Sunday, October 18, 2009

For the Soul

I rough-cut the onions, because I am tired, and hurried, and I don’t eat onions anyway. It’s easier to eat around big pieces. Rough-cut it all. Carrots, celery, garlic. Lots of garlic. A small red pepper, withered in the back of the fridge. Throw the lot into a big pot of water. Plenty of salt. Dill, basil, and parsley from the garden. Add a splash of olive oil; it gives vegetable soup a little meatiness, the mouth-feel of chicken soup. Chicken soup is better for you, really, but I don’t eat meat.

A bowl of broth is all I can manage. My appetite doesn’t run to so much as a Saltine. I sleep.

When I wake up, the sun is low in the west. My head doesn’t pound quite so much, but the ringing of the phone jars it anyway. “Hello?”

“Oh, god, baby, I’m so sick.” His voice drips with pathos. “I can’t breathe. I can’t move.”

Something creaks within me. “You want some soup?”

“That’s sounds great. You have some?”

A half hour later, I’m in his kitchen, short of breath, fumbling with the stove. He leans against the door, his dark hair plastered to his face with sweat.

“Too bad it’s not chicken soup,” I say, because I don’t know what else to say. “I’d make you chicken soup if I had some chicken.”

“I have some chicken.” He pulls a takeaway carton from the fridge. It’s tandoori chicken, bright pink. Why not? I cut it up, add it to the pot. “You are so good to me, baby,” he says.

Even though I don’t eat meat, I have to check, to make sure the soup is OK, and damn him if it isn’t a thousand times better this way.

No comments: