For breakfast this morning, I had leftover Thai food from Trout’s birthday dinner. Breakfast foods do not appeal to me much at any time, day or night. There’s no way I could be one of those Lean Cuisine dames who stand outside a bakery and recount last night’s disastrous dinners for the single and pathetic.
One: Last night, I licked clean my vegetable crisper.
Two: I ate Jell-O straight from the box.
Three: I drank mint mouthwash with a Manischewitz chaser.
Four: I ate a reasonably balanced pre-prepared meal that somehow makes me more trustworthy and better breeding stock.
Christ on a cracker, the last thing you want is to share a kitchen with these arrested adolescents who are waiting for some man to jumpstart their lives and culinary skills. Common sense tells you that the man who can cook is going to want something in return; I suspect a pastry chef. How’s your choux?
I tell people I can’t cook. Here’s the secret: I’m not exactly lying. I’m sort of lying. I can’t cook when I’m angry or sad, and never for crowds. For your own safety, do not eat anything I’ve cooked if we’re not speaking. It’s not that I’d poison you – much – but I somehow cannot combine ingredients properly and make delicious food when I’m standing in my kitchen alone, plotting your demise.
Tata: Oh, see how you are? I should have known you’d be such a bitch when I asked to borrow your toolbox and you said you were using each and every tool in your freaking beadloom project and I’m so gullible I forget all about your glass allergy and believe you when you explain about plastics! Was I born last night? No! Could you need a table saw to do beadwork? I don’t think so!
And then rice pudding sets up in my fridge as a solid. I don’t mean like a lovely custard that ripples when touched; I mean solid like sidewalk and just as tasty. I can’t explain it but I’m sure it’s related to the ex-boyfriend who lied and told me his mother had had a heart attack when she was actually in India visiting relatives. He was positively diabolical. All his friends thought I was the one breaking into their bedrooms and dismantling their vibrators until they caught him trying to set fire to the house they were all sleeping one off in and he actually had the nerve to blame the dog. I turned up one Sunday and the housemates were all outside, shuffling and nervous.
One: He told us you were crazy!
Two: Remember that night you were over using his computer? He kept calling me to find out when you left!
Three: Oh, his mom’s fine and you should never offer to bring desserts to funerals unless you want to cause more.
Tata: So for two years you all thought I was a psychopath who was breaking into your rooms and stealing your stuff?
One: Pretty much, yeah.
Tata: Well, you’ve all been very nice for people who might’ve had me arrested.
By then, I was kind of picking up the clues that I shouldn’t cook – or in fact, spend any time near cutlery – when I’m upset. Still, anyone, no matter how sanity-impaired, can make a salad, and I have one for lunch. I may defy convention and have another for dinner. I may be so bold as to have another tomorrow. Maybe. Maybe not. You can’t be tempted lick clean a full vegetable crisper.