May 08, 2009

Are you ready for the country?

Alice is. Five weeks in Wonderland and environs, and she is ready to go again, this time to the bucolic environs of Zurich, where her best friend from grad school 25 years ago has settled, one in a number of Americans who left just as the country started going to hell under a shrub and who has since developed a life that differs from the one she left behind.

Despite her self-proclaimed news blackout, when Alice is at home, she cannot help being part of her cityscape, cannot avoid the work she likes to leave behind. This is why holidays are so appealing for Alice: out of the country is the only way she can unplug herself entirely from the so-called real world, the one where all the numbers count, where she is the dernier cri on matters financial.

BFGS claims it is 1953 in her Swiss exurb, and, given that she is walking her daughter back to school after a 2 hour lunch break, it is obvious that even the 20th century of working moms has yet to claim a perch here. Then there is the husband, and the division of labor that doesn't quite break down the way the BFGS would have imagined, all those years ago.

Yet BFGS, she of the full Ph.D., is getting her research done, her book written, and holding up the homestead, getting more done before noon than Alice in the proverbial day. Alice could not do full time domesticity; she is admittedly too self absorbed, or absorbed within her limits.

That is to say that she and the Artist are again traveling together, and Alice awaits each email with a smile on her face. A brief reversion to courtship may be just what she and the Artist need, just to confirm that next time Alice leaves Wonderland, she will very much want the Artist to accompany her.

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