No, I cannot.

I admit it. I can’t fill out a form. I am on my fifth try now with Ferdinand’s health insurance hanging in the balance. The first time I wrote Jonathan’s information on the wrong line, the next time I sent in the wrong proof of income, third time I sent in the right proof but with the wrong addition, fourth time I initialed my mistakes but forgot to date them and now I’m crabby I’m sleepless I’m guilty and I’m a good example of treading water in full denim. They told me I had to start from the beginning.
This happened to me with carrot cake once. Every single time it came out of the oven it was wrong. I called my mother after midnight and woke her from her sleep to tell her that I couldn’t bake anymore that I was in the wrong profession that I was giving up. “Go to bed” she said. “Try again in the morning.”
What am I going to do, tell Ferdie “I’m sorry Ferdie, some moms can’t dance, some moms can’t sear and some moms can’t fill in the blanks. You can’t ever leave the house again honey, there’s just too many germs out there.”

I’m close to taking up smoking in the basement and I’m trying again.

Let me wander into the world I love. Let me talk to you about pasta. In a heavy saute pan give a pour of the most beautiful olive oil you can get your hands on. Rub some into your hair just because. Finely chop an onion and a red pepper. Smash and mince a clove of garlic. Mince a little fresh red chili. Fry 8 fresh basil leaves w/the garlic over a medium/low heat and then get them out of the pan as soon as the basil has gone crisp and the garlic is nearly golden. Give the pan another splash of olive oil; slide in the onions and pepper with a pinch of salt, one of pepper, a sprig of rosemary if you have it and the chili. Keep them going until you can barely keep yourself from eating the whole thing. Add a seeded chopped small tomato and let it go in there for one more minute. If the tomato isn’t rolling in ripeness, forget about it. Everything out of the pan again. Okay to set it right on top of the basil. Teeny bit of olive oil and four handfuls of baby spinach leaves. Give it a pinch of salt and let it wilt. Dress it with another drizzle of oil.
Salt the water and bring it to a boil (meanwhile) add about 9 ounces of pasta. When it is al dente, still firm as a twelve year old upper arm, drain it well and reserve some of the cooking water. Get the pasta in the saute pan. Slide all of the vegetables on top and a good handful of grated that minute parmesan on top of that. Get stirring and add a drizzle of your reserved cooking water (about 2 tablespoons.) Taste for salt and pepper and maybe even another drizzle of olive oil.
That’s beautiful. That’s what gives me hope.

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