Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pot Roast*

*OK Rich, now I'm just fucking with you.

I had a weird moment today. I really missed mom's Old Man Friend, Jake.

This is unusual on a number of levels. It's a regrettably well documented fact that I'm not a huge fan of the people my parents chose to move on with. I mean, I deal with plenty of the crazy with the family I was born into so asking me to deal with more crazy in already highly awkward situations just chaps my hide. Yes, I know, this is ridiculous coming from someone with as close a relationship to the crazy as I have. I mean, look at the friends I have chosen and please don't look at the romances I've pursued. You'd think crazy would be like water off a duck's back for me. Here's the little piece of wisdom I'll give all of you who have or intend to have children: Speaking as somebody's kid (a couple of somebodies actually) I can tell you that we do, honestly, at the heart of it want you, our parents, ultimately to be happy. However, we would vastly prefer it if you could manage to be happy conveniently. Good luck with that.

Anyway, so Jake died in April, April 27th as matter of fact, which I can tell you because it was the day before my father got married. It was sad and it did, of course have an impact on my life (if you're new search for the "mom" tag and check out what I did for a week in June) and it really sucks for my poor mommy. On the other hand he wasn't someone I grew up with and we didn't have much in common so it wasn't quite as devastating as it might be.

Today I was reading Suburban Turmoil and she mentioned pot roast and my mouth started to water. When I used to be able to stay with my mom she would stock foods I liked before I got home. Well after the point when it was good for Jake to do so she would wheedle him into making me pot roast because, despite a few faults, he made the best motherfucking (heh) pot roast ever to grace this planet. He'd do boiled dinner with it with potatoes and carrots and turnips but I don't like turnips and I really like carrots so the proportions got tweaked as time went on. I read the words pot roast and my thoughts went something like this, "Ooo, pot roast, I could really go for some pot roast. God I can't eat pot roast on this diet. Maybe as a treat or if I got a very small one and ate very small portions. Gah I don't know the recipe. I'll get mom to ask J....oh. Oh. Well then." And all of a sudden I got really sad.

Part of it is perfectly selfish, of course. I mean, if you'd had this pot roast with the slightly charred bits on the outside and the perfectly tender insides and the gravy from a pan deglazed with sherry and not quite mushy steamed carrots perfect for dipping in gravy you would be mourning too. Sometimes I just stood in front of the open refrigerator pulling pot roast out of a tupperware with my fingers and dipping it into another tupperware full of congealed gravy and sucking it down.

Most of it, though, was because it was that moment after someone dies. Often it happens a few times. There's a moment where you've done all the work and you've put your nose back on the grindstone and then something relatively insignificant throws up a sign in front of you that says, "GONE" or "NEVER AGAIN" or "THIS IS WHAT DEAD REALLY MEANS" and something shifts in your chest or your belly and you drop rather abruptly down to a new plateau of realization that someone has died.

So, we all knew this already but, guys? Jake's dead. So there won't be anymore pot roast.


  1. I don't really know what to say here, but I thought I should let you know that I read it, nodding.


  2. I'm with you on that belly gulping feeling of forever gone...i'm sorry you had the pot roast sadness...i love you.