February, 2011

How To Cook A Man

The Beer Burn - photo courtesy of Brandon Burkhart

The title of this essay was going to be “How to Cook a Man…(So He Stays Tender and Juicy)”.

At first, I thought I would focus on the slow-simmer rather than the full heat, using the right seasoning, drawing out the flavor, rather than cutting in too quickly–all the food-stuff metaphors you could possibly lay on sex and love innuendo.  For reasons of scarcity and sanity, I have been out of the game for a while.

Love is a country I have visited but where I cannot remember the language. Maybe I mean the opposite. I know the words; I just have no idea where it is or how to get there.

I’m not lonely, which one of my friends Tony states is utter bullsh-t. I’m not yearning or pining, which is my usual state of being. I am desperately trying to avoid being bitter and callous and drudging up the old clichés of being this particular age and watching the men of the same age gallivant straight towards chicks a decade or more younger.

I was there once. I lured in the older guys and ignored the wise all-knowing, exhausted looks of their female counterparts. The weight we imparted on men back then was looser and idealistic. There is no more ideal. Instead, there is ‘Can this work in a practical and sexual manner for an extended period of time, and do we get along enough to not loathe each other in the process’? Best friend with great sexual chemistry. That’s the gist.

Instead of how to keep a man juicy, I am wondering how to keep myself moist and supple, tender and delicious. Age is rapidly descending, manifesting in both positive and droopy ways. It’s funny, cause I feel happier and more gorgeous than I did when dudes were readily available for swings and flings. But a gentleman friend recently said I scare men away. Why the hell would I do that, I implored? Because you know what you want, he offered.

Hmmph. I know what I don’t want and won’t tolerate. But I also know what brings me happiness.  And now I am trying to rally up all the things that bring me joy. Other than food, I mean.

Is that so scary?

I don’t regret being single right now. Or being childless. Hells no.  I am immersed in great people, a great town, and blessed with a curious, voracious appetite. I do occasionally regret my ample leftovers, and hope that some handsome funny fine fellow can one day savor the impromptu casual meals I cook for myself. The ones we improvise are sometimes the best ones we make. Hopefully a good meal and being yourself can keep a man warm and delicious and vice versa. If anything has kept my folks together for almost 40 years, it has to be their love of food and cooking. That might not be enough, but it is better than most.

Baste, rub, cajole, be salty and sweet. Go slowly, shop around, be picky but get cooking cause it’s almost supper time. And if you have to eat alone, just make sure you enjoy the company.