Every Easter when I was a little girl my mother made sure that I always got a little stuffed animal and a wicker basket filled with chocolate eggs and maybe some sort of chocolate-shaped animal. I dreamed, however, of a day when she might get me a DVD box set of an HBO show all about violence, revenge, murder, incest and sex.
My dreams came true. My mom bought me the first season of Game of Thrones as an Easter present this year. I’m over 35-years-old. I’ve already watched it all. The Beast watched maybe two or three episodes with me. One night last week, I decided that we’d make dinner as a team and afterwards, I’d force him to watch the last episode.
Beast: So what are we having and what do I have to do?
Foodie: It’s a recipe I found on a food blog and you know what the funny part is? I think it’s a blog for parents and kids.
Beast: So I’m like the kid?
Foodie: Yes, I think so. And what’s even funnier, is that it’s a pasta but it’s not an Italian pasta. It’s a fusion pasta, as in Asian. Look, there’s ground pork and green onions and snap peas. No cheese!
Beast (reading the recipe): It actually sounds good.
Foodie: I know! But I’m making a few changes. I’m omitting the mushrooms. And I forgot that we don’t have any cooking onions so we won’t have that in there.
Beast (still reading the recipe): Well, there’s not going to be a flavour base so you’ve already high-jacked this recipe.
Foodie: Flavour base?
Beast: What’s that you’re putting in?
Foodie: Well, I had some red chilies and I thought they’d be good in this.
Beast: Does the recipe call for them?
Beast: Why can’t you just follow a recipe?
Foodie: I don’t know. Over-confidence, probably.
Beast: Bring me my gooouuuld.
Foodie: What’s that? What are you doing?
Beast: How much gooouuld would it take for you to suck my caawwk.
Foodie: I don’t know what you’re doing. Is that an English accent?
Beast: Let me cover my caawwk with my cloowkkk.
Beast: It’s my impression of Tyrion. You know? The dwarf from Game of Thrones?
Foodie: OHHH! I get it! That’s good! That’s really, really good! He does have an exaggerated accent, doesn’t he? But he is British, so…
Beast: Ah, no he’s not. He’s American.
Foodie: Are you sure?
Beast: Yes. the actor Peter Dinklage is American.
Foodie: Anyway, what character do you think you’re most like in Game of Thrones?
Foodie: YOU TOTALLY ARE! Overly articulate, self-assured, obsessed with women, a smart- ass, bookish. Who am I?
Beast: That blond-haired incest king kid
Foodie: NO, I AM NOT!
Beast: Oh, I know. You’re the tomboy girl.
Foodie: Uh, duh! I’m stealthy. I’m into danger. I’m quick on my feet. I will defend my friends and family’s honour. I will stand up to the bad guy. I’m good with a sword.
Beast: You’re a lot older than she is, though.
Foodie (sighing): I know. But that’s not the point. I identify with her the most.
The fusion pasta was actually really delicious. The Beast said it was almost inedible because of the spicy red chilies. Still, he ate three bowls-full.
On Saturday, we were out and about and ended up in a used clothing store. We had a lot of fun trying stuff on. Everything the Beast tried on fit him really nicely. He must have about a dozen blazers now. He bought two more and a pair of wool pants that look about three sizes too big for him but he bought them anyway because he said they look like something Duke Ellington would have worn. Everything I tried on made my boobs look huge, which wasn’t a good thing because I was in an anti-boob mood. Still, I did manage to find a crisp white cotton Jil Sander white button-up shirt for $40 and a vintage Celine floral skirt that I will never wear, so there’s that.
When we got home late in the afternoon, the Beast headed out for his usual Saturday night rehearsal. That left me alone. I decided to take advantage of every glorious minute by renting a girlie movie that the Beast would have no desire to see–Iron Man–and making a dinner that he’d have no interest in eating: rapini and white beans.
It’s a dinner I used to make all the time for myself when I lived alone in a tree house-like apartment at Bloor and Dovercourt, working as a server making more money than I’ll probably ever make again in my life, and just being a bit of a 20-something hellion for a year. It was not uncommon for me to prepare it at 2 in the morning and then devour it, with a big chunk of white bread, while sitting in my ripped wing-back chair wearing only underwear and watching reruns of Sex in the City after a night out with a crew of other restaurant-working hellions.
You just sauté some garlic and chilies in olive oil, throw in a can of white beans, get them a bit crispy, throw in some just-blanched rapini, and cook it a bit and then you have a dinner-for-one. Make sure to enjoy it with some spicy peperoncini (chilies in oil) on the side.
And since I was having dinner-for-one, I felt no shame in mashing up an avocado, adding a little salt, lime and a few cilantro leaves and serving it with toast as my appetizer.
I opened up a Loire white wine, nestled into the couch and didn’t want my night to end. It did, however, when Iron Man finished. Wanting to prolong my joy, I decided to go back to the video store at around 9:30 p.m. and rent Iron Man 2. As I carried my bike down the porch steps, my two neighbours passed by. ”Going to work all ready, are you?” They joked. And that’s when I opened up my mouth and spoke–for the first time in several hours–and I don’t even know what came out. “I’m gooooo video. That kindofnight.” I had no idea I was that drunk until I heard my own voice.
Ashamed, I rode into the night, waving furiously to them. Then at the end of the street, there was a group of seven or eight drunk Polish men. I’ve seen them there before. I don’t know why they hang out there drinking, yelling and peeing all over the fence of the green grocer I go to. There are plenty of bars around, and they don’t look hard done by or anything. It infuriates me.
Maybe because I’d just watched Iron Man, and maybe because I really am like the sword-yielding child princess Ayra in Game of Thrones, I felt a bit like a vigilante. A drunk, jogging suit-wearing, bike-riding vigilante.
I slowed down and stared at them all. They yelled stuff at me in Polish, raising their beer bottles high into the air. I continued my steady glare until I rounded the corner.
At the video store, head down, bike helmet on, I returned Iron Man, rented Iron Man 2 and bought a butter tart. As I unlocked my bike out front, I mentally prepared myself for passing the drunk Polish men again and–like urban Vigilantes are accustomed to doing–I stopped to help an older woman fix her husband’s broken electric wheelchair tire.
Confident now, I approached the men at the end of my street. Again, I slowed down, this time standing up on my pedals as I passed, all the while staring them down. Again, they yelled shit at me in Polish. I smiled, like a vigilante, and nodded my head as if to say, “Go on and laugh you fuckers. But this is my neighbourhood, and I see you. And I will be watching. And I will get you, if I have to.”
At home, I thought, what’s one little smidgeon more of white wine to go with this delicious butter tart after my hard night’s work? So I poured a half-glass and popped in Iron Man 2, which is about that vigilante’s descent into debauchery and self-destruction. As I licked my fingers of oozing butter tart filling, it occurred to me that I was like Iron Man.
I fell asleep before the redemption part.