Newsgroups: alt.slack

Subject: Another Slack-filled Sunday

From: !!!bmyers@ionet.net (TarlaStar)

Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 14:19:19 GMT

 

It was brunch time again this past Sunday, and I've only just emerged

from the food coma. This month's brunch was held at Sr. Testicler's

abode and cooked by John. There's was beautiful little spa and

somewhat New Age meeting place down the Big Sur coast called, Esalen.

It was washed into the sea by El Nino. John used to be the cook there.

This month, he made us Thai.

 

We arrived at Sr.T's around eleven with a couple of lawn chairs, a keg

of beer, a two-gallon pot and a wok for John. I had just dragged the

teenboy out of bed about 10 minutes earlier. He had to go to work at

2:30 and we didn't want to have to drive home to pick him up and take

him to work, so we brought him to brunch. John put him to work placing

pieces of yoghurt marinated chicken onto skewers. John is a genius. If

there's anything that the boy secretly loves, it's feeling useful and

needed.

 

The kitchen was a wonderful chaos of cooked chicken, herbs and spices,

strange mushrooms, mussels and shrimp, veggies of various and sundry

sorts. It smelled heavenly and I accepted a cup of coffee before John

put ME to work skewering pieces of marinated beef. Sr.T's date, "H"

was off at the french bakery getting several large baguettes, Etta

James was playing on the stereo. It was Sunday, our day of communion.

 

It wasn't long before Sr. Terry the Scary, Sr. Do-me, and Sr. Jezabel

the Unclean arrived bearing the South Park tape. Hugs and kisses went

around and we caught up on each other's month. I passed around the

newest book on New Zealand and we all teared up at the photos. It's

everything I ever wanted in a country...and penguins. H came back with

the bread and more coffee beans and we all chatted pleasantly while he

grilled the skewered meat and John prepared the rest of the appetizer

course.

 

Sr. T's coffee table was loaded down with beef and chicken kabobs,

various sauces ranging from sweet (hoisin) to firey hot (fish sauce

with tiny red and green peppers) to mild (yoghurt with mint) a plate

with sauteed mung bean sprouts and carrots was in the center of the

table, along with steamed rice noodles, cooked shredded chicken and

pork, mushroooms, and a plate of fresh leaf lettuce. We each removed

the meat from our chosen kabob and scooped up whatever sauce we

thought we could handle, then John told us that we were to treat the

lettuce leaves as we would a tortilla, picking and choosing the

veggies, meat, sauce and noodles to lay inside and wrap the leaf

around. It was delightful.

 

There were a few late arrivals. Al had to open the kitchen at "the

evil place" and he left there around 1pm. Kathy had to drive down from

the city and got there soon after Al. Frank swung by around two. Frank

is a wonderful man. He and his wife, Gwen built a house in the country

that is a monument to environmentalism. It's built part-way into the

side of a hill, with high windows on the North (hill-side) side and

low ones on the south side for air flow. All the way around every room

in the house there are planters built in. He has a Japanese style

bathroom with a step-in soaking tub. The kitchen is open and airy and

leads directly into the greenhouse. He raises water-plants. All of his

used water goes into a series of three outdoor tanks, each slightly

lower than the other so that he can move water through the pipes by

gravity rather than by motor. The water is cleaned by a combination of

plants, goldfish and charcoal filters as it moves through each tank.

At the end you have clean water once more, which he uses to maintain

the thousands and thousands of plants that surround the house. Gwen

died a few years ago and it's getting hard for Frank to maintain the

house, but he loves it and does the best he can.

 

We are an unusual mixture of people brought together by The Mont and

bonded by our ability to survive "the evil place" with humors intact.

Sr. Testicler is 37, and working on her Ph.D. in a combined

Sociology/Communications major. John is 40 ish,world travelled, works

at Kinko's, and knows the secrets in every closet in Norman. "H" is in

his mid-thirties, and finishing his degree in Communications. Sr.

Do-me is 26, and a letters major. Terry is 28, and getting her M.A.

in Business Comm. Nightmare Hippy Boy is 16, in high school and

working at Braum's. Sr. Jez is 27, and may or may not ever complete

her degree in English. She works at a ritzy little French restaurant

in Ft. Worth. Frank, is Sr. T's dad,77, a retired news photographer

and died in the wool liberal of the finest kind. Al is in his

thirties, and manages the kitchen at "the evil place". He's the only

one of us still left there. Kathy is 35, and just completed her BA.

The Bearded Guy is 34, and finishing up a Master's in Computer

Science. You all know me. Ranging from 16 to 77 and we still

communicate honestly. It's a wonderment to me.

 

We moved back and forth between the living room and the patio. At one

point, John offered some kabobs to the next door neighbors and they in

turn offered to share a doobie with the group. John, Terry, Jez and

NHB went over and smoked with them. TBG and I are still staying

straight. Soon thereafter, I had to take the boy to work and Frank

went home.

 

Next, John whipped out the salad course which consisted of:

marinated shrimp, chicken, bean sprouts, tomato and cucumber slices,

fried rice noodles, and fish sauce sweetened with a little sugar and

some soy sauce.

 

Sr. T had acquired a number of excellent red wines. My favorite was

the Canyon Road Cabernet, though the Pinot Noir was also quite good.

The Merlot, though very tasty was a bit too sweet for me after having

a glass of the Pinot. The Bearded Guy brought a couple of gallons of

his smoked porter and a couple of commercial Lambics for everyone to

try. One of the best things about this group is that no one is a nasty

drunk. Everyone just gets sweeter and more affectionate and that's a

good sign.

 

We had two soup courses. The first was, Mee Krob (soup with chicken,

and coconut milk) followed about an hour later by a Mussel soup in a

spicey broth. There was plenty of crusty French bread to go along with

them and the mussels were tender and perfect.

 

At this point, our eyes were glazing over, so it was time to gather in

the living room and watch South Park. It was close to 7pm. We decided

on the next date, June 14th. That made Sr. T. very happy, "It's Flag

Day," she cried. "That's my favorite holiday!"

 

Sr. Do-me and Sr. Terry the Scary had brought their own variety of

"panty remover" and everyone toasted the chef. I only had a tiny shot

glass of it, while everyone else killed the bottle. It tasted like a

liquid Apple Jolly Rancher.

 

I was sitting out on the patio when I had The Moment. There was a

slight breeze, Jez, John, Sr. T, TBG, Kathy and I were out there

smoking cigarettes, and sipping our drinks (mine was water at this

point). There was a huge Magnolia tree with a single perfect bloom

next door and the birds were singing to each other. A feeling of deep

contentment came over me, an almost spirtual sense of belonging and

being with those you love. We were living in the moment, just enjoying

the presence of each other and the joy that comes from having good

friends who share your same ideals.

 

John had two more courses to go, but decided to forego one and just

served up the Beef Curry over rice. It was perfect. The beef was

tender, the sauce, hot enough to make your mouth glow but not so hot

as to overwhelm you. I'd stopped drinking a few hours earlier, because

the Bearded Guy looked as though he wanted to cut loose. He and Sr.

Jezabel were pretty tipply at this point. I gathered our stuff and

herded them out to the car for the drive home. Slack.

 

Next month it's my turn to cook again. I'm thinking...French.

*******

 

Hey listen...before you go, would you mind changing my diaper?

-Ronald Reagan