Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Secret of Making

fragment of a painting by Todd Horton

There are certain things that I cannot be counted on to eat. Candy, at my home, is collected, but not often eaten. Jordan almonds are the exception. Sometimes a peanut butter cup seems like dinner. But Bottlecaps, Bit O Honeys, mini M&Ms, mexican caramels, Fran's Gold Bites, Pop Rocks, they all languish in a big glass bowl on my kitchen table. A Halloween pumpkin, plastic, with little Almond Joys, mini bags of Whoppers, bite-size snickers, sits next to it. When I get home I am too hungry for candy, almost always.

I am not good with other things either, though. I will not necessarily put a wedge of nice brie to good use or remember to steam the bright brussel sprouts from the farmers market, or eat a simple apple before it goes soft. I am pretty good at keeping up with the bananas, but oranges, even the little mandarins, will be leathery little balls by the time it occurs to me to eat them. At restaurants I will happily order too much food, but the leftovers go home with Kate. I cannot be trusted with leftovers. In the freezer, the ice cream all has freezer burn.

Often, I just don't know what to do. I could make tea, and I am reliable with cheese toast. Tonight, I wanted all the things I was thinking to sift out, I wanted to stand in front of the burner and write in my head but not on paper, not on the computer. I wanted to tell you about Aimee Bender's story The Third Elevator, and how that's what the Dave Rawlings Machine show was like. Being up there, with all those feathers, and all that sky.

That's when I remembered breakfast. I am good with the delicate protein of an egg. I am patient with the low heat and careful with the timing, and unafraid to add ingredients without measurement, and sure that I'll know how much to make, and have the tea ready on time, and let you salt your own. So I made breakfast for dinner, and rested on the thought that I like to love more than be loved, and maybe it's just that today I had to finally admit that I can't go to writing group this time around, but for once, for a change, I really wanted to say something. Just talk, and have you listen. And maybe, if I'm fortunate, you will do the thing that I love so much, and say a little something back.


Katherine said...

I'm so glad you're writing on this blog again! I've missed you. Sorry to hear you won't be going to wg but hope that the words will continue to flow in any form.

P.Shaw said...

very, very nice.

Barb said...

This makes me miss you so much, but I'm so delighted to be reading your words again!!!

Jennifer said...


Christina said...

Oh man, this kind of took my breath away. I love the way you write Heather... and miss, miss, miss being in the group right now too.

Heather said...

Thank you thank you!

Christina, Barb, and Katherine, I'm about to hit writing group alum status with the three of you. Obviously we still need each other's words, don't we? :-)