I’m Hungry

Posted: July 21, 2010 by gabrielstrickland in Gabriel's Rants
Tags: , , , ,

I’m guessing that hearing a vampire say “I’m hungry” might be kinda scary for you mortals out there, but chill, okay. I’m a double-dead vampire. I don’t drink blood anymore. I eat food. Yup, food. Just like you.

I’m not real sure why you’d give a crap about this subject but my literary maker Deborah Riley-Magnus, who wrote Cold in California (the book I’m in), tells me I should talk about whatever I feel like talking about. Given the fact that I don’t want to talk about being twice baked, I don’t want to talk about my job these days – which is to consciously earn my way into heaven or hell, an irritating concern persistently nagging at me – and figuring that you’d all just move on to some other blog if I went on a confession spree and blathered about the crap I did as a living, bloodsucking vampire … I’m thinking food might be a safe subject.

I’ve had me a few lives, three so far. I was born on a farm and grew up during the Depression. That little historical accounting error showed up in the Indiana corn fields long before it reared its ugly head in the big cities. Needless to say, food wasn’t much of an extravagance. At thirty-something, I met a vampire and he met me. Lights out.

During the next almost eighty years, I lived in the dark but food was always somehow in the picture. Honestly, if I wasn’t watching humans eat, I was smelling what they ate hours earlier. If I wasn’t noticing a commercial for Pizza Hut on the television over the bar, I was working as a short order cook back in the kitchen. Yeah, of course I worked. A guy’s gotta make some money sometimes. Never was one for just stealing. Maybe I had too many hard times to force them on another man. So sometime … I cooked. I wasn’t real good at it and the smell made me gag. Not anymore.

So here I am, lifetime number three and wondering … why me? I’m sure what you’re wondering is … why do I eat food? Let’s just say that when the Big Kahuna, the Dude upstairs, the Boss Man decided to give me another chance, he made the playing field pretty level. So, aside from being able to smell knockwurst grilling a mile away, clearly hearing the whispered conversations all the way up on Sunset Blvd. and the ability to run faster than you can see, everything else is just like you. Everything. Even the digestive system.

*belch*

Let me ask you something. You’re all human, breathing, alive. You have the luxury of relishing everything available to you but do you? Really, do you? Walking along Santa Monica in West Hollywood, not far from the  … ah … place where I live with other dead supernaturals, I distinctly heard the pop of a wine cork. I caught the scent of a great red and how it blended with whatever was offered on the plate with it and I was hooked. Inside I read the menu like it was a bible. All too good to be true, expensive like anyplace that serves good wine. I couldn’t understand a word of the descriptions but I sure as hell could point and order.

That’s the difference. The experience of food is so all new to me, I can’t begin to tell you the crazy, near sexual peaks I reach. What I ate as a farmer in the 1930’s tasted nothing like this. The blood I savored since then did carry a hint of Chinese or Mexican, and on occasion a little rich French foie gras, but this? This is biting into a thousand textures, not just the firm flesh of a pulsing host. The smooth sweetness of creams, glazes, melting chocolate. The crunch of a good, hard pretzel. The sensation of pasta marinara sliding down my throat … holy blood pudding! An explosion of flavors, spices, herbs, alliums. Alliums? That’s cook-speak. Alliums are onions, leeks, scallions, shallots. In 1941 I dined on a chef’s daughter in St. Louis. She taught me about alliums, and she taught me some other stuff I won’t mention here. (We’ll just leave that for another blog, okay?)

Here’s what I know. Food’s the bomb. It’s more than nutrition. It’s comfort, indulgence, being bad without having to pay for it – until my jeans get too tight. Food makes friends and enemies. It changes and defines the human dynamic. Truth is … food is what makes humans human. Amazing. Never knew that before I died … twice. Food beats the hell out of just about anything (short of sex) as a reason to be alive.

Last word on food before I go get something to eat. My first meal after arriving in this third existence was pastrami. Amazing, tangy, juicy pastrami and I tasted that at one of Los Angeles’ most famous restaurants since the 50’s, Johnnie’s Pastrami. Go there. Eat. Tell me I’m wrong.

I dare you.

Come back again. Watch for my rants. Because … life looks real different this time.

Cold in California, COMING SOON!

Cold in California cover, lg

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