Friday, December 2, 2011

Wanted: Light at the end of the tunnel

Last night I was almost guilty of oversharing. I had stopped in at the butcher on a whim - I had been planning to make a pizza for supper, craving red sauce, but when I rose out of the Bergen Street subway at 6.40, back from a two hour hospital visit, I smelled roasting meat, and salivated. So I walked into Los Paisanos to buy steak. I needed red meat. My hospital friend, Betty, was felled by anaemia and her hospital dinner of thin meat in gravy had sat under its blue plastic cover ignored while she ate one of my funny little melkterts and said she would not eat supper.

Behind the glass meat counter as the young butchers were cleaning the shop and putting things away and racing to leave for the night, Pedro asked me how I was. And that was when I almost told him. Itemized. You know those people. You say, How are you? And they tell you. And it's never good.

Close call. When I heard myself still talking I pressed my lips together, and saved it for my husband. Three dark blocks and several flights of stairs away, sitting on the edge of the white bed, I freaked out, before downing his coupe of prosecco. Then I overcooked the steaks while he kept me company on the daybed. I told him to pretend we were in Argentina. I threw together a raw beet, apple and celery salad, took out the bottle of pickled mustard seeds. I made quick, loud chimichurri in the blender, the violent green of parsley and cilantro cholorphyll, the raw garlic and lime a quick and sobering slap in the face and tonic at once. Snap out of, it. Breath. You can do it. One thing at a time.

(Time...time. Therein lies the catch.)
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