Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lily Eats

That she says, "Most of the tenet nutrients are missing"--because if you set an egg & a potato before some people they'd tell you they had everything they need. Not just as far as food, but general life-things. That if you've got eggs and potatoes, well, you've got that covered--& must have invited some of the good gods to your hearth. The next step is cleaning out the gutters and waiting hard for spring. We agreed for as long as we could about eggs, and for Brooklyn ate them, before one of us yelled something about health, and the other started talking about blackstrap molasses.

She came to see me in Baltimore, or we went together. It was playing nice: like how D.H. Lawrence calls an orgasm a crisis when really it means death. The hand making the food is sometimes only as important as the hand, sometimes the food. The sum-of-all-parts nights are what we call meals out loud. Chicken legs full of glass because Adrian shattered the too-hot baking dish by setting it in a too-wet sink, her hair piled on top of her head. Her sweetie who I almost call her husband drinking a beer behind her, reading with both hands, and an argument about Africa, and the culture, not art, of writing. Later we walked without him, and talked about our two cities like they were very different. Our two brothers who, since they had survived, might as well be discussed.

So we ate in the long row--how buses award three seats to the people willing to sit all the way in the back, next to the bathroom. And windowless smells like a latrine, surrounded by our own schoolbooks, becoming caught up, ate food from Baltimore--focacia, and hand-stuffed cannoli we had made with my father, listening to Judy Collins. Fontinella cheese and sun-dried tomatoes plumped in oil--food we would never seek out, but nonetheless ate well together. And no table, our commonalities the tunnel, and the dinner. We ate for so long and with such zeal that we couldn't remember which of us had introduced the other to caring about this stuff, that our homework was finished by the time the bus stopped, that we believed I was actually on my way back to New York. SO that "the nutritional tenets were missing," can she be surprised?, supposing we dined so well we left them behind, a cross marking the point of impact somewhere on the turnpike.

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