Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sweat Rice with Crabs

I was surprisingly clever this weekend when I decided to visit the blog of those Who Walk In Brooklyn, which I rarely do because mostly it goes over my head. Thanks to someone's posting finesse, the subjects were broken down into small gratifying units which I set upon like a hobo trapped too long in a boxcar would a deep dish of Jambalaya.

There was a mention of the term Rockapulco. I am not seasoned enough to know what that meant but I had my suspicions. Sure enough, it turns that some who walketh in Brooklyn surfeth in Queens. How they occupy themselves in the 3 other buroughs I am have yet to discover. What I want them to do, whoever they are, what I want everyone to do, is take pictures of lovely decrepit laundromats. Do it and do it now before they're all coated with layers of vinyl in insipid colors and powdery sheetrock replaces all the formica. I can post them on the Museum of Laundry or maybe someone's already making a fabulous book. I haven't shot a laundromat in months and I'm tired of the ones around here in Park slope. At least I can humbly thank Lisanne MCT for the Museum's newest donation, a shot of soap packaging that reminds me to be both diligent and stylish the next time I slog through the cleansing of 5 people's dirty clothes.

Not knowing Rockapulco from a hole in my slog, I happily realized that I'd been there, obviously led to the surfin' beach in the Rockaways by people with far greater equilibrium than myself. I think that was the first time I ever saw real live surfers, and it was odd to see what a contemplative species they are. Of course I didn't try to feed them or interfere with whatever currents guide them in and out of the surf that claims them. I occupied myself with picking up some crabs among other things. No, not under the boardwalk, sadly, but along the surf, in all sizes.

The crabs smelled really bad on the way home in the car, but I'm learning the differences between good and bad stink, and the crabs were a good one. We drove our friends' child home from the beach, and after we'd traveled a few blocks along he said he missed the stink of his own car. Then he said he missed his parents and he was scared that they were dead. Oh, child mind, I remember you well. I wish for you the comfort that a certain special stink can bring.

My kids don't love the way my car stinks so I wonder what's the matter with my family. My little one always complains about the way the car smells, especially when it's hot, and I tell her she doesn't know anything about stink, and then, with fervor and glee, start in on the litany of things that might possibly smell worse, of which there are many. On the top of the pile, the rotten fish guts that got stuck in the tire tread at some point this summer. That was a really bad smell.

He Who Walks blogged me through a series of West Indian dishes including sweat rice, on which one would no doubt find a very distinct aroma, and other intriguing dishes made while using very specific body parts in unusual fashion. Really, don't miss that post.

Also, while searching the web for confirmation regarding this Rockapulco place, I came across a) this sort of transcendental and challenging quote from Einstein, posted on, whatever that is:

"A human being is a part of the whole Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty.”

and b) the very satisfying website of Oxford dictionary editor and contributor Barry Popik, Mr. Why-Is-NYC-called-the-Big-Apple, also known as Mr. This-isn't-Fun-City-anymore!

Sometimes it's amazing what manner of creation I'll find under one especially rhythmic portmanteau. By the way, it appears my crabs aren't the only things that stink in Windsor Terrace lately, but maybe you've read the Cran-do man already?

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