dinner for one

standing in the kitchen panfrying breaded pork chops

pookie baby blaring through the apartment

oil pops in the pan and maybe a shirt was a good idea

baggy boxers and pushed down black socks with a hole large enough for an errant big toe to slip out

beat an egg with hot sauce and milk

dip

into the breading and cajun spice

second egg dip

rebread and fry

rapping along and dodging burning little splatters

cold green bottle sweating next to the phone

phantom cigarette burning between loose lips

asparagus and mushrooms steam

butter softens to room temperature as cubed potatoes tossed in olive oil with sea salt and pepper and fresh rosemary bake

a feast

keep moving and cooking

let it fill all those quiet moments that

haunt and taunt and flaunt

that echo the silence in a feedback loop that resonates and makes the neighbor dog howl

i hear it try to claw through it’s door to get to me

bloodthirsty little demon

i’m ready

swordcane by the door

bring it you little bastard

cooking is warfare where proper planning is all that separates life and death

the cubed potato require an hour

seven for the asparagus

about eight for the thick chops

at the forty five minute mark the pork chops go into the oil

as they go to rest the steaming commences

potatoes pulled out as asparagus gets plated

everything perfect at the same time

it has taken the last year to shake the rust off of my basic survival skills

to reintroduce myself to the delicate nature of cooking

learn from there the defining line between living and surviving

still straddle that line

easier to float on autopilot alone

the need to take care of another leads to extravagance

solitary means making do

and as everything sits on the plate

the smells of seasons and savory playfully wrestling in the air

i snap the plastic lid into place and slide it into the fridge

more hungry for the process than the mastication effort

numb as the solitude wraps around my bare shoulders and i find my fingers dancing across the keys

describing the process in an effort to relive that brief period of action and precision

anything but the empty couch next to me

whatever is playing in the background that too much time was spent on choosing only to be ignored for the words

a sad mockery of existence

how many ways are there to serve loneliness

bland to the point of tasteless

boiled water served with ice cubes on a bed of unflavored gelatin

dinner for one

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