Writing your favorite story
He was a good vendor because he'd sell cheap what was about to spoil, give advice with bananas. Chanelle had a cousin that could have been my brother, and the air was so dry for a cold day, we sat on a hillside talking about the moment in our lives when we had family, or had family bad. We met like most people do; in New York. I remembered longingly a mango I'd dropped in the dirt a few weeks earlier--which I had rinsed off in a drinking fountain, and seemed to hold for me all the water in the world. I had met Adrian in New York too, but more routinely since we went to school together. And it’s not to say that either of them were ever late for anything, but that they had the good sense to avoid rigidity when they needed.
It was not with surprise, then, that I received a phone call from Chanelle saying they’d be late coming to Baltimore—between the plan and the bus there had been a hard night, she explained. At the stove, it wasn’t until I inventoried what I had yet to cook that I realized I’d been allotting extra time all along. The kale softly steamed with vinegar, mushrooms brown with wine, sweet zucchini, thick artichokes, and eggplant in the bottom of the salad were done. The vegetable juice was cooling on the front burner. I had used all the butter in the house, and a little bit of sugar (from another house, since I never bought it) and had only taken care of the vegetables. I had begun with one recipe—for two pounds of caramelized shallots—and in a rare occurrence, hadn’t had to consult a cookbook for anything since. There’s the alchemy, I noted: when you cook selfishly. How sex is born—from knowing what feels good. Righteous food assembled from your organism, from what you'd like to smell.