Cooking competition

I was flipping through the how-to life book in my brain, looking for all the sections on what to do if pain is winning like some kind of oversized, muscled up, body thrasher on Wide World of Wrestling, how to live life with one leg, and how to smile when you really don’t mean it and coming up with a deep and wide nothing. I took pills, massaged, excercised, laid flat out (on the bed, in the park, on the kitchen table for dinner and on the floor for general conversation), chiropracted and wept. Nothing. And so then what? Hire a gurney, and how does that work on a plane?
The house was empty. With my good leg I made my way to the kitchen. I borrowed a line from Ferdinand. “YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME?” I said, and I threw all of the Advil, the Aleve, and the Tylenol into the bin. “BRING IT ON, GIVE ME ALL YOU GOT, I’M NOT AFRAID (a little bit lying). And then I started to cook. I braised potatoes and leeks, I made a soffritto of finely minced carrots, celery, onion and garlic with fresh sage for some lovely cannellini, and then started a risotto with mint, basil and pencil thin asparagus. I baked a cake. And when I was done, I packed it all up and gave it to my girlfriends.
And do you know, today I’m feeling better. Of course it could have been the massages, the chiropractics, the exercise or the lying around or the weeping, but I like to believe that there is something about having a fight with the devil and then cooking with all the love you have to give, to fight your way back.

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