Admittedly, It's quite good. I whisk warm sesame oil into a concoction of soy sauce, dijon mustard, sherry vinegar and brown sugar. I pour it over golden-on-the-outside-deep-pink-on-the-inside sushi-grade tuna, letting the sweet tangy sauce pool in my slightly curved plates. It keeps hunger at bay but something remains empty. Maybe the problem is that I don't fill up like I used to.
Instead of laboring in the kitchen and then lingering over the table, I take off my workday and my to-do list and my worries about tomorrow and I take off my clothes and dance through the apartment. When tired and calm and ready, I bundle back up and sit down to write, feverishly filling pages in my journal and actually (YES!) returning to my broken-winged-bird of a novel. I'm feeding Alis and Eric, my beloved characters whose lives become intertwined as the world prepares for first contact with an alien race. It's a young adult sci-fi! And it feels more satisfying than a night spent making mushroom and truffle risotto or beef Bourguignon.
As much as I love cooking, it doesn't seem a priority when the maitre d' checks the nightly ledger to find a single reservation. Party of one. The server reviews the night's specials and "Oh, yes," my one patron gushes. "The beans sound fabulous. What beer would you recommend? Oh, the Guinness that's been in the fridge since St. Patrick's Day? That's a lovely selection," my dear patron says, and I sit down beside her, simultaneously relishing the speedy satisfaction and chiding the consumption of easy processed foods, bought cheaply for lack of love and integrity. The criticisms, though, like the meal itself, are quickly eaten and cleaned, taken out with the trash.
Many weeknights it would take me the full 2 hours between arriving home and waiting for Bugs' arrival to prepare our dinner. Usually, though, I would cut down on that by spending at least a half day every weekend on meal planning, bookmarking recipes, shopping for ingredients I could double up, and sometimes (if I was really good or if entertaining was involved) doing prep work in advance. Nonetheless, food has been a commitment, a serious chunk of the pie chart.
Now I sit at my computer or, better yet, dance. Those seem to be two things I can only do wholeheartedly when no one is watching. I go to bed early and wake up early, at Benjamin Franklin's suggestion, but I don't feel any wiser. At least I'm well rested and ready for work. Ready to approach the day as it approaches me, to sidle my toes up to it, braced in their new shoes, and either spit in it's face or laugh as the wind blows the spit right back into mine.
Maybe I'm just hungry for a meal I can't yet cook or order at a restaurant. Yes, I think a grand meal awaits me, and in the meantime I'll keep eating and dancing and writing and waiting to be made full.