Batsukh just left. He is the opera singer who is teaching me guitar. He came into where I was doing a grammar lesson last fall at the writer's union and sang opera. He translates operas from romance languages into Mongolian. He comes to my apartment every Monday at 7pm and I make him coffee or give him beer and we work generally on one Mongolian song about migrating birds flying like eyelashes.
I was just making my bed and Obama was on BBC for a while. TV here is funny. There are many Mongolian channels that sometimes show things like an entire Paul Mccartney concert or a retrospective of New Order videos. I have been covering the elections news and voting etc through the internet. I was sitting sweating on a hotel bed with my Korea Luce Scholar friend Michael when Obama came on after winning Iowa.
Today saw another dip in the weather. Someone told me to look for the bit of redemption in the mess or the heatbreak the same day as the cold came back, pinkening my fingers around my 25cent instant coffee from the building next to the pink stock exchange. I've never been in there, though it was featured in the Mongolian lessons I took next to the ocean in Goleta on summer nights after social work and before hostessing with the monk Batra. It means "the bridge of wealth."
No one else is my saviour. And after years of wanting to but being afraid to try, chicken soup isn't even that hard. Just put everything into a pot and have good music on. And mopping floors? That was an adventure, but not the doing of it—I went to the Mongolian black market, called the thieves market, but I never get robbed there in any case, with my friend Jon Whitten and we found a squeegie. Small victories, people. Small victories.
So I tried that--a squeegie. On international womens day, after putting it off for like three months, when the afternoons sunlight was all honeyish I squeegied my kitchen and then realized that there was no strainer on the squeegie so I had to sop it up with a towel, and then saw that my feet made marks, so I pulled a pippi longstocking and boogied on a towel in my underwear in the kitchen and giggled to myself. I had the moment I had been waiting for out of this year, my Susan Mitchell moment, my moment of being my own best friend. It turns out, I only realized today, that the Mongolian way of putting a rag on a stick and wooshing it around is actually the best way.