Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Love and Dinner

Feeling melancholy tonight, so bear with me.

The entire time I was at work today, all I could think about was dinner.

I knew I wanted something warm and comforting. Something simple and satisfying.

But most importantly, something time consuming. This to help me take my mind off of the fact that spiceboy will remain in Pittsburgh for the next month or so, taking care of things at Spice World, his splendid restaurant.

So. Potato and leek soup, I decided. Or, if you're a fan of Julia Child, Potage Parmentier.

Yes, Potage Parmentier with a nice glass of white wine.

I placed the wine in the fridge to chill, then set about my task in our small kitchen, flipping on The Food Network to keep me company.

I rinsed and sliced the leeks. They were palest green and whitest white, curling into long, cool ribbons as I ran my knife through them.

Next, I peeled and sliced the potatoes, so starchy they left a chalky film on my hands, the knife, and the cutting board.

The rinsing and slicing is what takes the longest. After that, everything goes into the stock pot with some water and salt, and then the apartment starts to smell really good.

I ate my dinner alone, in front of the TV, sitting behind my little TV tray, scooping the fragrant soup from the bowl with a hunk of crusty bread.

I always miss spiceboy terribly when he's out of town, but I feel his absence most of all when I sit down to eat.

Just as I finished my soup, spiceboy called. He was at Spice World, of course. As we talked, I heard the blurry noise of the restaurant in the background--customers, clanging plates, background music--broken by the staccato voices of the servers yelling out orders to the kitchen:

"I need a samoosa, a Thai beef salad, and a pad thai!"

"One order of spring rolls, please!"

"I need 3 coconut cakes!"

I closed my eyes for a moment, and I could feel what it’s like to be there--the candles flickering on the tables, the funky mambo music on the stereo, the smell of garlic and ginger and fish sauce, the swinging metal door that connects the dining room to the kitchen--the whole place has a feeling that can't be described in one word. Spice World is spicy brown, hectic, exotic, alluring.

I know that when the restaurant closes, spiceboy will stand behind the counter, eating his dinner (whatever the chef prepares) out of a shallow bowl with a large spoon, while punching numbers into the credit card machine and cashing out the register.

I know that once he finishes with dinner, he’ll be the only person left at Spice World. He’ll turn off the stereo. He’ll place his bowl in the dish bin. He’ll pick up his ugly leather bag and sling it over his shoulder. He’ll turn off the lights in the dining room, then he’ll let himself out, locking the door behind him and walking across the dark, muddy parking lot to his car.

After we hang up, I picture all of this in my head.

Then I stand up and put away my TV tray. I turn off the TV. I do the dishes. I brush my teeth and wash my face and get ready for bed. And in a few minutes, I’ll turn out the lights and go to sleep.

When spiceboy and I are here together, the 350 sq ft aparment can seem really small. But tonight, it feels much too big for just one person.


Blogger Lisa said...

Travelling honeys make the heart grow fonder, don't they? Ah, you're still a young couple...after 8 years together, it's nice to MISS him while he's gone. Feels warm and solid--a soft tugging at a place which has long stood still.

A month, though. Oh, a month is too too long. I loved your Christmas post, and the shopping post. I'm finally getting close to adding some new links--and with links come my ability to remember to visit folks. :)

11:04 PM  
Blogger tina said...

I know how you're feeling. I'm staring at SIX more months far from Ian. You and spiceboy have gotten through a lot together, though, from what it sounds like. You can get through this, too. Hang in there.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Leslie said...

Oh, I am so SAD for you! But I am sure the time will fly by.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Katy said...

I, too, am working through Julia Child's potato/leek creations. I think that dish is just the right thing for lonely, cold evenings. Where is this fabulous Spice World restaurant in Pittsburgh? I looked it up and couldn't find it.

9:09 AM  

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