Bounteous Cookies
In Which My Writing Becomes Extremely Officious

Cookies have become a striking presence in my life since I moved to the new annexe. Been here just over a week and it doesn’t feel spanking-new any more, but has few enough memories associated that I get excited about firsts—my first laundry! my first rice and curry dinner! my first try-to-do-yoga-outside-and-get-eaten-by-mosquitoes!

Cookies, though. You all know that I baked cookies. I plan to do so again. Even in the absence of selfauthored cookies, shortly after shifting (which is what Sri Lankans call moving) I received a gift of approximately one pound of heartshaped pinksugared cookies from Jill. I can only hope that Jill’s kind wonderful mother doesn’t read this, because the cookies were sent via mail from her to Jill for Valentine’s Day, as Jill’s glorious generous mother is in the habit of making appropriately-shaped sugar cookies for each major holiday, but Jill (only one of many cookie recipients, she says) is not particularly fond of sugar cookies. She eats one and gives the rest away, sometimes to me. She does not tell her mother. This time I got pretty much the whole boxful as she didn’t have space in her tiny fridge to keep them away from the ants.

Oh, the ants… the new place also has extremely efficient and well-organized ants. There are three types of ants, says Kanthi, the lovely and helpful and hilarious librarian at ICES (my erstwhile ‘office’). In Sinhala: black ants, red ants, and smelly ants. The smelly ants aren’t smelly unless you kill them and smell the remains, something I’m not about to do. (I squish, but I don’t sniff.) They are teensy and brown and boy can they move! They get excited about things in the kitchen that aren’t even food and swarm all over, putting me in a panic that that unopened package of noodles has a hole somewhere where they’re getting in and oh my god what are they doing on the sesame oil bottle? They love getting into the compost. Of course.

Right, but, cookies—after I received Jill’s cookies, and baked my own, I fielded a phone call from a certain seven-year-old cousin of mine (and her parents) in which I was briefed on the contents of a package slated for my eventual receipt. To wit: cookies. Butterfly cookies! The package, it seems, is butterfly-themed. I inquired from said child as to whether it was coming via butterflies, to which she, nonplussed, replied that no, you foolish halfwit, it is coming by normal mail. There are some really big strong-looking butterflies in the new garden. Maybe I should enlist them against the ants!

And then! I received an envelope this very day, containing a variety of print material and a single, delectable cookie from my favorite vegan/organic/natural/overpriced baking company. These cookies are approximately the size of a soup plate and stuffed, I tell you stuffed, with good things like chocolate chips and peanut butter in the same cookie. They know their cookies. I wouldn’t even call myself a cookie-oriented person (rather have straight unadulterated chocolate, or a fruity cake or something) but gosh, folks, thanks. Keep it coming. Note, for the unconvinced: I am not vegan these days, so really, don’t hold back—send those cookies!

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