Gosh, was I ever grumpy when I got home last night. Good news though: it wasn’t because of something the Beast did. I think it was on account of having to take the subway home because I didn’t ride my bike to work. That would be my new bike.
It’s changed everything: my old Peugeot was on its last legs. I could barely get myself up hills. Every time I pedaled I worried that the chain would bust off into a million pieces. Now my morning commute is about ten minutes shorter. In fact I ride so fast that when I ring my bell I don’t actually hear it until a few seconds later.
So, after standing side by side with some real crazies on The Rocket for what felt like an eternity–and nearly boiling to death–I got home in a real stink. Turns out the Beast was in a rotton mood too.
Foodie: I’m sorry but I’m not in good spirits right now.
Beast: Well I’m not in a good mood either. I feel like dying.
Foodie: Do you want to have a competition to see who feels worse?
Beast: How many times did you think about ending it all today?
Foodie: Mmn, maybe just once.
Beast: I thought about it every single time somebody walked into the store. Plus, I literally played the blues out on a saxophone.
Foodie: Do you think it’s weird that my bike is a boy’s bike?
Beast: No, not at all.
Foodie: A few people have commented on it. I don’t think it’s necessarily a boy’s bike.
Beast: What’s its name?
Foodie: I haven’t decided for sure but I was thinking about Lil’ Packy.
Beast: That’s racist!
Foodie: What? Oh! I never even thought about it that. It’s just a riff on the name of the frame though, “Pake”.
Beast: Did you just say, “riff”?
Beast: I feel the same way about the word “riff” as I do about “reso” and “Roncy” (Mom, a lot of people refer to Roncesvalles–the main thoroughfare in our neighbourhood–as Roncy.)
Foodie: Well, I don’t like it when people lede a sentence with “indeed” or “as well”. It drives me nuts. I refuse to read on.
Beast: Are we making dinner or what? I’m starving.
We were using up some leftovers from the night before when I made Spanish rice. I don’t think it’s technically very Spanish. It’s a recipe that I think I adapted from my stepmom in 1998 or something. I guess I didn’t care about exacting quantities back in the 1990s.
No matter. It turned out pretty nice. (And I used brown rice without the Beast ever knowing–until now.)
We watched a few episodes of the last season of Northern Exposure. I had rented the entire season a few days ago because the last time we watched it (I think in the winter), the Beast finished the final four or five episodes without me and then returned it. So I picked it up again with plans to get through all the episodes that I missed. (By the by, these episodes are mostly written and directed by David Chase, who went on to do The Sopranos. Thematically the two shows have quite a bit in common, like dream sequences; Freudianism; angst; discomfort with modern life; Italian-Americanism; and great fucking music.)
I didn’t get through them all so the Beast has joined me at supper time without complaint. We saved the last episode for last night.
Back in the kitchen
Beast: So what exactly are we doing with the leftovers?
Foodie: I bought some ground beef and I thought we could make little burritos or enchiladas or something.
Beast: That sounds good. What do I need to do?
Foodie: You could grate the cheese: I know you like doing that. Hey, did I ever tell you that when I was little and my mom would brown up ground beef she’d always set aside a little bowl of it for me sprinkled with salt and pepper?
Beast: You tell me that every time you cook ground beef.
Foodie: Why did it taste so good? God, it tasted like the best thing ever.
Beast: I’m washing this cilantro. Last night it was all gritty. Where’s the salad spinner?
Foodie: I’m too depressed to tell you.
Beast: Oh, here it is. Do I wash all of it?
Foodie: What’s with all the questions man? Of course you wash it all!
Beast: Ugghg! Well don’t get mad if I do it wrong.
Foodie: Let me see. You haven’t even ripped off the stems!
Foodie: Give it to me (aggressively ripping off stems). There.
Beast: I’M DOING IT.
Foodie: Go ahead then.
Beast: Hand me the scissors please.
Foodie: Oh boy…
Foodie: Do you want me to do it?
We gathered up an assortment of amazing toppings (the leftover Spanish rice, seasoned ground beef, homemade salsa, sour cream, cheese, avocado, fresh cilantro and Frank’s hot sauce) and got ourselves situated in front of the TV to watch the last episode of Northern Exposure.
These stuffed tortilla things that we made (I don’t know what to call them? Fajitas?) were sublimely good. So good that we polished off an entire ten pack of tortilla shells.
After the episode, me in tears.
Beast: You okay?
Beast: I can’t believe you ate all five of your tortillas.
Foodie: Neither can I. But I was so hungry. I feel like I could eat two or three more.
Beast: Me too.
Foodie: Why don’t you get the left over tortilla chips from last night and make yourself some nachos with the rest of these toppings?
Beast: There are leftover chips?
Foodie: Yes! Now go on and get ’em! And get that bottle of red in there while you’re at it.
The Beast polished off the toppings and afterwards wondered upstairs. I watched Apollo 13 on television and drank wine. Then I watched the last episode of Northern Exposure again. Yes, I really did that. I felt guilty for a moment–because I’ve been coming home from work every night this week, making dinner and then doing nothing but watching television and then going to sleep really early–but then it passed because I haven’t had much down time to do this sort of thing in the last little while. I think the guilt arises because I always imagine, when I’m really busy, that if I had spare time I’d work on all of these creative projects that are in an imaginary pipeline but when I get the spare time, all I do is watch TV and movies and drink wine. It just feels so good.
You’ll be happy to know that both the Beast and I were in far better spirits this morning.
Foodie: I forgot that I brought you home a present last night.
Beast: Let me see it.
The Beast is always talking about making gourmet ice pops. (And for inexplicable reasons, he always wants to put cilantro in them.) So when my friend, who works for a publishing house, kindly sent me a few food-related books, I knew that this one had to be gifted to the Beast.
Outside on the deck with our coffee checking the potted plants.
Beast: We should go to a sex novelty store and get penis popsicle moulds.
Foodie (spitting out coffee): Why would we do that?
Beast: Because it would be funny.
Foodie: What flavour would you make them?
Foodie: That’s racist!
Beast: Is it? It depends on how big the moulds are. We could get two different sizes–a four inch and an eight inch and then make vanilla and chocolate penis pops.
Foodie: It’s not even 9am yet. (Pause). Look at you.
Beast: (Looking down.) What?
Foodie: You look like an animal.
Indeed, a rather civilized one in white underwear and socks.