And only I was left by the window. My eyes probed the silent night, I was gnawed by the wild beast of memory, and sleep would not come.

– Isaac Babel

And then I ate.

In the night, alone with the refrigerator, another kind of intimacy through food arises. Speaking to an Italian girl the other day, she said to me, “I can not make love with someone who can not eat.” This intimacy is clear and compact, understandable. It has everything to do with eating socially, with food as a binding substance and the table as an altar of family worship and sacrifice.

But by being alone, and having only really the refrigerator to commune with, I can finally commune with nothing, or myself, or insert something that isn’t another person. All the subconscious display that must happen when eating with and in front of other people, that must take so much more of a toll than can be realized, can be set down and left for a moment. And the relief is overwhelming, overwhelming and quiet.

Like the haze of sex in the afternoon, the world comes to be more vivid again. I’ve removed the food from the refrigerator and placed it on the counter, the icebox door is closed, and the only light remaining comes from the lone kitchen window. The eyes adjust to the light, the skin to the breeze, and hearing something in the far off darkness begins a small concert with the sound of the food in my mouth. This is the good part of being alone.

It plays in my head that this Whitman’s and Emerson’s and Thoreau’s alone. It plays in my head that I don’t know what I’m talking about, but at this point I don’t care. I have no wilderness here so the only substitute is the half-wilderness inside myself and I take that space to be as real as the prairie I grew up on.

This is what I want when I eat alone in the not cold darkness with an overly poetic refrigerator hum and angled moonlight. I can quietly take my moment to have a midnight snack.

– Recipe –

No instructions necessary, just pay attention

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