Sweet and spicy

Pub date June 17, 2008
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap EatsSectionFood & Drink

› le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I dreamed I was pouring hot sauce on my ice cream, and the thought I was thinking along with the action, in the dream, was: So, it has come to this. Hot sauce on every single thing, even ice cream. Is this my nature, then? To go around setting sweetness on fire?

Don’t you love it when the dream interprets the dream for you? And then all you have to do in the morning is make your coffee and sit outside in the sunshine, watching your chickens scratch for gold. You are free to think about other things. Or to go about your business, which in my case is Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, with 10-minute breaks in between for going bafroom, talking on the phone, reading, writing, and plucking.

My most angelic friend kinda wants to be a stripper. We talked on the phone for a long time last night. While we were talking, my mom called on the other phone, 2 a.m. her time, and sang a scary old church song to my answering machine. Poor thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it stops working, on principle, and I have to buy a new one.

"Make me a channel of your peace," my mother sang, after the beep. "Where there is hatred, let me bring your love. Where there is something, something something something." Her phone went bad, but as I recall the last line didn’t rhyme anyway.

If only my mom had electricity, I would buy her an answering machine and retaliate. I would call it at 2 a.m. my time (which is 5 a.m. there), and sing to it, to her, my latest sensitive singer-songwriter hymn about how I like it up the ass.

"Make me a channel of your piece" …

Oh, hi, St. Francis. I didn’t see you there. You’re my favorite saint, you know, even though if you were alive today you would probably be a member of PETA. And your songs don’t rhyme. But I think a city I love might have named itself after you, and I know I did, only I spelled it with an e. You are my middle name, but I don’t consider myself exactly Catholic, you see.

So the other person I talked to for hours yesterday was Johnny "Jack" Poetry. I can call him that again (instead of Johnny "Jack" Journalism) because he quit the paper and put his poems on the Internet. His wife, Mrs. "Jack" Poetry, one of my dearest, oldest, belovedest friends in her own right (I call her Mrs. "Jack" Poetry out of respect, ’cause she’s sort of a recovering feminist), recently became a Catholic. Now, I have only ever known lapsed Catholics, and occasionally, as in the case of much of my family, unlapsed ones. People who were born Catholic and stayed that way. Mrs. "J." P. is the first person I know to become one, by choice! And for this I love her madly.

So she was away at mass, the Mrs., then she came home from mass, while Johnny "Jack" and me were still on the phone, discussing secular matters such as poetry and pork rinds, and — lo and behold — she had a couple of nuns in tow!

My point being that this is exactly why I have two phones now. Because I live for moments like this. It’s right up there with the time the feds knocked on my mom’s door while we were talking, to account for her whereabouts because Bill Clinton was coming to town, make me a channel of your peace. Or the time the cops came and she dropped the phone, left me dangling, and swore at them until they left. Or arrested her, I forget.

Johnny "Jack" tele-described to me the vision of his sweet wife with a couple of elderly nuns, one wearing a Winnie-the-Pooh baseball cap over her habit, sallying into the wilderness on the world side of his window, hot day, Indian Valley, Idaho, tromping blessed and holy through the weeds, where the ticks are.

My new favorite restaurant is Khana Khazana. Spicy, good, Indian food in Emeryville. The service is very friendly and welcoming. Indeed, it stayed open just for us, even though we showed up five minutes after closing. Points for that, and for hot that means HOT. Portions could have been bigger, for the price. Or I can try and find more work. Either way. *


4336 San Pablo, Emeryville

(510) 547-0992

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