Life’s ironies irritate my afternoon hours like wool. One, I’m in a foreign country in my own head; two, I’m sometimes lonely living with two women; three, people are having sex in shop windows but we haven’t made love in weeks; four, the more Alexis smokes, the better her singing voice; the more I clean up, the more I feel like Alexis’ ashtray; the more I read, the more I lose my place. Unsettled, I get hungry, and remember pears and young Gouda in the refrigerator. I throw down my books. Ironically, given their status as objects, the red pear and the pale cheese are breathing furiously, inhabiting the world I left. All told, the pear is a great relief, luxuriating on a plate as blue as the Dutch flag, with the pungent Gouda such a pure moment of pale yellow!