Thursday Night



I'm still working on that book



A secret blend of spices, oils, and salts



I may toast a few of them in a skillet next time round



It’s Thursday night.  I come home to my apartment, empty and cold.  I’ve worked late at the office – we needed to get out some construction site observation notes before end of the day.  I’ve got lots to do tonight – make dinner, pack for a trip to the west side, plan out a wedding shoot, study, process all that’s happened during the day, fix my bike for winter riding.  I sit and listen to the messages on my phone again.  What a difference 15 minutes can make.


I sigh and putter about, looking in my cupboards – exploring the deep recesses of my refrigerator trying to find inspiration.  Half a head of red cabbage, an onion, a can of water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and mushrooms. Some chicken breast I had sliced, seasoned, and frozen last month. 

“What had I seasoned that with any way . . . False saffron, salt, fire oil and something else . . . “

“Why do I buy red cabbage . . . it never looks good in leftovers”

On the floor next to my bookshelf lies a stack of Louis L`Amour audiobooks, tonight it’ll be “The High Lonesome” and as I chop vegetables, and thaw out the chicken I listen.

And as so often happens I stop listening, I start thinking – thinking about work, about my student loans, about bills, and Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights, and weddings and funerals, and births and life.  And I fade back in – suddenly the story breaks in upon my mind, and I realize not been listening.

I put 5 cloves of garlic thru the press, I put dried chilies, oils and salts into the pestle.  I grind and grind and grind.  I sit at my desk and smell and think. 

My apartment is cold – I find a sweater.  The chickens thawed by now.  I’m waiting for my 4 cups of rice to finish cooking before I start the stir fry.  For some reason I though 4 cups would not be an insane amount of rice for a single guy to make.  4 cups of rice, 2 of them long brown rice, 1 cup a very very glutinous rice (I learned really quick never to let this stuff dry on anything) and 1 cup of sticky rice.  4 cups of rice, 7 of water. By the time the rice is cooked the bad guys have ridden into town, robbed the bank and managed to evade the posse.


And again I’m lost in thought – it is odd to see how alone, how solitary life can be even with people nearby.  Quietly routine slips in and provides a framework that keeps loneliness at bay.  There are dishes to do.  Leftovers to weight out and divide.  Laundry, and photo projects, weekends which are a blur of activity.

And . . . and now the ring leader is giving up an chance to escape into Mexico with the loot, to instead save a beautiful young lady and her father from the Indians. 


I love this stuff.



It’s all so . . . so – perfectly predictable, and wonderfully chivalrous.  I’m guessing it was an early Spanish ancestor’s of Louis L`Amour  whose tales of chivalry drove Don Quixote to his mad adventures.

The Virginian – now there’s a chivalric tale – and I see I’m straying from whatever point I started on. 



In the end I made dinner, I did my dishes, I left the packing and the planning for the morning.  I finished the story.  I sat and pondered, asking myself what are the sources of contentment – but that conversation is too long to post here.


All in all, a good – albeit quiet Thursday night.


  1. Yes, Neil, I love it. I remember reading all the Louis L'amour books as a kid, and I do remember high lonesome.

    Instead of giving up loot, you need to give up your Thursday night all alone, and go swoop some young lady off her feet.


  2. I don't know..."swooping" a lady off her feet might not be quite as well accepted as the traditional "sweeping". Swooping just sounds a bit vulture-like.

  3. Maybe swooping is done in song while sweeping is just ...well sweeping