Friday, September 25, 2009

Adrian Eats

Autumnal Equinox

It was Sunday, almost a year ago now, when Greg showed up for dinner. Sweeney and I were busy erecting fly traps around the apartment with a combination of sugar water and resin. The flies had seemingly moved in permanently, and thirty of them sat slurping the water with their proboscuises on our kitchen counter. I abandoned the task to take out the trash, but as I made my way toward the dumpster, a box-edge from inside the sack tore into my leg, mid-step. I left a trail of blood to our front door, and panting, said, "I don't know what happened." Sweeney ran to the store to get Band-Aids and I was sure he'd get Raid, too, though I was still banking on the sugar water. Flies buzzed around me in the silence of the empty apartment. The season was just beginning to cool, and I stood on the patio, letting my wound air. Then I remembered the laundry: it was soaking wet in a washing machine, and the laundr-o-mat closed at four o'clock on Sundays. So bleeding, ran across the street and started shoveling the wet laundry into a basket. "Your shit was done a long time ago," the laundress said, closing up shop. "I know," I said. "I'm sorry." A few other ladies in there who had been laughing before I walked in, were solemn now, scowling at me. "I'm sorry," I said again, using my bloody leg to open the door.

By the time Greg arrived, I had propped a large two-by-four between the walls sandwiching our patio, and was hanging the wet clothes over it. It was cold, but the mosquitoes were still out, and I was getting bitten like crazy. Greg's face in the gate: "Hey!" he said. "What are you doing?" I let him in and eventually Sweeney returned and my leg stopped bleeding. We sat at our table drinking tea, talking about Thoreau, and a number of domestic things I can't remember: a plan to make pumpkin soup, an oyster night. Greg had baked a loaf of bread that day, had been doing so in fact every Sunday since July (it was October) whether there was an occasion or not. We ate his round, brown bread in slices with butter. Without telling them I went quietly inside to make dinner.

Whole grain rotini cooked in lentil stew, cayenne and black peppers, so that the pasta was heavy, sloppy, brown. Red and yellow bell peppers, onions, sauteed, HI heat. Fried yellow squash, and jar of cold pumpkin butter to finish up the bread with.

Dark was really beginning to settle. My leg wound would definitely scar. I brought the pots and bowls of food outside, and though the men were surprised, we ate as casually as siblings. Halloween was approaching, and we'd hung cobweb on our gate the day before. Ray Ray, another neighborhood friend, came by on his bicycle, tooting it's horn. He saw us eating, fingered the cob web: "This place sure has gotten old..." We let him in, and he stayed for a while, telling us about his enormous mangoes from the farmers market, how he won't drink tea if its too hot to cold the cup. A Commedia dell'Arte clown, who's as much of a purist as he is a jester. Eventually he left, howling and caroling away on his bike. Darkness was complete.

Sweeney, Greg, and I decided we would do this every Sunday until the end of spring. We would imagine a meal. Merge our ingredients. Greg would make bread. It would still be warm from the oven. We would eat outside until it got too cold. In this way we would somehow avoid the winter, but of course we did not.

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