So those mussels I mentioned yesterday came with bread. While my many-times-aforepromised discursion on bread baskets is coming forthwithish, Swimclub 32’s won’t merit mention, being neither a treat nor a shame; it contains thin slices of perfectly okay whole wheat. We were asked if we wanted butter or olive oil; we opted for the latter.

A ramekin of pale-yellow liquid arrived & I dipped disdainfully, expecting nothing prickly nor twiggy nor caramel—although I could have, according to this organoleptic evaluation chart, otherwise known as a sensory wheel, otherwise known as deep sadness in a circle—nothing more than nothing.

What I got startled me for a second. Was this melted butter? It sure tasted like it, but it was room temperature, so how now, dairy cow? The Director thought I was tasting things, but he did concur that the flavor was unexpectedly fine, & we dipped & kept dipping & even asked for a second ramekin.

When Pippi-Angelica returned, she told us its secret: it was 75% canola oil.

So basically a half-cup of Wesson was my favorite dish.

My point is this: just as the deconstructionists determined that a text’s essence inheres in its parentheticals, its footnotes, its errata & so on—in short, anywhere but in its supposedly meaningful body*—so I often find my very favorite flavors in sides, condiments, garnishes, leftovers, dregs, scraps, etc., anywhere but in the thing I’m really supposed to be eating or drinking.

Well, actually, that’s not my point. That’s a means by which to couch my point. That’s the elegant upholstery of a pointed confession. Here’s my point: I drink pickle juice. Not only do I drink pickle juice, but lately I’ve been mixing it with gin. Sometimes, when I run out of pickle juice before I run out of pickles, I add distilled vinegar & salt to the jar & then I drink that. Often my tummy hurts, but more often I think myself quite like Tristan Tzara.

*Not that the deconstructionists would admit to essentializing texts, but, essentially, they did.