I was planning to fall into a deep slumber. I was planning to get to it immediately. I didn’t see that I could stay awake one more minute.
So it was no surprise–or rather, it ought not to have been–when I got a text that would veer me utterly off course. L was in the country. Not just in the country. To be more precise, he was in the country AND in town, and L and I are usually continents apart. In fact, I hadn’t seen him for 16 years, not since I left Africa.
So when he suggested we meet up, it was clear that no slumber would be had anytime soon. I saw through this glass clearly. 🙂
“Come over now,” I said, and with those words dashed out of my apartment to buy groceries. I would make a delicious, quick and low-fat meal.
That, dear reader, is where I stopped seeing through the glass clearly. Clearly.
Instead, I served what I’m going to have to call “glump.” What is glump?
A mass of various undistinguishable mashed foods served from one dish, usually with a ladle.
Now, glump can be yummy, or it can be horrid, or it can be, as it was when they arrived, tasteless. It’s miraculous that way, glump.
I was putting the final touches on my glump–in other words removing it from the heat and frowning at it–when the bell rang. I ran to the door, tearing my apron off. (My name is stitched on its front as if I get muddled sometimes and must look down to confirm it.)
As I unlatched it and wrenched it open, I smacked my face with apron and was left with it half on, drooping awkwardly from my waist. No worries–L’s doubtless seen me much less dignified. So I let them in and gave them the tour.
“This is my living room,” I said, gesturing expansively to my sofa and dining room table. They ooh’ed and ah’ed beautifully. “And this is my furniture,” I said, in case they hadn’t noticed. They cooed kindly. “This is my hallway,” I said, and stopped as if to survey it, causing them both to bump into me. They looked about in the tight space and nodded. “And this,” I said, walking into the dark room, “is my bathroom.”
They paused at the door with a giggle.
“Come in!” I said. And so they did. “Come here,” I said, and stepped into my bathtub. With another laugh, L complied. And then he saw my view and understood the appeal. We stepped out and P surveyed the view. (Trust me, it’s worth the extra step in the dark.)
But now I couldn’t delay dinner any longer.
I made P taste the glump before dishing it out, so that he could judge how hungry he was. He tasted it and maintained a politely interested yet faintly surprised miraculously neutral expression. In a way that only a South African living in England can.
“Can you save it?” I asked.
I didn’t have to ask twice. He moved quick. Rummaged through my spices. Only two had English lables. Rosemary and fenugreek.
“Rosemary should be added earlier in, er, the process,” he said, and so we added fenugreek. And then more fenugreek. And then P made the executive decision that my expired parmesan wasn’t really expired. And I have to say…he made it yummy! We ate the whole pan of glump, the three of us, together with salad and buffalo mozzarella cheese. ‘Twas oddly perfect with my dark chocolate and the South African pinotage and Chilean cabernet they’d brought.
Then again, I can’t in all honesty report that. I never made it to the cabernet.
I think we all had a great time in the end. We hung out till after midnight, and my new dining room table got properly eaten and spilled upon, so all was wondrousness. 🙂 I was TOAST at the end of the night, crawling into bed around 1am, and there was no way I was getting up in four hours to write. So I slept late; got up at seven and indulged in two cups of coffee and absolutely zero brain activity.
All this is to say that I should know better than to plan. For although the best laid plans can disintigrate into a much fuller and truly wonderful, irreplaceable evening, they indeed are so prone to dissolving as to make one feel one is brazenly tempting fate when one says (as I’m about to now):
This is going to be a great writing weekend! 🙂