Gyros chickpeas cold coffee, autumn sun and runaway mind…..

I have just gotten through three things on my to do list today:

  1.  lunch  2.  call Elene  3.  call Dave

I did all of the above but it took three hours instead of the allotted 1.5

There is still:  change clothes, air out basement (I have a very old house with a very old-fashioned basement that still needs airing out, it might keep me safe when the next tornado hits), look through bills, pay bills, mail bills (I still write out bills put them in an envelope, stick on a stamp and walk four blocks through the green and manicured rich part of town, to the little post office with the bored and sometimes rude post office lady who would rather be somewhere else), write for two hours, email Bill, call Jose, call handyman to put up storms,  make dinner, do the laundry………. that’s just the top part.

While I was on the phone with Elene I was walking around the garden, the gravel driveway (with morning glories,  verbena and bordeaux dwarf snapdragons here and there–growing through the small jagged stones), the front and the back.  The trees just won’t turn colors this year, at least not mine.  The tall serviceberry which is usually a fiery orange scarlet, the leaves are still green and oval, almost looks like summer except it’s a little worn a little old a little tired like me….. the lack of rain and then the constant heat of 90’s for seven straight days and then the sudden cold and then the heat again and then the drought again and more cold  ……. the tree just doesn’t know what to do… just like me so it stands there waiting and waiting for something to happen…

The Ash that I let grow in the corner right outside my back door is quite large and is dropping long and slender leaves in banana gold.. some in triplets some in sevens and eights and some in singles like big sloppy tears…

They are all over the lawn and earlier when I was still sitting in my chair outside eating breakfast (at 12:30 p.m.) one triplet fell on my shoulder and scared me and then I heard it laughing as it gently fell to the rich green grass below….after all the hot dry days… mostly a dry summer, it rained and rained last weekend and now it’s emerald green again everywhere.. the park across the street today as I was walking home, exuded green,  green smell green breath green teeth and lips, and it was like a shiny new animal just born….I was lugging two bags of groceries from the store and I wanted to just drop them there and lie down on that green grass and lick it up like some happy dog… but there were dogs and too many people there and I was feeling very greedy and wanted that whole 14 acre park to myself…… then I decided 14 acres is not that much…. I need 140 acres… maybe 1, 400 acres,   maybe 14,000 acres… oh how I could roam forever there and be truly happy….maybe 40,000 acres….

I must settle for my garden.  Eating two perfectly cooked basted eggs, the sunny yolks  smiling at me, the whites not gluey or hard but silky and creamy yet solid, and the eggs not full of cholesterol but protein for shiny hair and skin and teeth. And the toast… and that cherry butter jam Nat bought me from Michigan tasted… like they say…. a summer day in a jar. A day of sun and heat and those cherries on some tree getting bigger and riper and juicier and someone picking them and pitting them and mashing them into this velvety jam that made my mouth almost scream with joy… scream away like the blue jays in the bird bath… blue jays seem to come here lately in the fall… why is that?  They are incredibly beautiful even though they have a bad reputation…… they leave me alone…

Oh the sun in that garden as I was eating those eggs and eating that toast with creamery butter and that tart sweet velvety cherry butter…. cherry butter regular butter rosemary butter garlic butter you can never have enough butter…oh and the coffee… I love coffee so much there was a little left in my cup from this morning that I didn’t finish because I was running late..I could not throw it down the sink…. I left it there on the counter… coffee… my fragrant fresh ground deep rich bitter cup of happiness was there on the counter when I got home and it was cold and flat but I took it out and drank it cold anyway right there in the garden with the golden sun warming my back….

I am rambling now and I hear this rambling and it is a pitter patter of short term happiness in my brain because my brain is not happy because my brain my heart and eyes are seeing feeling knowing more evil and depression and degradation and humiliation and fires and hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes and shootings and murders and harassing here and there then I believe I have ever known.

This is why I thank God for my garden and for the leaves falling and the flowers even that are saying goodbye goodbye goodbye. The grass is still green and the light, the light is shining through the trees onto the tiles that I set down in the back bed creating two small paths in the garden.  And it makes the stone tiles shimmer like water move like water and the path is going here, there, everywhere and nowhere.

This sun should not be so warm so gold this October that has decided to stay and stay.   But let it stay.  I turn around to look at it still from time to time as I write this and I don’t even know what to say about it.. How it makes me feel how just sitting in that golden sun warms my bones my skin my very brain shakes it up just a little coddles it like some poaching egg….. I do have eggs on my mind and have forgotten to write about the chickpeas.   I love eggs and am always amazed when I crack them open at the miracle inside not to mention the breads and muffins and cookies and cakes and tortes and sauces and souffles and mousses and crackers and all sorts of other things you can make with them……… you can even poke a hole in them and suck them out with a straw…. some people did that long ago….That Italian woman who lived to be 114, Elena Morena? and died recently in Italy, said that she ate two raw eggs a day. She said that kept her alive and well.  Those eggs and no husband.

Chickpeas were on sale today 4 cans for $3.00.  I bought them.   I love chickpeas! With tomatoes and onions, with tomatoes and garlic, onions and tuna.  In soup, in curries with spinach and garlic and ginger, in humus.  Straight from the can.   With salt.

I love salt! Oh how I love salt.  Salt makes everything better.  I love salt like I love the sun and my garden… even though it is dying…. I realize it is not dying it is transcending, transmogrifying, transporting, elevating, reinventing…. it is giving itself up to the sun and the moon and the stars it is being littered with leaves and seeds and pieces of the gravel driveway… and the birds have decided to poop everywhere… and the raccoons and the squirrels and the possums or something decided to use the roof for a bathroom. Looking out the other day from the guest room I spied a terrible pile of poop and had to put that on my to do list and it just didn’t get there…. thankfully the rain washed it all away….

Eventually the sun and the rain  wash everything away…

Whoever you are who may be reading this, you may think this person has finally lost their marbles and yes it is true I have or will soon and will be like my garden letting it all hit and shit and spit and whack and thrack away and then the sun will come again or the rain or some scowling wind….. and it will be fine…..

I have not gotten to the gyros yet…. I have discovered gyros!  Years ago I lived in Chicago near dozens of Greek restaurants that had gyros. But, seeing that massive hunk of brown meat on a spit in the big windows facing the street, did not appeal to me, and the dark-haired mustachioed macho men slicing it with long thin knives did not appeal to me. Then I worked in a grocery store that had a gyros night and I saw that big hunk of meat again on a spit and ignored it again and again and the poor woman who had to wheel out the big spit and put it together and stick on the big hunk of meat and then spend an hour slicing the gyros meat and packaging it …. just looking at her tired sweaty worn out face…. I wanted nothing to do with gyros meat….

There is a little cafe here in my town with six stools… the whole place the size of a big master closet.  I have walked by this place for years, heard about it, it read about it and never wanted to walk in. They have burgers and hot dogs (oh I love hot dogs!  fries!   snappy hot dogs piping hot in a steamy poppy seed bun with sport peppers and mustard and chopped onions …. and long med sized cut fires with crisp skin)… But not too crisp!   Creamy hot inside almost like a baked potato… and perhaps that hotdog was sitting next to the steaming bun and got a little bit soft and moist and a touch oily…

A sign said “Best gyros 2017.”

One day tired from work from life from cars and buses and streets and construction…. from rain and sun and even clouds.. from Everything!….. I walked into the cozy shop and felt all eyes on me (they know everyone who comes in ) and I ordered a Gyros and fries and root beer. Root beer! sarsaparilla cowboys herby natural sodas to quench your thirst and tickle your nose!   I sat there a little self-consciously next to the construction guys and the delivery guys and the little uncertain six year olds whose blonde yoga moms send them in to order…. the beautiful aspiring actors from the theater down the street …

My gyros was placed before me.  The pita bread was soft and fluffy and slighty warm and steamy from the meat and there were slices and slices piled high into the bread maybe a pound of meat….there were thinly sliced white onions and wedges of tomatoes…. and there was tzatsiki almost melting like custard sauce all over it.. it was too big to bite into yet (I was wearing lipstick and you can’t eat big sandwiches when you are wearing lipstick ) so I picked at the meat delicately with my fork first, trying hard not to stuff that whole big pita sandwich in my quivering mouth…. well dear reader I don’t know how to describe this gyros…. spicy, dense and meaty savory and mouth-watering, the flavors dancing all over my tongue and roof of mouth and even lips……salt and pepper meat that didn’t taste like meat at least to me…..I am still basically a vegetarian and don’t like the taste of real blood and fat and marrow……I love cartoony meats like hot dogs and meatballs, Popeye’s’ (remember him?) burgers, the ones flying in the air on the TV screen…… when I go to the store and see raw meat I get sick at the sight of the blood and cartilage and fat and I can’t help but see the eyes and snout and feet and body of the poor animal and see it frolicking in fields and meadows… (I would like to think they frolic)… this gyros did not taste like meat it was like a gyros tree had grown and these gyros were growing moist and spicy and salty and peppery and dense and chewy like a clean, blood free clot free tree meat, and the sauce was all creamy and chock full of cucumbers and the onions and tomatoes the fries the root beer.    I sat there in that little shop and I ate every crumb and every drop and drank that cold frothy root beer and felt like I was ten again…. and  I walked all the way home and felt that gyros in my happy stomach all day long……

On the way out I noticed a mandevilla vine in a small pot and the gyros guy planted it and it has grown about 15 feet tall with huge showy pink flowers and its trained around a gutter pipe…..

Yesterday after work I did not want to go home and I took the bus to the center of town and I wanted a gyros again so badly I could taste it smell it feel it deep in my gut.  My vegetarian self rebelled and said no, and trying to decide I found myself walking back and forth in front of the place like a madwoman, and they must have seen me through the window…..I stood in front of that bubblegum pink mandevilla plant and tasted those long ribbons of spicy meat and I felt like someone just burst my balloon, stole my ice cream, put a grasshopper down my shirt, took away my lollipops…..then I left abruptly to go instead to the little cafe run by the French nuns where they have mushroom cheese pizzas and ham and cheese crepes and herbal teas and apricot tarts and coffee eclairs and strawberry moussess… but that is another story…








About O

I live in a suburb of an American City. I write to try and understand myself and the world around me. I love nature, art, music, literature and beauty in all its forms. I love food. But then food is a whole other world.... I think the world has gone mad and many of us will soon go insane from living in this world. What I love almost more than anything is my garden. I love its trees its shrubs and its many flowers. I love the birds, their flying and singing and dancing movements in and out of the sky and garden. Their freedom. I could watch birds all day long. They always bring joy. I love to work in my garden. To get muddy and dirty, digging, weeding, mowing, pruning and deadheading. Then, I like to have a cool glass of white wine or red, or sometimes a Manhattan, and drink in hand, I walk around and look at the fruits of my labor. And that walk each and every day in my little paradise.. because that is what gardens are.... brings me almost complete joy... My blog is whennothingworks because for a long time nothing has worked. Friends, family, jobs, money, houses, careers, lovers, things--- it all just doesn't work sometimes, or most of the time. The garden always works. Nature and its beauty always work. And, in my garden, I can sit quietly and think, or just breathe, and somehow manage to survive the world.
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