30 October 2014

Dinner Instead of Reality

Truth is stranger than fiction, isn't that how the saying goes? These days it seems true. A few minutes absorbing the daily news illuminates it. To write fiction these days, for myself at least, is an increasingly difficult task. Any ideas I have are trumped in an instant by the world beyond my shoulders. Ferguson, Ebola and politics have taken the starch out of the imagination.

This entry, case in point. I don't know what to say. Living with all this noise in my head slugging it out with the noise outside my head, the best that can be said is that it is a draw. The weirdness on both sides cancels out. 

I wanted to tell you about a man searching for meaning and truth at the top of a mountain range. I was going to illuminate why a middle-aged concrete finisher named Harley Mossman sat in the road crying for half an hour before the police showed up. With any luck, I might have been able to pound out a short story or a poem or a silly essay about my cat and his eating habits. But, no.

Somewhere between the car door and the desk chair, all that noise overwhelmed me. Too much fatigue and low-grade anxiety for me to process. So instead I made dinner. All I can say about that is that it was my attempt at making a Spanish style fabada, a bean stew, based only on my memory and the ingredients I happened to have on hand. To my delight, it turned out tasting quite good.

It was not, as I discovered in my post-meal reading, exactly a classic  fabada. It shared some common ingredients, but somewhat different technique. I had the paprika, the beans, blood sausage and ham shanks. Garlic, too. But I added bell peppers, celery and onion. A little thyme and oregano. I guess you could say it was a Kansas City fabada by way of New Orleans.

I suppose you could call it a distant cousin. Same name, some similar looks, but definitely different. You could also call it delicious. A full belly on a cool fall night is a blessing indeed.


  1. Chopping and stirring, tasting and savoring...helps dull the noise a little, even if just for a moment or two.

    1. Kitchen activities provide their own shield and filter. I dig it.

  2. I always think that imagination teeters on the edge of reality.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...