Basically, lots over-sharing and "cooking for one" recipes for anyone who might be hungry and heartbroken.

Friday, 23 November 2012

I Am Going To Buy You a Sandwich OR The Sad Turkey Song

To Myself
You are riding the bus again
burrowing into the blackness of Interstate 80,
the sole passenger

with an overhead light on.
And I am with you.
I’m the interminable fields you can’t see,

the little lights off in the distance
(in one of those rooms we are
living) and I am the rain

and the others all
around you, and the loneliness you love,
and the universe that loves you specifically, maybe,

and the catastrophic dawn,
the nicotine crawling on your skin—
and when you begin

to cough I won’t cover my face,
and if you vomit this time I will hold you:
everything’s going to be fine

I will whisper.
It won’t always be like this.
I am going to buy you a sandwich. 
Franz Wright

I am a few days behind. Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I didn't cook. I took myself to a little diner in town and ordered turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce. They were very stingy with the stuffing, but very generous with the cranberry. I asked for more gravy, and I ate it all. 

As I chewed I was trying to be grateful. The day was full of little blessings, and also lots of rain. My shoes steamed. 

A song came on over the restaurant sound system. It is not a very common song, although it is more so now that it was covered by a popular singer. But you'll almost never hear it on the radio. 

Five years ago, when it was being sung by its writer, it was a hidden track on a CD. 

It is very very sentimental, for its content and for the context in which I first heard it. I know all sorts of songs hurt all sorts of people after a recent break up, but this was the one song in the universe that could have hurt me the most. 

We had talked about using it as a wedding song, but "the ending is too sad." (no need for a parenthetical comment here.)

I've certainly never heard it before if I wasn't playing it on purpose.

So it came on in the restaurant as I ate my turkey and tried to be thankful, and I tried to close my ears, but I cried a little bit. By which I mean my eyes filled up and I swallowed the turkey harder than I needed to swallow it.  It's melodramatic but it was one of those moments where your throat is closing up and the room is closing in and it feels like the end of the world, even though you know it's not and even though you are a grown woman who has been through all this many times before and not a fifteen-year-old. 

I told myself that it was a short song, and that I would survive it.

The new singer of the song added in an interminable (and frankly self indulgent) amount of repeats of the chorus, and still I told myself that it was only a matter of minutes before it would be over and I could breathe again and finish my lunch. 

And like a miracle, midway through the last line, the place went quiet. I was grateful for even that 20 seconds of the song I didn't have to listen to. 

And then someone fixed the CD player. And restarted the song from the beginning. 

I had to laugh, so I did, and I finished my lunch, and I gave thanks.

I am full of excuses for not cooking and writing properly this week, all of them good and having to do with an insane workload and the fact that this has just been a really hard week. I don't mind writing the truth about how I am feeling, but so much of it is just the dull grinding soreness of it all, and most of the time there is not a lot to say about it. It's just the sort of thing you need to wade through. The bravado of striking out on the new life has petered out a bit and I'm just plain sad. There was one night I ate three chocolate bars in a row for dinner. (I can give you that recipe) and I have been cooking a lot of pasta. But I do try to put something special in it, like artisan feta or rocket or something. 

And failing that, I buy myself a sandwich.

More next week. It's market day tomorrow. 

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