While most people enjoyed wings and nachos, I sampled handmade fettuccini and mozzarella, swordfish rolled and stuffed with pine nuts and currants, poached sea bass with white wine, tomato and basil, caponata, and dozens of other southern Italian dishes. It wasn’t an ordinary menu for Super Bowl Sunday. The food was outstanding, so it is not from distaste that I reflected on the difference between my experience and the experiences of those taking in the entertainment.
In the hours spent in the kitchen, I practiced the craft with intensity and it was made possible by the spaces that were cut out to accommodate it. I was at the margin and had begun to stumble over my own multitasking. I dropped food at my friend’s condo only to learn that I left it at the neighbor’s door on the floor below hers. At night, once I finally settled in to write my paper for class, I fell asleep moments later with the lights on and only a few words on the page. I studied for my exam as I brushed my teeth and dried my hair – the materials in one hand while the other tried to keep me presentable. My bed went unmade and exercise had been reduced to jumping jacks in the living room while my son played me “workout music” on a tiny untuned guitar. The progress I made in my studies was affirming but I felt separated from what had brought me to this place. On the way home, my son and I watched out the window together as the plane transcended from the ground and I wondered what I was passing by.
And then I saw it through a little longer. We made it home that night to catch the last moments of the game’s sudden death ending that bedtime in all likelihood would have come before had travel not dictated our evening routine. On Monday night, we had a “Super Bowl Party” with all the proper fixings as we delightfully watched my son’s favorite cartoons. I received a note of gratitude from the neighbor that received the lentils by happenstance and the gesture of giving expanded. Everything else was unimportant.
And I felt closer.