Sunday, October 14, 2007

dragging myself out into the world, or trying to

Writing...which means of course *not* writing. At Philz. I'm going to work on the cut-up story.

Tonight will find me at the Sister Spit reading, deep in the Tenderloin, in a creaking and quasi literary bar. I went to the tour's last SF reading. This one should be packed with animated and angry dykes, trannies, queers of all sorts and shares, and a lion's share of writers with former drinking problems. The writers will be funny and fierce and reckless in their use of grammar. They may be published in journals you've never heard of or they may have books out. They'll make me want to be one of them. A slightly dangerous and more glamorous version of myself. Their words will be messy and juicy and breaking and I'll feel over-educated and timid and I'll want to write new stories about the world I live in.

I think the chef world needs more chronicling, but different chronicling. The voice of the pastry cook, so rarely heard. The girl in the kitchen, ditto. Queer cooks, how many do you know? What you know of my industry is Top Chef and Anthony Bourdain, but there's so much more than that. Who do you read? What do you read? What do you know of the kitchen? Why do you come here?

Like the chef, the writer is a mysterious and overly romanticized figure. The hazards of the occupation are fewer, but you will drive yourself crazy just as quickly and your quest for perfection will be misunderstood. Intense and overly analytical circles, my two worlds. Long hours toiling alone. More questions than answers. The deeper in you go, the more you realize what you don't know. You want someone to help you, to give you all the answers, but the process is far too complicated to work that way. Normal people don't understand why you do it. And you have plenty of normal relationships in your life but when you're with another writer or another chef, you talk for hours about things other people don't understand.

{talking about rice pudding last week, my boss said that If You Understand How Rice Cooks, Then You Will Understand Why You Need To Sweeten It At The End. It's the sort of koan that makes me want to not go back to work until I figure out why but then I'd never go back to work because there is always more to know about rice, and sugar. But don't you all worry I'll be at work tomorrow, claro}

I am lonely these days for a balance in my life. I cook, and then I read and think about how I should be writing. I ride my bike to and from work and think about biking around to other neighborhoods and getting to know my new city more. I used to be a balanced person before all this food stuff happened to me. I'm trying to remember that there are more things that I like to do. That I'm not just the girl in the Sox hat working the line {perhaps you are surprised that I get to wear my hat at work. I was, too. But customers talk to me all the time!}

Once upon a time I liked to read, knit, play scrabble, watch burlesque, play pool, hang out in cafes, go to all the major museum shows, ride my bicycle, play video games, go to literary readings, go thrift store shopping, grow vegetables, take my dog for really long walks, go driving around, maybe go on a date with a girl I might like. I wanted to learn to: keep bees, fish, be a better gardener/grower, make fucking sorbet which I still can't do, write a screenplay, be a cowboy, get out of debt, work with chocolate, speak spanish.

The last thing I wanted to do? Learn to work with seasonal and local produce. {&how long will it take me to learn all I should know about fruit? How many lifetimes indeed}

Writing. Happening now. I want to tell you a story about the FPFM, but I don't think I should.

No comments: