Living Alone (Part 1)

Audrey Hepburn in the KitchenI don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone.” — Audrey Hepburn

Perhaps the greatest joy of living by oneself is that you get to eat whatever you goddamn want for dinner. Your only restrictions are ingredients and imagination. With just a soupcon of either, you eat like a fucking king.

Example: Upon arriving home from work earlier this month, I decided to have pancakes for dinner. I am somewhat finicky about pancakes: I like them crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I know how to do this because my ex is an excellent chef and I learned much from her through osmosis if nothing else.

You cannot get pancakes made this way at IHOP, Denny’s, Perkins, or any restaurant that brags about serving breakfast 24 hours a day. Most restaurant pancakes are limp biscuits: porous on the outside and porous on the inside. The instant that maple syrup hits them, they become a squishy mess, a swamp of sticky sweetness. You might as well just drink the syrup straight.

No, I like my pancakes to make the syrup their bitch. The way I make pancakes, the syrup slides off the top and settles into an obedient pool around the pancake, biding its time for when it can be of service. The syrup is absorbed only after I have sliced the pancake open with a knife, about 10 nanoseconds before being deposited on my waiting tongue. No swamp; rather, each ingredient maintains its integrity and ends up working in a complementary partnership.

And if I want to make pancakes for dinner, I make them one at a time and eat each one as soon as it gets off the skillet. I will eat my dinner standing up in the kitchen, next to the stove. And I will eat as many perfect, fresh pancakes as I goddamn please.

Lesson #1: Curiosity about the way the world works (e.g., how to stuff your cakehole with good food) always plays to your advantage. Forget the idiocy of “curiosity killing the cat.” You aren’t a fucking cat.

Lesson #2: You need not live within the expectations placed upon us as children (e.g., eating three square meals every day). Having pancakes for dinner – or oatmeal or Raisin Bran or goddamn cinnamon buns – will not kill you and it might even give you just enough motivation to get out of bed the next day.

Caveat: You will need to fit your fruits and vegetables into another meal or snack if you have any hopes, dreams, or desires of dropping that deuce in the morning.

About Stephen Dedalus, Jr.

I am trying to awaken from the history of my ancestor's nightmare to comment on my Holy Trinity of Interests: art, literature, and music. Oh, and thoughts on dysfunctional families, which is to say families.
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