Friday, July 10, 2009

Flavors Unmasked Salad

"I can't wait to write a book under a pen name" I said, as I paged through the Anais Nin book which I had propped against the steering wheel. Christina reclined in the passenger seat, one long pointed cowboy boot pressed against the front windshield of the car. After over an hour sitting in the parking lot of the CD store waiting for Jesse to finish his shopping, the car was beginning to feel more like a tent. Christina likes to people gaze the way some people watch the stars, and at her urging we had parked to face the bar studded street to watch crowds stumble down the road in two's and three's.
They were orange, with fake tans tapered into little shoes and blond hair piled on top like an ice cream cone. They were huge with bulging muscles and tight T shirts, with necks so thick they had to turn their whole bodies to look behind them. They were skinny and blemished, with billowing polo T shirts, narrow waists and sagging pants tied with braided belts. They hung on the arms of each other leaving the bar. They walked briskly, floating heads chattering, propelled by swinging legs walking into the bar.

Christina flopped her head over to look at me and shot me a cool inquisitive look. "Why?" she said.
"..because I think if I had a pen name I would really feel free to express myself" I said definitively, not seeing anything debatable about it.
"I think you are totally wrong about that one" She turned her head back to the street, she might as well have been chewing a blade of grass.
I started to stutter a comeback and then stopped....

Masks. I have always worn them. I build them, wear them, speak from them, without realizing they are there. Then I feel trapped by them. While wearing a mask, I can control how people respond to me. I can be elated when I am sad, indifferent when I am angry, your friend when I am mistrustful. It is hard to breathe from behind a mask, however, and life becomes a distant show and I a disengaged observer. The promise of freedom does not come from wearing a new disguise, it comes from facing fear and being one face.

Earlier that night we sat in the pub eating our pizza and drinking our coke on the patio while the little crowds of hipsters drank micro-brewed beers and smoked. We watched, as a couple who had belonged to the circle next to our table got up to give hugs and kisses on the cheek and say their goodbyes. The pub door had barely finished swinging shut before heads at our neighbors table leaned in close and the gossiping began.
"I don't like her, do you?" One woman said.
Then a stream of she's and he's and they did this, said that etc.. began. They dealt out opinions as though they were cards, emulating the world poker tournament which flashed on the television screen projecting from every corner of the bar.

"Are you going to tell your friends about the argument you had with other friends today?" Christina asked. I had had an argument with some friends earlier in the day. I felt terrible. I wanted relief. I wanted to slander. I wanted to get to my other friends to tell them my story before they had a chance to tell their side. I wanted to win my friends over, to make sure that if sides were created, they would pick mine.
"I thought about it" I said "but no"

Drama is voluntary. Drama is for people who believe that life is dull and needs to be made interesting, that life is too bland and needs to be spiced. In order for flavors to be fully tasted, the palate needs to be trained to sense them. Years of eating food doused with heavy spices can ruin the tongues ability to sense more delicate flavors. I want to try not gossiping, I want to refrain from artificial excitements, so that I can experience the richness of life.

The dressing:
2 Tbsp Sesame oil
2 cloves mashed minced garlic
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 Tbsp Rice vinegar
1/2 tsp Ume plum vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar

Dice slice and finely chop a head of green cabbage until you have filled 2/3 of your salad bowl. Mix in 5 large spicy red radishes (cut into half moons), 4 green onions (chopped), and one fresh zucchini (the garden aroma is important, make sure you find some fresh zucchini). Garnish with raw sesame seeds.

Christina's vote: TBA


  1. Pick me, Pick me! (this is so me!!!)
    the mask part i mean