I’m making a cheese tortilla for one while brushing hay (don’t ask) out of the hair of the other while proofing a manuscript. The third starts making hot dogs, and soon there is mustard in the second’s hair and ketchup on my manuscript, and the first never gets his cheese tortilla because I burn it.
I told you that story so you could find your own moral. Did you?
We’re careening down Deerfoot, and traffic’s light, and I’m not swearing at anyone, and the kids are bubbly, and I’m totally rocking being mom, and not just because I’m about to drop the kids off with their auntie for an evening and a night and a morning, so I can just be writer for 18 hours (minus sleep), and then…
Flora: If you had to go to prison, what would you go for?
Damn straight I didn’t have to reflect. If I’m gonna do time, it’s going to be for the big one.
Silence does indeed speak volumes, by the way, and I become aware that the car is very, very silent. And Flora, who’s riding shotgun, is melting into the passenger side door. I peek into the rearview mirror. The boys haven’t climbed into the truck bed—but they look like the want to.
Flora: We’re afraid.
Jane: Don’t worry. You’re not on my list.
I’m addicted, these days, to—
Jane: Um, that’ s not what I was going to write about…
—my own bastardized version of Turkish coffee and I want to tell you how I make it. Apparently, it’s all wrong—but if you don’t ask Google or the Turkish coffee purists, you’ll never know, and you’ll think it’s delicious. Ok, so: heat water in a pot. Add a heaping tablespoon of finely ground coffee (per cup) to the pot BEFORE it boils. Don’t stir—just let it sink. While waiting for it to sink, add a dried chile (experiment with a variety, I’m currently using mulato chiles), a few crushed cardamom pods, and cinnamon. (If you like it sweet, throw in a lump of sugar in there too).
Then stand over the stove and watch the pot come to an early boil—tiny tiny tiny bubbles, foam starting to rise—and lift it up off the burner. Hold it (smelling heaven) until the boiling-foaming action stops. Then repeat.
If you’re digging the process repeat again. And again. Especially the smelling heaven part…
Sean: I wish they could see the expression on your face.
Jane: Good thing you told them about it, then.
And that’s pretty much it. I strain it as I pour it into the cup, which is another bastardization, but, you know, I’m not much for rules. And then, I add cream with the highest fat content imaginable.
And then, I taste heaven…
You: Is it better than my homemade chai?
Jane: In the same class, my love. And it’s not a competition, ya’ goof.
Now, if you want to strip the above activity to its most minimalist brush strokes—I’m essentially watching water come to a boil. Again. And again. And again.
And then tasting heaven.
Even atheists find a way to pray, when they have to.
Flora: You have a list?
Jane: What, don’t you?
I really, really, REALLY need to wash the kitchen and living room floor. And the stairs. And the bathroom.
I’m not gonna, not anytime soon.
But I’m starting to feel a little badly about their grubbiness.
Could you, would you come to my house and make my floors sparkle? I’ll make you soup—before you do the kitchen floor, I guess—and cover you with kisses, and write you a beautiful love letter.
Actually, I’m going to write you a beautiful love letter anyway. You don’t need to clean the kitchen floor.
Sean: Is this about me? Is that why I found a Pablo Neruda poem in my pocket yesterday?
Actually, it’s an open love letter. Can I do that?
I can do anything. 😉
PS Yes, some hay does end up in the hot dogs. How did you know? But mentioning it in the first paragraph would have been overkill—you would have thought I was trying too hard.
PS2 They’re really not. On my list, I mean. And neither are you. We good? Okay.