Unfortunately, I became privy to this recipe a few months ago which, in Cat's Terms of Memory, may as well have been fourteen thousand years and a few dozen liters of vodka ago. Because all I remembered were most of the ingredients and that the end result is yummy. So I faked it the best I could and reasoned that if nothing else, this would be spicy, and spicy is just about all I have left in this world.
12 jalapenos and
But it wasn't. It was more...mildly intolerable chicken.
To me, it was "meh."
But on Saturday, I prepped everything and shoved it into the crock pot and then headed out on foot (thanks to a flat bike tire) to find a quiet spot to get some writing done. We're a few blocks away from the Minnesota River, which happens to be one of my favorite places for walking, crying and brooding, so I figured it might work for writing, too. That I've never tested the theory goes to show you just how long I've been out of commission.
I was armed with a notebook full of helpful man thoughts from a crew of (apparently) drunken comrades, and I was curious to give these ideas a shot. I'm still working on that, but as it turns out, I am TERRIBLE at being a man.
A bug flew directly into my eyeball, and though I saw it coming and reacted by slamming shut my eyelid, it was too late. It was unfortunate for me that I stuck my jalapeno and habenera fingers in after the bug to fish it out. Let's just say I was blind for several minutes and considered turning around and heading home.
Once at the river, I started along the path (because who would ever do such a thing as walk in the grass?) and I stumbled upon a scruffy middle-aged man who, from a distance, appeared to be sporting a shirt pocket of cigarettes and a fist full of some hideous, silver-canned beer. Turns out it was only a travel mug of what I presume was coffee, but this guy was a character, I could tell just by glancing.
He had with him a dog who was off leash and well behaved, and he paid no attention to me as I approached. The dog was busy tramping through the water and weeds, looking for anything that moved.
As I am wont to do, I asked the man what kind of dog he had, and he answered that it was "hard to say," or something the like. Again, with my memory. I noted that the dog looked like he had tiger markings, and the man commented that was his brindle. Happily ready to prove that I am a Dog Person, I noted that Gray once had a boxer named Tyson who shared the same tiger-looking brindle as this dog, and the man exclaimed, "Yes, exactly!"
We started walking together, dog talking, of course, and he asked if I was just out hiking.
Ha, exercise. Not likely.
I told him I was trying to find a quiet spot to write, that our neighbors were installing a fence and there was a jack hammer involved, that there are kids all over the park by the river, so that I was following the trail looking for a better spot.
"Come with me."
Normally, I don't go around following strange men who say "come with me," but this guy wasn't setting off any alarms and plus, he had a dog.
I am powerless against the charms of the canine species.
Turns out to be a lucky thing I followed the guy because he led me to a marina and then out onto a secluded peninsula so near the river, and so level with its surface, that I felt I was sliding right along with it. He pulled up a chair for me and one for him, we smoked a bit, and then he left me to my writing, but not before we became friends.
I told him I considered this an open invitation to return and he didn't disapprove, so now I have a new place that is perfectly peaceful and serene where I can retreat in just a few short minutes whenever I need to write, which (apparently) should be all the damn time.
Next time, remind me to take the bug spray. I'm half-mosquito today.