9/24/09

Liver And Onions


.

Some people take everything so seriously, others just go with the flow. Some people take everything with a grain of salt and still others think every little thing is worth their attention.
.
Sade notices the beautiful people.
.
Living is the perfect example of multitasking. When you look at life, it’s not a linear process with one or two major events. It’s a series of multiple events happening at the same time like a wire on a giant cable. If you pick out a wire you will notice it is distinct and an entity all of its own. Yet is a part of the giant cable.
.
So, a very attractive female visitor in the lobby is looking at Sade going through the revolving glass door. Sade is aware of the pair of eyes penetrating through the glass doors. The woman’s lips are turned into a half smile. One quick glance, Sade immediately notices a hundred features about the woman: she must be in her fifties; nice short hair, graying, beautiful nose, stiff upper lip, silk scarf, shirt, suit, earrings, purse, nails, pinstripes, lipstick, blush on, shoes, trouser socks. Shoes! The woman is wearing beautiful leather Italian loafers, and she has a company identification card.... She thinks to herself, this woman is intelligent, those eyes! She has intelligent eyes and wishes they were friends and they were going to give each other a hug in the lobby…She snaps out of her vision as fast as she thought of it. There was something familiar and comforting with the woman but she cannot point it. So Sade nonchalantly goes through the revolving door without ever looking at the woman but she changes her pace from harried to calm.
.
When she finally emerges on the same side of the room, Sade gives the woman a quick nod and a smile, she senses that the woman wants to say something and instead the woman does this quick movement of her lips and shoulders as if to say something. Sade saves her from the awkward moment by flashing a smile, full smile and greets the woman a very cheerful good morning. The woman smiles back, she looked very delighted but was still unsure of what to say. Sade continues walking towards the elevators to go to her office but before she quickens her pace, she says to the woman: “I love your shoes! They look fabulous on you, you look very lovely. Have a wonderful day!” then she runs towards the open elevator. She glances at the woman whose gaze was glued to her all this time, smiling, just before the elevator closes. She grins. Bill, who is with Sade gets into the elevator with her and smiles. He says: “Did you know her?” “No, I was just saying hello.” Bill says, wow, I can’t do that. If I said that to a woman, she might think I am making a pass at her”. Sade turns to Bill and tells him, “So you are making a pass at me all the time then?”. Bill tells Sade it’s different because they know each other. “Hmn, same difference” Sade replies. “Giving compliments is an equal opportunity deal. I will compliment a man when I feel like doing it without expecting anything back.”
.
The following week Sade attends a meeting. She and Troy are the last ones to arrive. They acknowledge everyone in the room. Their clients are sitting across the table. Sade smiles at them and notices something familiar with the female client, she recognizes her as the woman in the lobby. She is smiling and looks very friendly. Sade pushes her chair slightly away from the table and slightly slants her head to look underneath the table. Then she looked back at the client and tells her softly almost whispering “You are wearing my favorite shoes of yours!” They share a private laugh. Her name is Jennifer. During the meeting Sade and Jennifer keep glancing and smiling at each other taking caution not to make each other uncomfortable. After the meeting they linger in the conference room and talk about business and work as everyone else walks out of the room. Sade suddenly exclaims “Jennifer, the rape nurse! You were the SANE!” Jennifer is startled and gazes at Sade then says “Sade, oh my God, Mona!.” They worked together for six months twenty two years ago.
..
They laugh loudly and hug each other. Jennifer remembers Sade’s husband and Sade recalls something then asks “Did you marry that intern?” and Jennifer replies “No, he turned out to be gay.” They giggle for a long time and then they go to lunch together. They talk about work, their dogs, Mama Mia, music, their children and husbands, they recall a physician named James Bond and a Dr. Pepper and how they paged him overhead “Paging Diet Dr. Pepper”, and the GI doctor named Dr. Potts and the urology intern named Dr. Wienner and the hot nurse who moved to L.A. and was on CNN coverage of the gay and lesbian rally and she had written on her face the words “second class citizen’, she looked so angry and miserable. Then they talk about the black nurse whose body was found floating in a Louisiana bayou. They are silent for a moment. Sade remains silent while Jennifer continues talking about the project they are working on together.
.
Sade does not hear a word Jennifer says for her voice is now muffled. Sade finds herself in the front seat of a car in the evening after work, driving home with Sandy. She was a friend of Sade. Sandy pulled out a joint and lit it nonchalantly while her left hand steered. Sade had a conniption fit, throwing every curse word in her vocabulary and pleading with Sandy to stop smoking the blasted weed. Sade thought it was plain stupid and irresponsible to do so, especially while Sandy was still wearing her nursing scrubs. Sandy just laughed at her. Sade remembers looking at Sandy’s beautiful face, she looked like a model, well-chiseled features. She remembers the day she told her husband about Sandy’s death. She only found out because she chatted with her friend Lyn who nonchalantly mentioned Sandy’s death. She felt the whole world crushing down on her and Lyn felt horrible because she thought Sade knew. Sade and her husband were driving and Sade felt very cold, her shirt was soaked with tears.
.
She closes her eyes and she sees Sandy blowing the smoke from the joint, baring her bright white teeth, laughing and mocking her. “God!” she thought “She was beautiful!” She loved liver and onions, Yuck! Sade was so disgusted by it and Sandy ate it every Tuesday making Sade retch. Sandy liked to lean on and against the rails at the cafeteria while they went through the line to order. They entertained each other with risqué and salacious jokes told in whispering tones and they giggled like high school girls. Yet both declared they hated high school. One day Sade asked Sandy, “Do you know who died today?” Sandy asked “Who?” Sade continued “I don’t know but they are serving his liver.” Sandy turned about face and delivered a hard blow to Sade’s left arm, it brought tears to her eyes. Sade could not move her arm without pain during the remainder of their shift. Sandy never ate liver and onions again. They were the same age and used to celebrate their birthdays together. Sandy was only thirty-two. That entire year outside of work, Sade did not see any of her friends. Now and then she tried to remember the pain on her arm to remind herself that her friend once lived.

20 comments:

Renee said...

First off, I love liver and onions.

Second off, I burst out laughing at the fro.

Third and most serious, I just read Jacquie what you wrote and you have given her a gift.

Thank you for giving Jacquie that gift, Ces it is beautifully written and beautifully true.

Love you.

Renee xoxo

Ces said...

And yes, I now love liver and onions or at least the dish makes me smile.

The fro is coming off soon. It's hot and itchy!

I am humbled.

You are welcome.

And I love you.

Ces xoxo

Allegra Smith said...

Hello darling,

no, not today. Feeling like something Colette would have brought in if she was allowed to go outside. The feline princess lives inside and so I am "like something" not "something" but feel just as sickly as I did last week. I am so tired of this I cannot begin to tell you...sigh.

Love the story and adore liver and caramelized onions with tons of fresh made mashed potatoes with butter and cream. Maybe once every ten years because it takes me that long to lose the calories but if you really want to treat yourself soak the liver in milk overnight in the refrigerator, dry it well, salt, pepper and Panko or just flour to cover the entire surface so it won't explode and sauteed in olive oil and a bit of butter. Then tell the world to go away and enjoy every single morsel.

Love you sisterfriend, thank you for the note, it made me smile.

Ces said...

Allegra, my dear, I cannot begin to imagine. I have seen the faces and the expressions and I am afraid I am too weak and not brave enough to see a friend suffer so I have to stop being afriend so I can take care of someone. But how does one do that, just stop being a friend or a mother or a wife? I don't know what I am saying anymore. I am as sick as you are of being sick so let me back up and once again be myself: Okay okay. Rest. stay where you are and I will be back with somthing hot or cold or tepid which one would it be? Aah! I get it, a backrub. Hahahaha! I really don't nurse like that. I am very soft spoken as a nurse and I whisper a lot. Go to sleep now, I'll be around...

Ces said...

I still will not eat liver and onions but I love it that my friend liked it and it made her happy but excuse me - eeek!

Bella Sinclair said...

Darling Ces, this story makes me feel so sad and empty. Beautifully written. It follows a deep river of consciousness and starts off light and frothy, but it ends in a cataract.

And I do not like liver, not one bit. Not with a hat, not with a rat, not on a train, not in the rain.

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

I'm a liver and onion girl too. Can't get enough of the stuff. My husband won't kiss me after I eat through he he he! I get asked the same question.," How do you know it's not human liver?" LOL! What a great picture and story Ces. Although I must tell you that I couldn't stop laughing at the side bar pictures. LOL! I'm still laughing! Okay now I've shaved!!!! LOL! It's crazy! And this is why I love you! You are a wicked city woman after all he he he!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

It was a great story in all seriousness. Very moving indeed. But still like the stuff. I will eat it in a box, I will eat it with a fox. I will eat it here are there. I will eat it anywhere.

Tessa said...

And not even when I'm sane, frankly.

But this is not about culinary favourites. It is an extraordinary tale, beautifully told. Gently exploratory, genuinely moving. Rather reminiscent of the more thoughtful, grown-up side of Roald Dahl.

Loving your squiggle and squirt Sade drawings very much. And I love that you want to be remember as someone who loved intensely, thought keenly and expressed outrageously. All of which, it seems to me, you do do.

Me? I just want to keep on dancing.

Loved my visit here. Thank you, Ces. Especially for being you.

Tessa said...

Damn! That comment was supposed to follow after Bella's in terms of rhyme and rhythm - but the lovely Vanessa pipped me to the post!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Ah Ces,
I love the comparison of life and the large cable of wire.....everything is tied together, but different and to be examined deeply.
The story was marvelous and having spent so much time around hospitals and physicians (both parents died 17 days apart---nursed them for three solid years) there is, even in the tragedy a deeper humor because I *see* the cafeteria where I ate lunch so often and find the liver joke hilarious.......it is in some way coming to terms with a past that still is somewhat unresolved, and this is a delightful way to have that happen.
And I thank you.
And Sade too! ;)

XXOO!!!
Anne
P.S. She should have grabbed the Italian loafers and run!

yoborobo said...

Ces - what a wonderful writer you are. You manage to capture the little moments, which aren't so little after all. A very hard thing to do, I think. It takes someone who is watching, and taking pictures in her mind. I think your mind goes 'click, click, click.' :)

Deborah said...

Ces, this is beautifully written, and yet, random/abstract me is left quite lost and wanting more. I shall have to return many times throughout the day to re-read and take in.

I hate liver. Anything that smells that nasty cooking cannot be healthy to eat. No even with sugar on it.

But I love you, my Cessalicious.

Deborah said...

Awe, Ces, how I love you!! Just read your comment on my extremely republican post...teehee! I just could not control myself when I wrote it. At least I was a silly teen back in the day of "Peace, Man." AND I did not even smoke pot! I was a radical sober Hippie! I knew that you would get it. Me. **kisskiss** Deb

Deborah said...

Ahhhhh that would be the young drug-free hippie of 1971!

Deborah said...

No, if that were the case, I would have used this photo...just bored waiting for hubby to come home...

Deborah said...

Hubby hyperventilated seeing that one! We'll go with the more innocent look in the little pink dress that I made.

Deborah said...

Yes, made the dress. I used to make all of my clothes. Handy with a glue gun too! But now I got hubby all excited with the bikini photo and must go sit with him on the couch! Wishing you a lovely evening, my lovely friend.

Mary said...

This is a wonderful, multi-layered story, Ces. Thank you for it and for the delightful drawings--amazing how much personality your portray with a few well-chosen lines.

I'm glad I found your creative, lively blog via your comments on Manon's & Deborah's.

Baino said...

Nope not an offal fan myself but it makes nice gravy. This sounds slightly biographical Ces? Is it? Funnily I catch myself doing that . . seeking a moment in time to remind me of those who are no longer with me in the flesh but I know are around in spirit. Very moving story.