Thursday, June 19, 2008


The title of this Update is Franny and Sushi. Sunshine left Tuesday morning for Nha Trang, where she's helping facilitate the USNS Mercy's humanitarian medical services.* Every time she's away, I plan to go on another sushi bar crawl down Lê Thánh Tôn Street; but usually, like last night, I become too distracted by the very first menu available, ordering too much for a second stop to remain tenable. Last night I was in Wasabi, my beloved tiny yakisoba joint. I ordered grilled salmon neck, sea eel on seared tofu, and a bowl of soba I've never tried before. On the way out I'd grabbed Salinger's Franny and Zooey, pretty much the last work by the author, besides un-anthologized New Yorker short stories, I haven't read. During my meal I read "Franny", first published in 1955, and comprising about one-fourth of a volume also containing "Zooey", a novella first published in 1957. Since I sat down before I began, and finished before I left, I am tempted to say that my meal--salmon, soup and eel--completely included this story; but in a way the opposite is true. In the story, Franny does not eat. She's in town on a date, during which she becomes annoyed, waxes reflexive then exasperated then spiritual, and is very much haunted by something that remains unidentified. She has also brought a book to dinner. As she explains why, she compulsively smokes and ignores her chicken sandwich. When my meal arrived I did not read. My soup included one perfectly cooked egg: solid whites and a runny yolk somehow preserved in soup hot enough to overcook it. When I finished eating, I picked the book back up and finished the story. Did my dinner include "Franny", or did the story include my dinner? [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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