Fear first, trembling, mask
face, bent, clenched like a secret
Her eyes lift, bright blue.
* * *
Trust me, he said, love,
hot lies whispered in her ear
Broken heart, raw truth,
* * *
Annie looked beautiful when we first landed in the Caribbean for our honeymoon. We did nothing but eat and drink, and relax in the sun. I had worked 80 hour weeks back home, this was heaven.
We went snorkeling in the afternoon to see glowing yellow and orange striped fish, in the aqua water. The only decision we had been what to order at the swim-up bar in the pool, a lime drenched mojito or a sweet mai thai served with a wedge of pineapple and a fake red cherry.
Dinner was late and I ordered a bottle of champagne and we ate roasted vegetables, chicken with spices and loaves of thick, crusty bread. There was dancing so we decided to join other people. Annie wore a bright flowered dress and soon after Annie suggested we go for a swim, we both loved water, especially Annie. We raced into the water, holding hands.
I admit I wasn’t as good as a swimmer as she was, I loved watching her as she laughed and I could see her head, like the flash of an automatic camera, her blond hair in the warm waves, happy she was having fun.
After about twenty minutes I called to her to come back in, I was getting tired of waiting and started yelling for her to come back, I still heard her laughter but it wasn’t funny anymore to me. “Annie, come in,” I shouted as I was approaching the shore.
As I sat on the sand, I saw other tourists looking puzzled and they pointed first to me, then to Annie. The tide was getting rough. I kept yelling over to her but she would wave and keep going.
I talked to the people on the shore and told them my story. Someone went inside for help, I was getting nervous. The manager offered the use of his own boat and lifeguard. I knew Annie would be mad but I was so worried that they raced into the water on their boat, if she ran into trouble or was possibly sick.
I sat on the beach, like a statue, rocking back and forth. I could not stop crying. Someone offered a blanket, another endless cups of strong black coffee. I saw the coast guard and his team looking with flood lights. A whole day went by. Finally, the coast guard said they would have to end the search. Someone had called the police as well as emergency vehicles. I was so weak from crying and not sleeping, I could barely speak.
“I’m sorry Sir, there is no body in that water.” We searched everywhere, scuba divers with advanced equipment came and we found nothing. She was not on the property at all, last night we did not let anyone in or out of our community and she definitely is not in the water. I’m so sorry, Sir.”said the head of police.
Finally, I let out a blood curdling scream, “she’s out there, you have to find her” but they shook their heads firmly. Later, everyone walked me to our room and the manager unlocked the door. I looked around, inside, there was not a single item of Annie’s, not her clothing, her make up, her tooth-brush, nothing of hers was there. I saw them look at each other, frowning.
“What did you do to her?” I screamed to the hotel and the police. She WAS here, ask anyone, at dinner, at the scuba diving lessons.” They started to cuff my hands.
“We did, Sir, we did that last night, there never was anyone with you named Annie, you arrived alone checked into this room alone and stayed by yourself. We even called the airlines and you were flying alone there was not an Ann or Annie on the flight.”
I fought with them, I told them she HAD been here but they insisted on taking me to the hospital to get checked out. “But what about Annie? I sobbed. “Perhaps she is waiting for you at the hospital” one police offer said, they gave me a shot and I let them take me, to see Annie, so that they would believe me.
I’m still at a hospital, a different one. Here they also said Annie was not real, over and over again. They call me delusional but even now, after all these months I know that Annie had been with me, for real, even if she had only been in my mind.
That counts, right?
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Hey, all you peeps at “The Taste.” I’m still disappointed from last week’s fiasco but I will stay loyal and follow out my journey with the show. Especially since my blog post “Nigella vs Jacquelyn” seems to be one of the most popular posts I have written. It’s catching up to “Calling Eppiglottis A Bitch Is A Vast Understatement” and that’s saying a lot.
I have to assume no producer/manager/ TV bigwig read my last post on all the beer drinking on the show because I really would have liked an answer to that. Please?
Call me a pit bull if you want, I take that as a compliment. I guess I’ve got to spread my wings further and go the network route. Okay, no biggie.
Is tonight the last episode? Is it a double-header (wow that would a cause for a lot of beer drinking?) However, in my dreams Jacquelyn RETURNS!!! She makes a surprise appearance to shock Nigella and then my life would be complete. Jacquelyn would get a standing ovation and Anthony would decide to take all the credit for Jacquelyn’s success and hire her as a sous chef in one of his restaurants. Nigella will fall to the floor, fainting, (we think) Ludow will start screaming (no shock there) and Marcus would peacefully sit down with his team to sing a folk song.
It’s a good ending to the show. Think about it.
Actually, a reality show STARRING Jacquelyn would be even better. You want ratings, you have them. It would be wonderful. You know I’m right, don’t you? The show will be known by one name, yes, “Jacquelyn,” wonder woman with red hair. Still have to applaud you, Jacquelyn, loved the moxie when you walked off the set, love it even more now, actually have loved it since you DID THAT! That is so ME.
Maybe they will give you your own show. Wouldn’t THAT be a riot! Believe me, I would tune in, every week. This is a fabulous idea. Cutie pie cooks are on by the dozen, but we remember YOU. I should be a station manager or at the very least the President of TV Network.
So dudes, before the show starts, bring back some action, some wonderful taste sensations, even ooohs and ahhhs. We need some exciting food with some exciting television. Step up the adrenalin, the spices, even the conflict if you have to because this show is coming to an end. You don’t want last week’s episode to be left on our tongues do you? I want to be dazzled, my lips need to dance with flavor. Bring. It. On.
Just the other day there was a persistent knock on our front door and a neighbor, who has two young girls, was there holding out a plate of pink cupcakes. It was Valentine’s Day and school was canceled because of yet another snowstorm so she was hoping to give them away to her neighbors.
My husband took two in and when I came downstairs and I saw these two mounds of sweet perfection I nearly wept. I wish I was dramatizing this but I am not. There, right in front of me were two vanilla (my absolute favorite flavor) with pink icing and little white mounds of frosting on top cupcakes. Shown to the right. I get happy just looking at the photo I took of the cupcake, yum.
I dreamed about them for the rest of the day, my saliva glands in overdrive, thinking about my pink cupcake, when I should have it, where I should have it but knowing for sure it would need an icy cold glass of milk to go with it. This was serious and I wasn’t going to muck it up for anything.
Sweets are very important to me and these, like angels from Heaven, gifts bestowed unto me, meant so much. There have been so many rough days behind us and I fear an equal amount of rough days ahead of us. These cupcakes were a respite from all that was bad and scary and unknown.
The randomness of a relative stranger, walking down the street in the snow to share her cupcakes with her neighbors because she didn’t want to waste them was such a loving and kind thing.
Pink cupcakes. A random act of kindness. I will pay it forward…
Dedicated to A, J, and B
Chefs drinking beer around a ping-pong table, red Solo cups…Beer Pong, Really? Should I start my speech about showing beer pong and drinking on this show and how it might be offensive and disrespectful? Nah. On the other hand, the show IS about food so let me just write about that. Well…wait a minute. There was absolutely nothing special about the food either..Highly disappointing episode. Also,why are they always swigging beer, does anyone know? Sponsor? Bourdain’s contract?
First I was going to write about the challenge in detail: make things to eat while drinking beer (shocker!) but it was so lackluster that to drag it out in detail would punish you, punishing me was quite enough. Marina won first place by not making anything too good. Shehu lost and went home, Lee who had a panic attack about chicken testicles was told by Bourdain to make a meatball just to get through to the second challenge. He also bribes him with tickets to the Knicks (or some team) if he can just make it through to the second round. Classy, right? A man with integrity.
Ludow has to meddle and say so all can hear “I think, what Tony gives you, it sucks.” Shut up already, Ludow. Nigella is still walking around though she did give one good call that Marcus was spending all his time with Shehu and not with Sarah and she was absolutely right. Marcus did not listen.
For the second challenge, with guest judge Chef Jonathan Waxman the solo candidates were asked (zzzzzzzz) to USE beer in their cooking. What a sorry lot they were. If this had been the first episode I could have given them some slack. But by this time, it was humiliating, they played it safe, gave up and looked totally disinterested. The judges picked up on that, right away. Thank goodness. Sloppy Joes, Chili, Smelt fries, “like apple pie” and avocado fries? Sausages.To win? They sound like kids eating at camp.
Oh, but the judges fear Marina and they are in awe of her….except they didn’t hear her say “I am using one ball or two, I can do whatever I want, I don’t care what they say, I don’t have to listen to them.” Something to be afraid of, right? Maybe when it got back to them that “she likes to kill food and spank them too” they started listening.
OOOH, there was a twist to the game. They had 2 hours to prepare a meal that had to have beer as a component in it. Wow, 2 whole hours. But, guess what? After an hour, and an immature cursing frat boy rivalry “they had to make a complimentary dish” for the next hour. “Dude, stop trash talking in my kitchen, Chef Waxman says to Jeff and Lee while Louise whines “everybody is overlooking me.”Oh dear God will this never end?
When they are waiting in the chef “green room” they talk about good stars and bad stars on aprons (yellow and red) Marina’s eight pressure cookers and general chit-chat about who is worse than the other. BTW, The Judges let Sarah go from the challenge which I think was to her good fortune. I’m betting on her.
By the way Ludow seems to have lost his mind screaming maniacally “everybody stop, use the lemons, use the lemons, everybody stop.” My husband says that he thinks Ludow should be medicated and I concur. The show ends with the required speech of how disappointed the judges were and it was not up to their standards and they didn’t like any dish at all. Anthony Bourdain finishes by saying “celebrate responsibly and next time make us believers again.”
PS (Did I really have to see the white out image of Ludow’s “hairy ass”?) Thanks, Bourdain, I could have lived without it.
Old Friends. The first tickle of interest was when his family invited mine to their house one Thanksgiving. I must have already liked him deep down inside, because it was very cold outside and all I wanted to do was watch him fix up his old car. I hate old cars. I wanted to be near him, talk to him, effortlessly, like a jigsaw puzzle finding it’s partner without playing the game.
He drove my parents and me a long way to the railroad station which was far out of his way but he didn’t mind, really. I knew it was genuine.That was the person I fell in love with. He turned on the radio and we sang Beach Boys songs out loud together. I thought his voice was wonderful even though he apologized for his off-key singing.”Don’t Worry Baby” described our relationship, only he could comfort me.
He was on his way to Australia and New Zealand and the thrill of getting an unexpected postcard from him was the best surprise of my life. I felt hot, then cold, electrified, dizzy. I couldn’t sit still, I certainly couldn’t sleep or eat. I called my friend for her to come analyze the handwriting, the words. Did it say “Best, Warm Regards Love?”
After another postcard I deemed less warm, I decided he had met a woman, named Patty size 2 with long glossy red hair curling down her back, the athletic, hiking kind of woman. I could barely walk straight on the sidewalk without breaking my ankle. It was over, I knew it. Patty stole him away from me, bitch.
Some weeks later I was sitting in my bedroom when the phone rang. He introduced himself again, asked if I remembered him. My voice must have risen three octaves. I still remember that feeling, ecstasy. My cheeks were burning red and bright, I couldn’t sit down. My body felt like an internal fireplace, green eyes dancing.
I felt like I was sparkling. Like little silver shots of electricity coming from everywhere on my body shooting high into the sky like firecrackers without the noise, yes, I was sparkling.
He lived in Maryland but had plans to visit his brother in a few weeks in Boston and while he was there, would I like to go out? “Yes, I would” my voice raising three octaves higher in just one sentence.
He picked me up at my apartment with a present. A present? From Australia, a wood cutting board for cheese. I had always been the one to buy boyfriends presents, never the other way around. I felt a certain part of ice, soften and detach from my body. We went to a Museum, where all I did was delight in holding his hand.
He took me to Bertucci’s where we had pizza and salad. I offered to pay half when we were finished. “Absolutely not” this young man said. I melted, a young man with European manners. I was in love, at long last, for the first time. He was the only person, I realized that I never wanted “my space” I never tired of being with him.
We’ve been married twenty-five years and still I think his voice is lovely, clear and in tune. I love it when he sings or when he whistles. We have had our bad times and our good but we have worked through them all, we have fought and made-up and worked and sometimes pouted and screamed our way through our commitment but we did not give up. We never gave up.
We have two children, now grown up, we are a family. Do we fight? Absolutely. Do my feelings get hurt? Sure? Is my husband romantic? No. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word. Are we everything to each other? Not possible, but more than enough. You age, you compromise, love is not a sweeping, quick ecstatic moment. It’s the comfort of silence, knowing what the other person will say at the same time. It’s trust, knowing someone in the world loves you no matter what. It’s friendship too.
At night, while we watch television together, him on his side, me on mine, we eat bowls of ice cream in bed, vanilla for me and chocolate for him, with whipped cream, mine with rainbow-colored sprinkled. I can feel before I see, him shaking his head.
Love is not one romantic date, it’s a series of little things, moments, based on seconds of time that go by so quickly. You close your eyes and look back, and dream of the days in the past when you were younger. Don’t ever take things for granted. That is the first thing you need to learn, appreciate what you have while you have it and yes, there will be sadness ahead but there will also be great happiness too. Different forms of happiness.
My only wish now? Is to be able to grow old with him.
You were a nasty, wild, hurtful puppy, weren’t you? Don’t look so sad, you didn’t know better. I know you are sorry. You were just an oral devil dog, digging those demon sharp puppy teeth into our arms and legs and clamping down. We probably tasted better than all the chew toys we bought you. Our welts gave you texture, right? Grandma kept telling us to “give you back” every single day but I couldn’t do that. Many trainers tried but they all said “You’ve got a really willful puppy there but if/when she grows out of it you’ll have a really great dog.”And, sweet girl that is who you have become.(Thank God)
At about eighteen months, from one day to the next while we were busy doing other things you became a dog, an amazing dog. One that cuddles and protects us, hugs us and plays with us. You are the dog we always wanted, we just needed to give you and ourselves a little more time.
It taught us all about being more patient, didn’t it?
Right now you are sleeping with your head on my knee, nuzzling, a part of you always has to be directly on me. You know each member of the family so well. With Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain I do spend a lot of time in bed and that’s where you come, leaping on the bed, to be with me, happily. When “Dad” is around you get the leash, go to the front door, and start whimpering. You get instantly wild when your brother comes to visit, but we know he provokes you. He allows you to be wild, we don’t. Yes, I know, YOU are WAY cool when you rough house together.
Oh, but when your sister comes home from college you hear her parking her car and you run to the front door and start crying until she comes in. Yes, our daughter, your sister, will kneel down to your level and you hug each other while you cover her with kisses. That picture of the two of you on the ground stays in my heart forever.
Welcome back to Yellow Magic Madness, we took a few weeks off. It’s definitely time to start again, don’t you think?
Whenever we feel the need to see our happiest color, once again, look for a post. We’ll start with this precious little gem. Just the sight of another color makes me grin….
BECAUSE WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF SEEING WHITE!!! (as in the snow)
This is a “Yellow Creature” I’m not quite sure what it is some bug?snail? animal, shell? Yes, indeed.
A really important organization with lovely people. Here is my published blog post.
First blog: Nigella vs Jacquelyn
Second Blog: ( Below ) Aren’t You A Sweetie Pie? Everything Sweet Except For Anthony Bourdain!!
Read it below:
Can’t wait to watch and BLOG about my favorite topic and show “The Taste”
Wait for Blog number 3. In the meantime, I’m salivating.
What will the contestants cook tonight? I don’t care,
I’m addicted to food.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia