"A corpse is meat gone bad.
Well and what's cheese? Corpse of milk."
It being the first day of autumn, I couldn't help thinking of one of my favorite Northern Exposure episodes in which the inhabitants of Sicily begin the task of gaining their 15 pounds of protective winter fat. To assist them in their effort, The Brick begins serving pancakes with every meal.
The same thing happens to Minnesotans, it seems, because as soon as the leaves begin to turn our thoughts begin to turn -- to the comfort of food. Just Mother Nature playing a cruel trick that she invented before there were furnaces but that she continues to think is funny because we keep falling for it.
And in the mathematics of my life:
comfort food = melted cheese
I must come by this naturally, although an argument could probably be made as to whether by nature or nurture. I definitely come by it via my mother. She's said a lot of funny things over the course of my lifetime, but one of our family's favorites began showing up 10 or 15 years ago and persists despite our ridicule.
In order to explain whatever decadence she has just ordered or is eating, she will say,
"I'm in my melted cheese years."
This era seems to have struck me much earlier than it did her, and my only concern is that if she's in her melted cheese years for only, say, 20 years or so, and I'm in mine for 50+, there are bound to be figure implications for me that have yet to strike her.
Although G.K. Chesterton maintains that,
"The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese,"
luckily the cartoonists have not, and I was delighted to find this comic in my newspaper recently:
Yes, melted cheese perfectly executed could most definitely inspire testimony, if not an entire religion -- the fried cheese curds I had while at the cabin in Wisconsin this summer, for instance, providing a perfect spiritual experience on which to build. (I've thought of them often and fondly since.)
"Many's the long night I've dreamed of cheese --
Robert Louis Stevenson
So in the interest of making Ms.Fall feel welcome by putting my most fattening, poetic foot forward, I thought I'd offer this autumnal ode, a ditty I've jotted this morning while simultaneously trying to determine whether I shall make an old fashioned grilled cheese or a pizza for lunch.
Joyce's sweet corpse of milk
melted and glistening
stretch of silk across my sandwich
your flavor river flowing
over my food, my plate
of luxury lengthening as I pull
you into my mouth
feeding greedily and with so
I saw a movie recently where one character was making noises while he was eating something delicious and the other character said, "stop having sex with your food!" and I felt a twinge of sudden guilt, knowing I may have committed the same sin myself from time to time.
But when the food involves melted cheese,
and it's the first day of autumn. . . .
well, if you don't want to listen to me eat, please leave the room.
Because I intend
to fully enjoy my lunch.