Book of Food

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Author’s Note

Welcome to Book of Food. Which is all about that universal thing that each of us needs to consider at some point every single day in order to survive. Perhaps just behind birth and death, the ultimate Me&You topic. 

Forward by John Lehndorff

In the past year everything about our food lives have been significantly disrupted from family dinners on Zoom to ordering produce remotely (and receiving rutabagas) to endless deliveries of saag paneer and bread baking misadventures.

“Sunday Drive”

It was a September Sunday morning in the Denver suburb of Westminster, and my girlfriend and I were driving down 104th Ave to Lamar’s Donuts. The sun was bright, football was gonna be on all day, and the sprinkles and glaze would be the sugars we’d needed all week.

“Carryout Pizza”

I went to Domino’s to pick up my pizza.

I looked down and suddenly noticed I’d stained myself with watermelon lemonade earlier that day. I must’ve drank it poorly. It was right on the center of my chest. White t-shirt. Pink spot.

I pulled one side of my jean vest all the way across so no one would notice.

“Vending Machine”

It was mid-afternoon, and I needed an energy boost to finish my class prep, so I went downstairs to the school’s nearest vending machine.

I swiped my credit card and punched in the code. D1. Peanut M&M’s.

“Drinking Fountain”

Am I doing this right?

Just water into mouth, right?

Do I hafta pound on the button?

Is it not supposta splash my hair?

Am I not supposta take so long?

Am I not supposta be this thirsty?

“Raccoon in Trailer”

It was chaos.

My roommate was a mess. Obese. Broke. Dying from fast food. Only felt loved by the dog.

Our neighbor was a mess. Recently divorced. Underweight. Living without electricity. Only felt loved by her kids.

My roommate related with her and invited her over to our trailer. Along with her two children… and their raccoon.

“Utah Arby’s Woke”

There were no Black People in the Utah Arby’s

No Mexican

No Indigenous

No Asian

No Jewish

No Queer

No Trans

No Female Identifying

No Neurodiverse

No Disabled People

There were just two big White Guys and me – small White Guy.

“Nobody in the World Is My Age (Samoas)”

There was a Girl Scout at my school selling cookies. She was there all by herself but seemed to have it under control, setting up the table with all the colorful boxes lined up, making the right change for customers, and tallying up the orders.

“I’ll take one of those,” I pointed to a purple box when it was my turn.

She looked at me closely before handing it to me.

“How… old are you?” she asked.

“New Mexico Econo Lodge Breakfast”

The old man at the New Mexico Econo Lodge front desk watched me closely as I went to get my complimentary breakfast.

I’d just put a banana and a blueberry muffin on my plate and was about to go for the scrambled eggs and sausage.

“Don’t touch those!” he suddenly shouted.

“Drunk at King Soopers”

Back in my more lost days I’d have a few Jack&Cokes and go to the grocery store. The drinking was for other social reasons, but in the midst of my buzz I’d remember there was no food at home and something hadta be done. It was usually after midnight, so I’d hafta go to King Soopers, which at the time was open 24 hours.

When I went to the supermarket sober I’d second guess myself out of everything. I’d see it all causing fat or irritable bowel syndrome or out-of-money. Even the potatoes, even the toilet paper, even the novels of Dean Koontz. But going in drunk I magically forgot all that and got whatever the hell I wanted…

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