signs of hope. I'd deadhead the perennials and fairy roses. I'd go to the beach at four. I'd sit under the umbrella and read the parts of the Times I'd skipped. When most people left the beach, I'd go swimming, I'd work on removing the polo player from some bathing trunks I'd bought for my husband, I'd go to three farms to find the best corn. I thought about what I'd read in the obituary of the Nobel Prize geneticist Barbara McClintock: "She spent her life working on corn." Then I'd go home and take another shower and put on more mascara. I'd take my camera in my bicycle basket and go for a long ride. On the ride I'd stop and take the photographs I'd been waiting for. On the way back, it would be cool enough to go to the bookstore.*__ Part of his charm was that he'd laugh at everything. "Doesn't he look like a fat old lady in a housedress in the Ozarks?", I asked on one visit. The baby's parents took this to be a compliment, which it certainly was. His eyes were such a light blue that he had a really Christian look, as if his ancestors had run after and thrown rocks at Jews, although I knew this was impossible because he was Swedish, not Polish, and the Swedes were so tolerant of minorities and so perfect in every way. Mai Britt had married Sammy Davis Jr. That was an example often given of Swedish liberalism, I recalled, or maybe not—it was an example of something, I couldn't remember what, as I looked at the baby's light-blue eyes and tried to picture his ancestors. His name happened to be Christian, too—a choice I couldn't understand, because his father was half Jewish, and it was almost like being named Jesus.
Julie Hecht, "The Thrill Is Gone" + "That's No Fun", Do the windows open?