Forced to Eat Soft Food, I Consider Options
What good is pizza to one who can’t eat it? I’m thinking of a rolled crust
stuffed with prosciutto and parmesan, with onion strands and whole
basil leaves nestled among them, accompanied by a frothy pale ale,
bitter yet smooth and tuned so finely as to flit comfortably between the
notes of a liquid arpeggio. Or if not pizza, perhaps a red chili of braised
and shredded beef seasoned with ancho and chipotle and a smidgeon
of chocolate and beer, simmered slowly and served on the year’s
coldest day in front of the fireplace. I have so much and am grateful
for so little. My clothes are warm and dry, and the eggs I’ve poached
offer me sustenance and flavor and textures wrought of memories
of childhood and comfort, family and treasured books at hand. Then
I think of water and protectors, of standing rocks and centuries of
abuse and neglect and lies bred to fill coffers, and I wonder if we
could pile stones ten horses high around the cowards who spray,
bludgeon and strip search, who fire water cannons in sub-freezing
temperatures, and throw concussion grenades directly at pacifists, all
for the cause of holy oil. What good is pizza to those who can’t swallow?
I fork a bite of egg to my mouth, and choke, but only for a moment.
Written while recovering from abdominal surgery, this appeared on the blog in December 2016 just a day or two after the first draft spilled out. Unusual for me, to say the least, but it was a topical piece. Let us not forget those who stand for us and others.