Culinary Coitus Interrupted

If I only get one room in my house for all time, I take the kitchen without a second thought.  I do my best work in the kitchen, I am happiest when cooking, and even happier when cooking for friends.  I express love through food, creativity in my dishes, and write love notes by making breakfast in the morning. If ever you see me truly depressed, put a Chef’s Knife in my left hand, a glass of pinot noir in the right, a pork tenderloin on my cutting board, and Mack the Knife on the stereo – problems solved.


So it was early Friday evening that I – engrossed in preparing dinner for a few friends – was blissful in my kitchen.  Every eye on the stove was enflamed in stares ranging from slow simmer to intense boil; every inch of counter space occupied with carefully selected parts that would form a whole greater than their sum. 


My internal rhythm screeched to a halt with the ring of my phone – I hate telephones.  I answered it without looking at the caller ID, presuming it was one of my guests.


“Good evening, this is Refugee.”


“Refugee, this is Anonymous Samaritan. Your mother has been in a car accident.”


I am glad I didn’t drop the phone into one of the sauces.


“Who is this?”


“My name is Anonymous Samaritan, I saw the accident happen.  I stopped.  Your mother is in an ambulance; they’re about to take her to Suburban Hospital.  She asked me to call her son, Refugee, and gave me this number.”


“How badly is she hurt?”


“The [EMT’s] wouldn’t tell me anything, but she doesn’t look too bad to me.”


“Thank you. I have to go now.”


I hate hospitals.  I hate the powerlessness of it all, the smell of illness, the necessary apathy of the staff, the greed of the administrators, the lucky to get sixty seconds of a doctor’s time, the horrible coffee – I hate it all.


It was forty-five minutes from phone call to me sliding through the hospitals doors.  My sister lives closer to the hospital and was already at my mother’s bed side before I could find a cab.  A few moments later, she told me that Mom had bumps and bruises but would be fine.  “I am in a cab now; will see you soon” I replied.


I sank into the back seat of the cab as a sense of relief settled.  At that moment, I realized that I had taken the time to pack away ingredients, shut down my stove, and stow perishables in the refrigerator. 


I hate my selfishness.


I muttered more to myself than the cab driver – please don’t stop for anymore red lights.


9 Responses to Culinary Coitus Interrupted

  1. Red says:

    So sorry Dude! Glad to hear Mom is going to be ok.

    It takes a toll on a person to go from one high to another or rather switch gears so fast.

    Oh and it wasn’t selfishness by any means.

  2. Lemmonex says:

    I am with Red, that wasn’t selfish. Your sister was close by and that would have been a lot of spoiled food.

    Glad mom is ok.

  3. LivitLuvit says:

    Turning the stove off, very important… perishables, I’m sure it took but a second to throw in the refrigerator, and you’d already been informed by the anonymous samaritan that everything was most likely going to be fine. I would have done the same. No reason for your dairy to suffer…

    And glad mama’s all right!

  4. Shannon says:

    It’s hard to focus on taking care of others when you’re worried about spoiled food polluting your kitchen – I would have done the same thing.

    Glad to hear your mom’s going to be OK.

  5. dont worry love…my ocd would have dictated that i do alll that AND sweep the floor..take out the trash…
    we are more than the sum of our parts as well…

  6. Lisa says:

    I’m very glad she’s OK. You might need that sense of control of your world in really stressful moments? I’d suggest that it might not be selfishness but rather coping and calming. In any case, don’t feel guilty. It would be one thing if your mom had been hanging on a window ledge and you’d made her wait while you put stuff away. But in that moment, everyone else was doing what needed to be done.

  7. Red, Lemmonex, LivLuv, Shannon, Extremely Blonde, & Lisa,
    Thank you all for the well wishes. Mom is resting as comfortably as a woman of a certain age can after such an ordeal.
    Guilt is a sonofabitch. It kicked my ass at the onset, was still winning when I wrote that post; but I am rallying in the bottom of the 7th now.

    Thank you all.


  8. Red says:

    You’re Catholic aren’t you? I’m talking about the guilt. Love to my fellow blogger

  9. Vittoria says:

    Glad to hear your mom is going to be OK, but I don’t think you were being selfish. When my grandfather passed away I didn’t go to work until 1pm (even though it wasn’t a surprise) because I was sad, and moreover, I knew my boss wouldn’t be angry with me. Sometimes you need to take time to do your thing to deal with stuff – it wasn’t as if putting your ingredients away was somehow hurting your mom. It was just letting you process.

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