Mi Lindo Yucatan

CHEAP EATS Cut to wide-awake eyes in a moonlit room. In the dream, he could drive my funny little car that no one else but me can drive. He knew how to sweet talk it into first gear, and fearlessly came to complete stops at stop signs. Marveling at his confidence, and competence, I leaned into his big soft arm and he leaned into me, then pulled over and parked and miraculously, as happens in dreams, the stick shift didn't get in the way.

There's another guy, way out in Railroad Flat, who calls me to talk car talk, and who tells me, by way of flirtation, how many future–fried chicken hearts he keeps in his freezer. And I don't have the chicken farmer heart to tell him it's the livers I like.

The one up in Lake County, he doesn't call. But when he did, we talked for hours about all the people he's going to sue, including his neighbor who puts out food for deer and squirrels, and who punched him when he pointed out that it's against the law, and nature, to feed wild animals.

The big wet spot on the bed next to me has nothing to do with my bladder, so you know. I sleep with hot water bottles on cold nights, and this one sprung a leak. It's just water. But it might as well be urine, or blood. That's how freaked I am. And, unlike the other two or three times in my long life that I have nibbled on the earlobe of insomnia, this has nothing to do with dread of death.

The guy driving my car in the sex dream, he may well have accomplished what no amount of religious upbringing or adult talk therapy has managed: helping me wrap my brain around my impending point-of-viewlessness. And on our first date! By accident, by reminding me about onions! Christ, he was so cool, and good.

So, instead of lying awake last night worrying about death, I was lying awake worrying (more like knowing) that I was never going to see this great, cool, good driving man again. Hold on a second. Let me check my e-mail ...

Yep. Wow, that didn't take long. He slept on it, unlike me. Apparently didn't have the same dream I did, and very succinctly decided friendship yes, romance no. So, let's see, that makes 1,439,187,009 really really close, loving friends. And exactly nobody to hold me at 4 a.m. when I forget about onions. Or I should say, nobody to snore and grunt and roll away from me at 4 a.m. when I forget about onions. (It's best not to ask for too much, with odds like mine.)

Merle Haggard has a song where a woman breaks his heart and he's going to get even by breaking every heart of every woman he sees. Some day I'm going to get me a boob job and break the heart of every man who lays eyes on me, or on them. However that works.

As for deerkind, I exacted my revenge with a big pot of venison chili last weekend, courtesy of the refrigerator and garden of Johnny "Jack" Blogger (Robert Frost's Banjo) and Sister Mary His Wife, my favorite Catholic ever.

Gardens are good, in Idaho. I don't know if a pot of chili ever was made — until this one — without opening one single can. Lard be praised, I hardly even had to shake anything into it. There were five kinds of peppers, all fresh-plucked from the garden, at least three varieties of tomatoes, tomatillos — all from the garden. Onions and bacon fat were the only things not grown on the premises. Oh, and the venison. I wish I could say that it was hatchet-ground, but that would be hatchet-grinding the truth, and I prefer just to stretch it.

The deer was courtesy of a wonderful and talkative woman from Portland, Ore., who's husband (lucky us) has an unadventurous palate. Which drives her crazy, and would me too. So they fight. I've met this guy, and he's a great guy. But if he doesn't learn to eat new things, I'm going to get a boob job and break his fucking heart.


My new favorite restaurant is Mi Lindo Yucatan.

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