I cook it in butter, smashed fresh garlic, and salt. If I am feeling dreary, and it is starting to get cold; when I am so out of sorts I taunt myself with how little I have, or scold my kids from wakeup to jammies, and hurt over my harsh words each thoughtless time, I crave it.
My friend Patty died of an overdose of her pain medication three days before my daughter was born. Her AIDS had progressed so dramatically that the cocktail of what they eased her with turned out to be too much for her body and she died. She said, a week earlier, “I should have a nice car by now. I worked my whole life and I’m going to die with a piece of shit car.”
I too should have a nice car by now too. I played this game called career and what I got was self-employment or nothing. I got debt I can’t even conceive of. I got a format in law school called CREAC. It goes, “conclusion, rule, explanation, application, conclusion.” Simple, yes? She got a game called follow your dream and live it. She made things for her friends. She collected donations for charity. She collected heartaches and troubles and cackling laughter stories.
Here, I live in an apartment my friends feel compelled to call cute and leave quickly. It does not speak about me: the furniture is too big for the rooms. The walls are patched, but not yet painted, except in the living room, which is white walled and green carpeted. My mahogany desk is in storage because there is no room. My office is the kitchen table. What I am eased with is determination and faith, in the future and in God to get me there. God is not a feeling, but an experience. I have an office selected, and at least once a month I dream-shop homes on Craigslist and Nothnangle. I don’t want to die in a piece of shit car–don’t even read this, dear Mazda, you never let me down.
So I sauté the deer meat my brother shot and dressed last year, which has been waiting all this time in the freezer. I feel strong blood rushing through me, and a willingness to just be here, because I am alive, I am grouchy, but I have an experience of eating a wild thing shot from where it couldn’t see the hunter, so it tastes nothing of gamey fear, nor any transitory emotion. It tastes of grasslands and barren woods, of a taunting wind and harsh car headlights driving by.