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23 people I want to have over for dinner: #scintilla

Write a list of 23. (23 things to do, 23 people you owe apologies to, 23 books you’ve lied about reading, 23 things you can see from where you’re sitting, 23 ten-word hooks for stories you want to tell….)

  1. The lovely person who contacted the city last week and told them to oil the very noisy very bad very terrible swingset hinge at the park out back.
  2. My Grammy, who is on a restricted diet and will grumble when I follow it to the letter.
  3. Italo Calvino, although I wouldn’t understand a word he said. But we’ll seat him next to Grammy at this table, because they might just hit it off.
  4. Miss Fedorovich, the first teacher who really got me.
  5. Someone with an unerring gift for dream interpretation who will also bring a towering coconut cream pie even after I promise that she doesn’t need to bring anything.
  6. Dominique, who will also bring dessert (probably a pan of her famous brownies) but who will pass them to me in secret so that we can eat them later after everyone else has gone home.
  7. My friend Holly, who taught with me on the reservation, a mom of five who can use a night off from cooking.
  8. and
  9. and
  10. are Mel, Dan, and Phil, who were there when I threw my first dinner parties.
  11. Tracy, who would get as big a kick out of Phil as I always did, even though they might get in great fights, too. (You’ve gotta give us something to gossip about the next day.)
  12. Angela Chase. No, not Claire Danes.
  13. A cabinetmaker who smells lightly of sawdust even after a shower, who understands meditative hard work, quiet, and beauty.
  14. Roxanne, who also understands these things.
  15. A photographer who will spend the pre- and post-dinner time capturing the evening for us, one with the gift to see all these lovely people the way that I do.
  16. Annie Dillard, who does not have time for all this foolishness but oh, if she did, if she only did, what stories.
  17. Noël, who says more in a hundred words than some people say in a lifetime.
  18. Stephen Fry, because, really, who needs to explain wanting Stephen Fry at your table?
  19. Debbie and
  20. Danielle, who are also responsible for the evening’s playlist.
  21. And then there will be Onyi, who knows that calories do not count when you eat them in a foreign country and 
  22. Onyi’s Mister, who can talk about football and politics and chess to 
  23. Myron, who will raise a glass at the head of the table and toast to friends old and new.