Sunday, November 06, 2005

Banana Rama

Today's theme was "napping." I did manage a 9 am yoga class and grocery shopping, but this afternoon was naptime. And I really don't like naps. Dinner last night was quite tasty (J made a great salad with pumpkin seeds and asiago cheese, and ravioli stuffed with sweet potatos and garnished with sage broth, fried sage, and goat cheese), and I got other people to sample some desserts. We had the vacherin (mango and raspberry sorbets, topped with meringue and whipped cream), the banana pearl, and the chocolate hazelnut mousses cake. Much to my surprise, the favorite was the banana pearl--all three of them LOVED it, much more than they liked either of the others. I was completely put off by the white chocolate, though admittedly you couldn't taste that much of it. The banana is a good dessert, however, and, especially given the overwhelming response, something I'd try to adapt for the bakery. It has a nice mix of flavors and textures, which is something the chefs are stressing constantly.

Friday night, as C and I walked in, the doorman, E, told me he wanted to see me. I've lived in this building for seven years now, and I've gotten to know him pretty well, and I like him tremendously. He's in his 70s, I think, and he's just a great guy; he keeps chugging along despite several bouts with skin cancer (it has returned, for the third time), heart problems (he's got a defibrillator and he's had some heart attacks), and, recently, recurrent anemia, such that every so many weeks he gets hospitalized for some blood transfusions. I think he also had gastro issues some years ago, too, and had some intestine removed, but I don't remember the full story on that one. He's worked at this building for more than 20 years, so he knows everything about everything here. Given his physical issues, he doesn't get out much, except to get to the doctor or the hospital; one of the other doormen goes grocery shopping for him at the end of E's shift, and I brought him tomatos all summer from the farmers' market. I also bake for him--he's particularly fond of sour cherry pies (he likes his with no sugar at all)--and give him some of whatever I've made. I used to be able to stop and chat in the morning (he goes off at 8 am), but my current schedule really doesn't permit it. I see him on the occasional Friday night, though, when I've been out carousing.

Anyway, I made sure to go downstairs early this morning, on my way to yoga. What did he want? Well, it turns out that he wants to give me (in company with his gastroenterologist) power of attorney to make end of life decisions for him, should he be unconscious and unable to speak for himself. He's having the papers drawn up, but he wanted to check with me before he did it. He asked me, he said, because he wanted it to be someone who'd be rational about it and would respect his wishes. Of course I agreed, and of course I was extremely touched by his request. And, given the issues enumerated above, I wouldn't be surprised if one or more of his ailments do him in sooner rather than later. I'd be very surprised if I had any decisions to make, mind you, but he's a tough old bird, so you never know.

I talked to B this morning, too; he's back home. His brother's funeral/memorial service was yesterday. It was only a short conversation, though; I'd thought he was still in Vermont, but he was in California, so the time zones were working against me (luckily I called AFTER yoga, rather than before). At one point I said, "I can't even imagine," but then I caught myself (and he chimed in) and said, well, actually, yes I CAN imagine, having been there. I wish I could see him; I was calling him today in the hope that he hadn't gone back west yet and could be talked into a layover here, though I doubt I would have succeeded at that. I was so, so, so happy he could be here for the wedding, and, it turns out, there are two quite lovely pictures of the two of us. My heart will continue to be with him.

2 Comments:

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