I sat in the dinner-place of my youth and pondered the California sun. It’s rich and bold flavor of salt and seared in juices with spritzes of citrus that mask a strong, maddening heat in the nuance of its other sensations makes me scream with joy and desperation.
I never meant to come back here. I never meant to be under this sun, in this house, in this room at this table ever again. The roads before me were all violent and twisted with my own weakness of will placing me at odds against promises of joy and failures of adequacy and no matter which road I followed each one would lead into a darkness that I could not escape; cold, bitter and dead was the future I sought.
Then I turned around, and there in it’s aggressive, spiteful and glimmering brilliance was that accursed California sun that I ran from two years ago. I hated it, spat on it and spoke of it as a blasphemy to myself and all I wanted to be. And then I turned back to the dark roads of my future and I saw the truth and in that truth I saw a chance. I can fight the sun. I can fight that flavor and that fury and I can train and tame myself under that sun and all of it’s drought and death can fuel me into a new life far from the darkness I set before myself.
I told myself in the past that I could always go back, even if it was a quiet voice in the back of my mind that I beat and battered until it saw me as the monster I made myself and when I came to my grand realization I dragged that voice out of the blood and mud I had buried it in and it forgave me and guided me back into the light that burned my skin and baked my muscles and seared my fat before as it does now and I have found one truth more outstanding in being here than I ever did in the darkness I ran from.
If your life is a meal, and you cut yourself up and blend yourself in with ingredients of choice, skill, talent and knowledge from childhood to adulthood, the only thing that will make you savory and palatable to others above all else is whether or not you are fresh enough to eat and healthy enough to digest and the rest is gravy.
I have cut off the rot and I have preserved what little there is left to prepare and I am cooking.