Sunday, April 1, 2012
Another week down, April Fools tomorrow, another month, 7 and counting, time accelerating as soon as the good stuff starts happening and I need more OF it.
That’s life, that’s the system. Time is like money: when you need it you can’t get it – when you don’t, they’re shoving loans and credit cards down your throat.
Devegar – despacio – slowly. Portuguese, Spanish, English.
Hey-sus, I’m trilingual. What about that? Big smile of appreciation spreads inside. My brain’s no sponge anymore – more like a petrified rock. It hasn’t been easy getting those new words to stick. Thanks for that, the hard work, the patience and persistence.
And then the little voice says: Well…not fluent. Still can't conjugate in the subjunctive.
But the big voice fights back: Yeah, but…I can listen to a song in any of these languages and know what they’re singing about. How ‘bout that. Ha, I can read music too – a fourth language.
I’m so Lonely I could Cry, Bill Frisell’s blue notes say it all without words.
And then there’s the language of food.
I’ve spent the afternoon shopping for the ingredients at the market: carne molida at Double-R butcher – he grinds the slab of lean shoulder right in front of my eyes, then to the pork guy for fresh chorizo – then the veg stand for parsley and basil and a good white onion – and the baker for breadcrumbs.
The sauce was already made. I awoke at 7 am before my day of meetings and had the blender going, and my kitchen smelled like Lena’s! Fresh Santa Rita tomatoes from my b-day trip to the hydroponic hothouse with Rita. The rise to the top and pop – and I remove the skin – careful not to burn my fingers.
I’ve invited my singing neighbor Yola over for cena; but that was last week, and I realize appointments are amorphous here. I left a post-it not reminder on her door this morning. But I get home after work and it's still there. It’s 9 and I’m starving and she's still not home yet. I pull the post-it not off her door and sit myself down to my table. I light a candle, pop open a bottle of my Mexi house red, and serve myself a pile of green salad with balsamic vinaigrette and Perla’s smoked provolone and a bowl of ziti and meatballs, Mexican-style. Grandma Lena would be proud – or appalled. She was a purist.
I love that I cook and think of her – like we’re cooking together – like she’s speaking into my ear: remember, let the meat sauce speak for itself. Light on the herbs. And she’s right. With the chorizo in place of Italian pork sausages, I get the slight hint of Mexico chile on the tongue, and it’s a delight.
Albondegas as my creation!