After a week (literally) holed up in my room, I finally left my flat today. My lung disease has largely gone away, and I am ready once again to face the world at large.
I spent the afternoon at the Botanical Gardens with Blether Tay-Gither, telling stories to young’ns. I experienced a Kazak-style yurt, courtesy of Owen, and went on a story-walk with Sanga. We had a drink afterwards at the restaurant by the airfield, named “Eating Inn”, and I came home to do dishes.
Then, I made dinner. Actual dinner, consisting of an entree and a side dish. Tonight, this was beer can chicken and a faux-baked skillet beans, the latter being so incredible I found myself scooping them out of the skillet with my hands to eat them as they cooled. (Recipe to come later, after I have pictures and measurements). Ilya and I ate at the table, with silverware, like grown-ups. We talked about the importance of diversity, and sipped white wine, like grown ups. Well, like grown-ups within certain parameters. I quickly abandoned my fork and spoon (we had forgotten the knives) and ate my chicken with my hands. And the wine was a cheap candy-sweet lambusco from Lidl, which I imagine is very popular among 15 year old boys who want to get their 15 year old girlfriends to remove their pants. But the intention was there–we were not eating frozen pizza or sandwiches, and I was not eating off a plate in my bed. Baby steps, guys.
After dinner I turned the leftovers into meals for tomorrow–why-the-heck-not-chicken salad featuring yogurt instead of mayonnaise. I tucked away the garlic that had braised in the beer and chicken fat at the bottom of the skillet that the beer can chicken perched above to turn it into a vinegarette. Ilya rescued the chicken carcus from the rubish bin and devoured every piece of meat that I had not managed to remove from it. We discussed the things we do that we would not necessarily do of our own accord, but instead do them to feel close to those we love when we are far away. Interestingly, both Ilya and I have something like that with chicken. I eat the strange random chicken organs that are tucked up in the base of the spine, because my father loves them. He thinks that they taste more like chicken than the rest of the chicken. Which, I suppose, they do. Ilya descended upon the carcus with evident glee as he eviscerated it, sucking the meat off of every bone in that carcus because his mother loves doing it. In this way tonight’s chicken provided not just sustenance, but the warmth of family.