Wednesday, October 29, 2008


He used to be able to cook. He looks at the book and there are words in it and it is clear that these words are instructions. There is a picture beside the words and he can imagine the food on the plate. The words are the method to make this jumble of ingredients into some kind of order.

He used to like to cook.

He remembers the pleasure in it. Cooking, wine and music. These three things in a quiet house and the scent of garlic infusing the evening. These pleasures that he never took for granted, but he took their ease in his stride. He stands with the book open and the picture glaring it's accusation and he can smell it, the meal that will be made from it. His good hand remembers the chopping and the stirring. It is in his body, this memory. 'I am a good cook' he thinks.

He looks at the lines of text and the ingredients are clear, chicken, garlic chopped, wilted spinach. He has layed out the ingredients on the cramped surface of the bench top, each one measured exactly. He glances at the potential of it, the meal in waiting. He looks back to the book and the crawl of words on the page. Three words next to each other make some kind of sence, the list of ingredients match perfectly to the food he has assembled. The paragraph is more challenging. The paragraph is almost impossible. When put together like this, the words become a sauce, each letter, each word indistinguishable from the next. It is all the coloured by the concept of 'recipe'. The words make the picture illustrated on the right, but together they are liquid, swirling into each other, impossible to pin down.

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