In the grocery, I pick fruit out of bins. Raspberries all ship from the same place in California. I grab a fountain drink, let ice cubes plop, plop, bouncing into my squeaky Styrofoam cup. Cabbage the color of amethyst is such a bargain it could be free. A pint of Bluebell ice cream won’t hurt, or the fudge topping I’ll heat and drip, drip, drip. On the meat aisle, Malcolm finds the perfect chuck roast. I can’t think about the animal, her worried mind, her nerves that carry pain. Red means fresh, but red is blood. On the drive home, I spritz our hands with bacteria killer that smells of lavender and freshens.

If I were to lose Malcolm, I would curtail eating meat. He’s the fixer of slow cooked delicious foods in heavy pots. He keeps it simple: sautés onions, celery and bell pepper, braises the sides of flesh, sticks the Dutch roaster in the oven for three hours. Before the roast comes out, I’ll make the cheat of instant mashed potatoes from real spuds.

On TCM, it’s Harry Belafonte week, in honor of MLK day, when businesses close and New Orleanians parade, go to church, do good works, but Malcolm and I will stay in our bubble, eating enough for two when we might have set a bigger table.

“Joy of Plenty” – Nina Z. Temple –

Ink on 300 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper

22″ x 30″