I should have known to go to bed right after I posted the second part of Datum. I stayed up far too late for the day I had. It was the first true field test of the medication; I had to deflect a lot of negativity today, and that meant staying away from people I like. It’s a tough one though, because the negativity wasn’t just negativity for the sake of it, it was justified—but I knew I couldn’t engage. I feel like it was a win for me in that category, today wouldn’t have played out the same had I not been leveled-off like this. I am an emotional sponge and someone’s bad day can easily rub off on me, it depends on how close I am with them. But today, it’s like the sponge was soaked in Dawn and it repelled the grease of negativity in a gentle way, like I was cleaning a small gosling.
I’m pretty beat right now, so I really don’t have a lot to say. I feel like I expended the last of my energy on the Gosling joke, so I’m just going to write a detailed description of my favorite meal.
Lean ground beef sizzles in the skillet as I crack the seal on a new jar of tomato and basil marinara sauce. Paul Newman looks back at me and gives a sly wink as if to say, “you smooth son of a bitch, you,” and I add the sauce to the heated pan. There’s a lightning-quick sizzle upon first contact, but the heat is soon overwhelmed by the room temperature flow of thick red ooze. It settles to the bottom and lays dormant for a precious few minutes, until the heat begins to break through.
I stir it with my trusty, weathered flipper and make sure the beef juice dances into the sauce just right; like old lovers taking their time. To my right, a large pot once adorned with a crown of hard pasta has pulled the spaghetti underwater and has held it there until the noodles gave into their fate. I stir the pot, trying to fish a single strand out of the water with a fork. Once hooked and secured, I flip the pale, limp gluten-based shoe string at the backsplash—it sticks! I peel it off the wall and throw it into the garbage, turning off the stove-top in the same motion. From the third drawer down, I pull my colander and set it in the sink. The pot is in my hands, and then it’s upside down. The metal of the sink jolts with the shock of the boiling water and I shake the last of the juices from my harvest.
A large blue bowl rests on the counter, full of the spaghetti noodles. They wait for the day they can become one with the meat sauce, and today they will have to wait no more. I hold the skillet above the bowl at a gentle angle, as to not splash and carefully piled the thick red beef on top of its new bed. The marinara seeps into the noodles as quickly as it can before I come back in with tongs and turn the world upside down. I mix it all it the bowl, adding Parmesan as I go until the oven sings me it’s sweet song of garlic bread, toasted and ready.
Finally, it’s time to pour the milk. The crisp, white, one percent twirls on itself in the glass, being poured from a cardboard box. The bubbles gently rise, and my mouth begins to water. It’s time for dinner. I take a plate from the cupboard and fill a third of it with that sweet, red, beefy, basil-tinged spaghetti. Beside that, two pieces of garlic toast, the butter damn near dripping from the bread.
I look at my plate—there’s too much red and beige. I can see too much of my plate…
I forgot the Caesar salad.
See you tomorrow.
Writer, performer, producer and musician from Alberta.