Reserving the giblets

By Carstian Luyckx (1623–1657)

I drank an ale and made the gravy. The gravy was to be made over several hours the book said. Outside it was gray and Dawn said look at that rain. It hadn’t been raining before, it just started, so I looked at it and then went back to the gravy. I put the neck in first and then the gizzards, though it was hard to tell which organ was which except the heart, which slapped when it hit the pan and then sizzled inside itself. And then I thought about Alan, Heidi’s British husband: the time we met in Germany that Christmas and he showed me how to make the gravy. He was dying of cancer but still smoking, smoking in the kitchen, my mom’s kitchen, though he kept the window cracked and did his best to keep the ash out of the pot. He remarked about the blood and looked sinister as he did, said it’s important you add that. The blood was darker than you’d imagine but it all combined with the unpeeled onions and herbs and then later the broth, and soon the house was full of cheer: the scent of rendered fat and caramelized root vegetables, mirepoix. The same Christmas the door blew off the oven, mom ran out in the kitchen to see what happened and then slipped in the grease, fell on her ass.

I finished my beer and called to Dawn, time to get Charlotte (early release day, 1:45).  The sky was a theater production of scene changes with no one in charge. Now it was puffy clouds and filtered sun, but we were under an “atmospheric river” they called it: that general malaise of fall that makes it so you can’t even enjoy the sun, it just makes you feel damp, sullen.

I lay on my side in the den with the sound of the laundry machine, the dryer, the spin cycle, something slapping, something turning, and it was just past 2 when I looked outside and thought it’s about to start raining again.

Categories: prose

Tags: , , , , , ,

20 replies

  1. Bill, I do love your writing. Your words convey wonderful imagery and always a feast for the senses that I often feel that I was there, too! These brief dips into your memories tell so much, but they are brief enough to suggest that each event held so much more. This makes me want to read more. Have you ever considered writing some of these scenes in script form? I syspect you would write wonderful plays. Kindest regards, Dean.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a lovely comment Dean, thank you! What you said is pretty much what I’ve been going for, dense, short scenes that suggest more…so thanks for that observation. I used to write scenes in college but have lost my confidence on dialogue (out of practice with it, all the dialogue these days for me is internal 😀 thanks for the encouragement, means a lot to me! Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your description of the sky. I refer to the skies we usually get around here as painter’s skies because the vibrancy of colors and wisps of clouds and all of it just looks like something a painter would produce.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. … and please excuse my typo!


  4. This last paragraph of this feels like the sound of a needle at the end of a record, with the music over but you don’t want to get up.

    Happy Gobble Gobble.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. ‘the sky was a theater production of scene changes…’ wonderful line. happy thanksgiving to all of you )


  6. That gravy sounds like a force to be reckoned with. Can you freeze n’ ship?

    Happy TG, Pearses!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful word-smithing, and I like the contrast of the cheery caramelizing veggies and herbs, with the Hitchcockian gravy scene – the heart sizzling within itself, yikes! Hope you and your family have a terrific Thanksgiving.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Speaking of early release and gravy. So it’s a Christmas song…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds, scenes, smells. Subdued and evocative.

    I was going to point out the Paul Kelly song, but Mr Murray beat me to it (because I’m so behind in my blogreading.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are such an amazing writer with the words lending imagery to the situation. It was crazy though to see the dude smoking despite cancer and his remarks about the blood.


    • Thank you Vishal, yes that was crazy seeing that, and sad: I only met that person (Alan) once, but was glad I did, and that I have that memory…even with the blood. Funny how things like that stick with you. Thanks for reading my friend! Bill


Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: