Crime Blotter #8-The Chef’s Confession
Salt-baked leg of lamb cooking in the oven.
Nesting in cut glass salad bowls: ¼ cup of
finely chopped fennel fronds along with one
bunch of sliced pink radishes, two cucumbers
finely diced and massaged in sea salt, lemon
juice, Lunigiana olive oil.
Dinner won’t be ready for another half-hour.
I like to linger in the kitchen, savor a glass
of Sauvignon Blanc. That’s when I do my best
thinking, just before I sit down with mother.
I hear the laughter of the kids next door.
They are in their backyard and they’re
horsing around in the inflatable swimming
pool, the kind of pool you can buy anywhere.
Mother walks into the kitchen. She’s saying,
“This damn heat” and that really annoys me.
She’s always complaining about something
and I say so, which doesn’t make matters
any better. Before long we are yelling at
each other. I guess I get sort of carried away.
It’s not that I don’t love her. I’ve always loved
her, and I am a good son. But, it is like loving
a damaged dog, loving it in spite of bad breath
and bad habits.
Put up with it, that’s what I do. Put up with her.
I mean I am a good son. I do everything. I tell
her that too. She takes a swing at me, and I take
a swing at her. She doesn’t flinch. No excuses.
I do it. I’ve had enough. Afterwards I eat some
of the pink radishes right out of the bowl with
my fingers. Then I call the police.