Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Tonight I won't start eating. Nothing will fill me. I could eat half a loaf of apple raisin bread pan- toasted in butter with cup after cup of heavy Eagle Brand sweet PG Tips. I could eat the frozen whole wheat penne with vodka sauce, scaling it with sharded slivers of hard Parmesan. Defrost the single cheddar squash tamale and wolf it down with spicy kim chi and the tiny vinegary yellow Brazilian peppers. I could stew and salt the collards. Steam the kale, dipping entire leaves in lemon tahini sauce.

I could eat the whole pound of earlobe-shaped artichoke pasta, with butter and backyard Meyer lemon zest. There are cold blocks of duck-rich cassoulet, memory-thick bean stew. There are freezer dessicated haricots verts, revivable with lemon and olive oil. Garlic sharp crackers. Irish oatmeal with plump raisins, custardy boiled dates, and toasted walnuts.

Freezer jars of applesauce to heat in the chocolate brown Le Creuset saucepan from my mother's wedding set, adding sugar and cinnamon to invoke my grandmother. Navel oranges from last week's box. A square pan of Droste brownies with pecans. The last of the milk and two pale blue green Auracana eggs with a block of Scharffenberger into chocolate pudding. A jar of sour cherries from Eastern Europe with half a carton of eggs fork whisked into a clafouti, finished with the big raw sugar crystals I carried home from Maui, on the trip with the pool and the plums.

I can eat jar after jar of apricot jam, starting with the tiny jar saved from the 2007 batch. I would think of Sylvia's line, "I eat men like air" as I emptied my pantry, my refrigerator, my freezer. I could eat my kitchen as easily as breathing, fueled by the tightness in my chest. It is the only thing that is how I hoped it would be, how I expected, that kitchen. All else I have accomplished falls short by my measure, who I had hoped to be and to become. I am emptied, and tonight I will not start eating because nothing in my kitchen will fill the hole.


Ruby said...

This is so sad, but also thoroughly beautiful. Having gotten some of things I thought I wanted, I am quite jealous of the self-determination of having your own kitchen. I have been surprised how much relationship dysfunction is manifested in my eating and cooking (or lack thereof). My body externally demonstrates the poor internal health.

Wish I could say something more poignant and uplifting for you. Sending you love through the tubes...

Jon said...

Keep dreaming big. You will never get there, but that's not the point. You are powerful and the dreams and expectations make you more so.