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Two portions exactly


All that is left in the living room is the sunlight and our memories.

“Let’s make a list,” he said on the way to the Mahane Yehuda shuq, our local market. “First: quinoa.”
“Quinoa? Why quinoa?!” At the time, I was unsure of how to spell the word in my head. That is how you know we missed out on the required post-graduate years of American yuppiness.
“Because I want to feel hip.”

Alright, then.

When we arrived in Jerusalem, it was pomegranate season. The first sound I associate with our Jerusalem home is the crackling of seeds separating from the pomegranate. We came with the pomegranates; we are leaving with the cherries. We pass by the apricots, since the seller will not let us buy anything under a full box of them. There is no time left for a full box of apricots.

The shopkeeper asks how much quinoa we want. “Enough for two portions,” Elijah responds. This is the smallest quantity in which anyone has ever gone food shopping in Jerusalem’s market. “We only have enough time left for two portions exactly.”

Two portions is the loneliest number.

Later that night, I watch him prepare a quinoa tabbouleh salad because, if you are going to feel like culinary hipsters, it might as well be regionally-inspired hipsters. Diced tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, cilantro, cheese, a dash of lemon. A side of guacamole, for those of us with stretchy hearts that are always missing other foods and other places. We eat our quinoa tabbouleh on the bed, since most of the other furniture is already gone. Moving house is the sound of your voices echoing on the walls.

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