Crushing Tomatoes with Hands

a heap full of life on your hands

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein3 Comments

I had a project in kindergarten to make a cookbook. Everyone in the class had to bring in a typed copy of a favorite recipe. Cheese Puffs. Photocopies were made–hole punches included. We had to bind the recipe pages with yarn and create our own covers, which would later be laminated. Some kids traced their hand and made a turkey. Some drew fish or family members. Rainbows were popular. I told the teacher I wanted to sew. I sewed two pieces of construction paper together, sewing my name in thick colored yarn. The e came out backward: very Toys R Us. Construction paper, rubber cement, yarn and glitter contained behind the lamination. Cooking 101.

Kindergarten is about playground carpeting–sprawling out on your stomach, sore elbows, your first rug burn incident. Small chairs and wooden desks. Monkey bars and glue. Concentrating, yet lost in time–your tongue curls itself outside the corner of your mouth. Finger painting. At what age do we stop getting dirty–stop digging our hands in? Brushes get introduced to keep fingernails clean, like a fork or a knife. The only time now I get my hands dirty is when I cook or have really dirty seex.

Crushing tomatoes in my hands, letting the jelly and seeds seep through my fingers, pulling the pulp into strips. Viscous and lovely. I suppose they make hand blenders and food mills for this task. I know why I stopped jumping on the bed. I broke it having seex, so jumping on it wasn’t a good idea, but when did we get so clean?

Freud would have so much more to get wrong these days. The sublimation of fecal fixation as displayed by artists and chefs is no longer apparent. We’re not getting in it anymore. We’ve become sterile. And now, we’re aware of every hour, minutes are accounted for. Time sheets submitted. My New Year’s Resolution was to let my tongue hang out. It’s not about panting, picking fights, or making a pass. It’s about letting hours feel like minutes. Getting dirty and involved, letting my tongue out. It’s just not living anymore with neatly arranged catalog lives, polaroids taped to shoe boxes, everything in it’s place. Manicured nails and lawns–a holder for your kitchen sponge. I miss wearing a smock.

I’d be wary of anyone who can cook and keeps their hands clean. They can’t fcuk at all, and when they do have "intercourse," it’s probably clean and orderly, like boxes of soap.

Get dirty, sing with your eyes closed; let your tongue do what it wants. Get a heap full of life on your hands.

Comments

  1. I wouldn't dispute the sensual pleasures of crushing tomatoes with your bare hands, but I think a clean kitchen can be sexy. Of course, my kitchen is usually a clutter of dirty dishes and runaway spills, so I'm probably not one to judge.

    Love your writing. Keep it up.

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