L.E. Leone

The thaw

Toomie's Thai Cuisine
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I was so afraid he was going to say, "I love you." I was terrified, and I sweated during sex, insisted on leaving the lights on after, and peed with the door open. During dinner I made sure there was always parsley between my teeth and onions hanging out of my mouth.

We did romantic things together, like watching football, and I tried to keep my head in the game, but it was killing me. He loved me, I could tell. At home I only listened to jaded music, like Liz Phair and Kathleen What's-Her-Name, the Canadian. Read more »

Good luck

Taqueria Reina's
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS We're not related by blood, but he's as much of a brother to me as my many brother brothers are. He has brothers too, but no sisters, and he always wanted one. So there's that.

My brother Boomer makes poetry out of radio news like I turn food sections into fiction, sports, gossip, society, philosophy, agriculture, gender studies, travel, apolitical commentary ... Read more »

Free range

Happy House Korean BBQ
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Happy New Year. I was lying in bed one night toward the end of the old one with the lights on and my eyes open, thinking about the usual: death, emptiness, and whether or not dildos ever really break off inside people and get lost. Read more »

Pork opera

Mama's Royal Cafe
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Earl Butter was drinking rum and I was drinking whiskey. Earlier that day he had composed a song on the sidewalk, a sidewalk song, and it was perfectly pedestrian and wonderful. Read more »

Chopped liver

Pho 84
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS What I like about technology is iTunes, because you can do a search for songs about rivers. It's coming up on Christmas. People are cutting down trees, putting up reindeer, singing songs of joy and peace. I wish I had a river I could skate away on.

This week's column will attempt to answer the oft-asked and seldom fully explored question, "What am I? Chopped liver?"

There's an easy answer. That's why the question's seldom fully explored. Read more »

Antidepressants

Pizza Orgasmica
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS In the morning I dropped him off at the bus stop and he jumped out of the car, a big meeting at nine. Work. I smiled and waved through the window, blew him a kiss that I don't think he saw, and pulled away.

Went to Crawdad de la Cooter's to see her baby and her, but they were on their way out the door. Inside, her man was in bed sick. I should have stayed and made him soup, or something. Read more »

Dirty girl

El Delfin
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I washed the dishes. Put my clothes away. Emptied the compost. I let the fire go out and sat on top of the wood stove in my underwear. The phone rang: how was my weekend?

Let me think about it, I said. I said there was blood on my bed, every single thing smelled like smoke, my eyes burned, I hadn't shat since Thursday, and my cat was lucky to be alive. Me too, but for a whole different reason. In short, it was my new favorite weekend ever, I said. Yours?

What reason?

Because I care. Read more »

The importance of inches

Lilly's BARBECUE
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS I'm gettin' some. Don't worry. But a couple of months ago I was singing the blues to a trans woman friend who is a lesbian. I sang a verse about how no boys would go out with me, and she said, in effect, that she wouldn't go out with me either.

This was discouraging. Not that I had any idea in the world of dating this woman, or vice versa. And not that she meant to be mean. Read more »

A certain way

Barbecue pie and a date date
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le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS Georgie Bundle came creaking into my shack in the middle of the night. Weirdo the Cat wigged a little and went under the bed. I rolled over. The refrigerator snored. Georgie Bundle stood his stand-up bass in the doorway and wound down on the floor without any lights on.

In the morning I stepped over him and put the coffee on. I started a fire. There was an apple pie, and there were leftover ribs I'd slow-smoked for dinner the night before. Oh, and there was applesauce, of course, with bacon in it. Read more »

Praise the lard

Sprinkle of water. Speck of cinnamon ...
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By L.E. Leone

le_chicken_farmer@yahoo.com

CHEAP EATS The problem is, I don't like applesauce. The solution is to start liking applesauce. There is no other way, given the ridiculous bounty of Sonoma County's apple harvest this year, plus the clanking, cavernous, empty chill I feel every time I open my checkbook.

I have two apple trees in my chicken yard. Read more »