Rendered Fat Content


The Night Café by Vincent van Gogh, Arles, September 1888
Reputed to be the ugliest van Gogh painting
"I'm feeling closer to some essentials now that I'm taking everything ToGo."

I'd really rather eat in a diner than any other kind of restaurant. I never feel completely at home in any of them, but neither do I feel terribly alienated there, either. I find no wine list to wonder over or small plates to challenge my patience and my pocketbook. The menu features only simple food and the atmosphere feels more like grandma's dining room than grande salon. Someone always greets my arrival as if they had been hoping I'd drop in. The decaf's inevitably crap but the food's honest, cheap, and good, if not necessarily that good for me. I order off menu, almost always the same thing, breakfast of sorts regardless of the time of day: hold the eggs, smother the hash browns, and throw a sausage on the side; maybe a biscuit to finish. I open my trusty Times with a half dozen conversations burbling around me and a running joke passing between The Regulars and the waitresses. I'd claim that I I eat in anonymity except my waitress keeps calling me, "Hon." The vibe of the place renews me more than does the meal.

I can't get that experience ToGo.
The styrofoam container can't contain the sense of community inhabiting the joint. The food's congealing by the time I've transported it back home, and I know of no way to recover its original warmth. Diners were not designed to resign themselves to drive-by relationships. The spoons at home just don't seem as welcomingly greasy. There's no kid energy from an adjacent booth. No line of geezers perched like crows along the counter. Nobody to as convincingly call me Hon. I hunger for a diner meal, knowing that nothing I currently have access to could possibly match it or provide it. I go hungry for now.

The week ending today, Good Friday, did not turn out to be as satisfying as the most mundane week in ordinary times. It was, nonetheless, Holy Week and Passover. More than the traditional lamb's blood bloched every lintel and destroying angels seemed indifferent to any warding sign. Spring's slated to recede for a snowstorm Easter morning, rebirth a seeming deep freeze dream state for now. I'd still like to take this week ToGo, to hold onto it for later consumption. Living through it, I fear that I somehow missed registering the essence of it. I might need some distanced reflection to make any sense of the experience which seemed so devoid of meaning my first time through it. Maybe microwaving it might help.

I began my writing week recounting
Uncountables and Uncountables(2), recognizing that I'd taken to navigating by statistical projections rather than sensory impressions. If we do, indeed, model for insights, not for answers, I might find satisfaction with the resulting insights and resigned to accept that nobody holds definitive answers right now. That curve does seem to be flattening, though.

I next mourned those lost to the Pandemic, grieving while struggling to accept that I might be moving into line to inherit a patriarchy now in
-Triarchs. Readiness isn't quite the equivalent of preparedness. There might be no way to properly prepare for any future.

I next reflected that this year, even those lacking the usually requisite discipline seem to be observing
Lent, those forty days and forty long nights heading into resurrection. I'll know that the resurrection's arrived when I can once more slink into some dive diner and order my smothered hash browns For Here.

Then, I caught myself
Pacing the inhibiting perimeter of this place, a common experience in this space and time.

I next took a little break from my Stay At Home isolation with
PrecisionAbstraction, embarrassing myself in the pitying eyes of my landscaper. I generally take calculations as a matter of faith and precision as something best left to genuine professionals. Ordering mulch reminded me why.

The following day, I noticed that even though I'd not personally fallen prey to the Pandemic, I still felt
Marked by its presence and its passage.

I finished my writing week by appreciating
Distancing, characterizing it as a form of meditation useful for more fully appreciating spaces in-between.

And so my writing week went. On reflection, I'm pleased that I ordered the week ToGo. Even from the short distance here at the end of this very week, I feel as though I'm gaining a deeper appreciation for it, though some of it really seemed to suck and doubtless some of that suckiness remains stuck to the bottom of my boots, and will remain there, perhaps for all time. It was, in short, a most unholy Holy Week for many, a time filled with tragedy and foolishness, definitely not a lighthearted romp into spring. Still, along Colorado's Front Range, the Stay At Home order seems to be contributing to a lessening in the local Pandemic's expansion rate. The virus has missed us so far. I'm not quite used to ordering from my car. I've taken to leaving my reusable bags in the car when I venture into a store, and just stuffing my order unbagged back into the cart. I can bag what actually needs bagging in the back of my car. I'm feeling closer to some essentials now that I'm taking everything ToGo.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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