Tuesday, October 11

The Sum

I haven't cooked much recently. A few friends and I did brunch, but afterwards there was (are) a chingo of dirty dishes, piled in a filthy, colorful, abstract-sculpture kind of way, so I'm able to convince myself that it really would be wrong of me to disturb them.

Something I've realized, more now than I did before, is that when I think of myself or my personality, I don't separate my family from that concept. Obviously, there are variations, (Dad is the hypochondriac, Mindee is the type A (love you, don't get offended, hormones), Ian is the eccentric, Benjamin is the shrill one at campfires, etc. :) but I imagine it kind of like a mole; there are all these separate ingredients, and you taste the variations of the chocolate, ancho chiles, cinnamon, garlic, and a mess of other ingredients, but combined they've created a totally distinct flavor--that is a whole unto itself, and while hints of the former ingredients are there, they can be hard to identify and separate. (Think Top Chef name that ingredient challenge).

Someone told me once that I confused them with the way I used the pronoun "we". I use it without specifically mentioning the "others" that are contained in it, and consequently hearers would assume it was a you(listener)-and-I (speaker) "we", but it really is a my family-and-I "we".

I keep wanting to write about Murray. About all the things we (my sense of the word) think about and feel when we think of him. Things he loves, has done, stories he's told or been a part of--the time he found the perfect Jelly-Belly combination that tasted exactly like cleaning out the grainbins, the color of our new "chemical" Norvee 500, him falling in the river at Indian Bluffs and having to wear my pants back to Iowa City, his face when he told the story of lifting heavy objects without making noise--but like ingredients and my language have done, my memories and feelings meld into a whole, larger than just one ingredient represents, and I can't convey the depth with just one. All the mornings with obscene amounts of coffee, all the picnics, all the meals, lawn games, holidays, rides in the car...

“I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I'm gone which would not have happened if I had not come.”
Midnight's Children Salman Rushdie