As I was peeling potatoes this morning, I cut myself. As you do. I managed not to drip on the food, and to find a bandaid in the dark (everyone is sleeping), contemplated why I don’t have a first aid kit in the kitchen (knives are in the kitchen, why not bandages?), and finished my chore. As I wandered back towards the kitchen, though, a thought ran through my brain. No one should know mommy bleeds. Aside from the nonsensical premise, I don’t think of myself as mommy and my children have never called me that. So, it’s a line from a story. Peeling potatoes is not exactly high adventure, is it? And yet, the stories seep through.
Two of my daughters are visiting, and one joined me last night on my livestream, which was a lot of fun, as we wound up talking food, music, and somewhere along the way segued into ‘is cannibalism a metaphor?’ and ‘how old should you be before your mother can tell a dirty joke? 20, 35, ohgodmamaneverdothat?’ To which it turns out the last answer is the correct one. Once the topic had been broached, the commenters took it off into discussing whether it’s cannibalism to eat the cow part of a minotaur (somewhere faintly in the distance I hear an indignant MOO! from Orvan), the tail of a mermaid (insert more dirty jokes here), or the horse part of a centaur.
Out of such zany conversations stories are born. At least for me. To be even more accurate, I should point out that I’ll have a line, as above, or a scene, pop into my head from a spark of inspiration during a conversation, and then it’s a matter of seeing if there’s more. A scene does not a story make, and I can’t count how many files, or blog posts, I have with curious little vignettes that never came back to elaborate anything approaching a plot. For one thing, I usually have far more ideas than I have time to write them.
The potatoes are part of the meal for tonight’s North Texas Troublemakers gathering. These meals are usually a source of much fun, and while there is some light editing going on, it’s more about the stories, and conversation, and making sure everyone eats well at least once a week, because writers. Let us get fully into a story and we’ll forget food is a thing, much less that we should consume it. And because I love to cook, and particularly love to feed people, I volunteered to do so as soon as I moved within reasonable range. Tonight will be shepherd’s pie, as I’m spending time with my daughters and it’s an easy meal to assemble, then it’ll just need heated through for dinner. I get to call it shepherd’s pie because even though I’ll be using ground beef as the meat, I have lamb stock to make into the gravy. My son was insisting I call it cottage pie, as it’s only shepherd’s if you use lamb, he informed me.
And on that note, my daughters just texted they are on their way from the hotel, bearing breakfast, and I am still trying to wrap my head around them being grown women and… It’s wonderful and surreal and damn I feel old.