WE WENT to Maryland, the crab capital of these United States. Crabs and shrimps and oysters and beer were had. Of course, the day started with a pint of Guinness for breakfast at an Irish pub. As serendipity would have it, my wife sat beside a very old but very nice Irish lady at the bar of the crab restaurant for dinner and literally within seconds, they are the best of friends. Just like our wonderful time in Dublin. Serendipity continued with our waiter also being an Irish. When we pressed where in Ireland, he replied, “the part that is not England.” Ladies and gentlemen, Irish humor. Imagine having the Wildesque banter every night, for free, over pints. For me, Dublin will always be the best city in the world.
AFTER THAT same breakfast that ended around 4 PM, we chanced upon the graveyard of Edgar Allan Poe. This was a totally app free exercise. I just saw his portrait in one of the local coffee shops and then remembered. And so we hunted his grave and found it. The feeling was something akin to visiting H. P. Lovecraft’s grave in Rhode Island the second year after the great Bueno migration. I literally grew up on the stories and poems of Edgar Allan Poe as they are my bedtime stories when I was a small child. I know of “The Raven” before I could even read. Same with “The Cask of Amontillado” and all of his works really. One of my earliest memories was being read of his prose and poetry during a stormy night with a power outage. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is best told in the dark with only a flickering candle to read with.
NO PHOTOS of the crabs as I dig in the second it came. Joy has one with my hand in the frame reaching for a pair of claws. Steamed and seasoned with salt, parika, and other spices, the crabs were a perfect pair to my PBR (which, luckily, the bar serves). On the way back, I bought three packets of the seasoning for my own experiment: sometime this month, crab curry with kangkong and sitaw will be cooked and I am sprinkling that magic ingredient in the pot.
BELOW IS the final proof of the book cover with the blurbs. In less than a month, the greatest Filipino novel will be unleashed. If not for its brilliance, buy it for the author’s modesty. Har de fucking har.