Kitchen Scars

Cooking is not something that I—what’s the word?—ah, yes: “Do.”

One does not live to be 47 without some food here and there, so I have eaten a thing or two most of the days I have spent here, and I must have even prepared a meal or a few in order to have made it this far. And I was not left to forage in the woods behind our house when I was growing up; my mom is an excellent and health-conscious cook. Thanks to her early adoption of a low- and sometimes no-salt kitchen, my heart will probably continue beating long after the rest of me has permanently allowed all my subscriptions to lapse.

This is not to say that I do not remember eating or cooking; oh, I do. My cooking is not memorable, though, in either direction: tasty treat or sublime sludge. I almost envy the good writers who are bad cooks (not as much as I envy the non-writers who are good cooks), because at least something interesting comes from their culinary assaults on taste and decency.
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Achy Breaky Coffee

One of my talents is breaking things. (I have others; they just have not yet been revealed to me.) I am not a physically strong individual. I just use what strength I possess ineptly.

Now, I know that anyone can break anything with enough gumption and/or strength. Give a man a big enough lever, and he can move the world, said Archimedes. Teach a man to swim and he can fish for a bicycle, said no one.

At best, this talent is an inadvertent one; at worst, it portends possible certain probable doom for the planet.
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A Hot Drink for My Cold Heart

“But what is it?” my friend asked.

I repeated what I had just said: “It’s a Starbucks ‘Caramel Apple Spice.'” (I think I even said “Starbucks,” even though we were at that moment sitting in a Starbucks and we certainly knew where we were, because it is impossible to mistake a Starbucks for any other anything. But sometimes when I open my mouth, an advertisement flies out.)

“Yes, but caramel apple spice what? Coffee? Tea? Soup?”

I did not have an answer. What is it indeed? “I don’t think it’s coffee.” I fell back on the charm of insane repetition, something I have not perfected over the years: “Its a Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice,” and I used my eyebrows to tell my friend that she wanted her own one, too. (Picture Groucho Marx.)
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