After 2 intensive weeks away at my MFA residency, I decided to share a prompt with you that I had to write for an assignment. My hope is that maybe you will join in the fun and create your own. It's easy! Pull out your journal and just, write! Be creative, it can be fun.
Here is the prompt: What did you eat for lunch? Why these particular foodstuffs? Defend, praise, criticize, mourn what you consumed. (P.S. aim for 500-700 words. That forces you to really be detailed and creative!)
Here was my answer:
There’s a magnitude of flavors and textures all meandering on a long white rectangular plate. These qualities make this my favorite lunch. The lunch I return to over and over again. The chicken, roasted with crisp edges. The beets crunchy around the outside but juicy on the inside staining my lips with flavor. A few blueberries are sprinkled around the edge of the plate, so few one can only assume they are for the aesthetic. Hints of mint pop through the spring mix, cooling my mouth with unexpected pleasure. The acidity of the vinaigrette is mild as it blends flavors and softens leaves.
We are seated in one of my favorite places nestled downtown. It is usually a Friday that I find myself seated here, and today is no different. We order our meal and then we sit across from each other. We unwrap the best chocolate chip cookie in town, a compliment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I am a cookie connoisseur--the judgest of kinds--and this cookie is one of a kind. It is soft and dense. Chunks of chocolate mixed with the unique flavor of nutmeg, a-typical for a chocolate chip cookie, burst in each bite. It requires careful consideration to share a chocolate chip cookie, something I can only do with a lover or friend.
The atmosphere is warm. Books along the wall hug me as I sit surrounded by their presence. New books and used books all of equal significance make me feel welcome. Never could I feel lonely in the presence of great authors sitting around me. Today though, I am not alone. I am sitting with my partner, my lover, my greatest supporter. He too appreciates the great food at Jax Dog Café.
People come and go, and I joke that I won’t make it through lunch without running into several of my friends and acquaintances. That is part of the small community I live in. Today I see six people I know, not counting the owners of the café who I adore. I feel I am sharing Jax Dog with them, like I have some sort of ownership in the establishment; I don’t.
Finally, after the cookie we’ve consumed, and the many disruptions to our conversation, our meal arrives. That white rectangular plate housing the chicken, the beets, the creamy goat cheese, and candied pecans is placed in front of me. There is a moment of ritual where all I can do is take in its beauty. The art of food displayed so beautifully in front of me. The love and care that I know John has put into my meal radiates. I abstain from taking a photo, how many photos of the same beet salad can possibly live in my phone?
The community, the books, the flavors that dance in my mouth, the company sitting across from me. This is food. This is pleasure. Food is life, and life is meant to be enjoyed.
Photo from Jax Dog Cafe and Books Facebook Page