Tomato Gravy

November 19, 2010

I first noticed her one day when she, mussy-haired and wearing a ripped Corsica t-shirt, reached into her bag and rubbed something between her fingers. As I watched her from the other side of the circle of tables, a stand-out in a sea of sameness, she pulled the thing further out of the bag. A blanky! She was unselfconsciously caressing a tattered blanky, and her enjoyment made me want to do the same. In that moment, I hoped that we could be friends.

She moved her striped armchair into my office at home, where we’d spend hours studying and writing and, when the tension got too high, we’d swear and insult each other and laugh our asses off.  Then we’d eat. Years later, we’re still eating together.

Eating with Emily makes the experience triply pleasurable. When she takes a bite, she seems to expand the space in her mouth in order to accommodate as much of the thing as possible. Her eyes widen, and the mmm comes first, then the swallow, then her description of the food or the fantasy of what she wants to do with the food—pair it with this, pour it over that, bathe in it.

We were standing at the crosswalk when we decided it was time to eat meat again, and we almost ran to the place where we gleefully ordered the salad with smoked salmon. I never tasted the truffle oil she described one day, but her enthusiastic description made me I feel like I did. After hours of dancing, she stood in her wedding dress at the door to the fridge, eating sesame noodles straight out of the container.

The other day we sat in Tim and Emily’s dining room, enjoying a southern brunch. Emily, with baby Osi in her lap, was dipping her biscuit in tomato gravy.  Isla, her young daughter, was doing the same. Dipping, loving every bite, asking for more, and more, and more…

A nice thing… having a friend who takes it all in, savors it, an shares it. Someone who, wide-eyed, joys in the prospect of more.


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4 Responses to “Tomato Gravy”

  1. iamsurly said

    Um. Ain’t tomato gravy fancy for catsup?

  2. You really need to block that surlygirl.

    It’s a gift to be able to live inside the moment like that. We all live so fast and so ‘elsewhere’ we let all the good stuff fall to the side.

    Plus, I just like hearing about food=)

  3. OwlSaysWho said

    So many good, good lines in this . . . and I hope you realize that we savor these good things like Emily savors tomator gravy . . .

  4. Collie said

    Bathe in it, ya!

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