Unfinished Business

A row of fat chorus girls in lime green lace kicking up their fat pink thighs. A Bavarian housewife washing her husband’s snotty handkerchiefs in the river. Three bespeckled German curators peering at an LA pornography magazine in awe and terror. A dozen kids with a handful of Mexican jumping beans and a football. A dirty man with consumption eating limburger with his fingers on a Paris street corner, naked. These things you do in remembrance of things past and of things yet to come. Three crackers to betide the mass. Don’t slurp your tea. Stir the soup, quoth he. Mind your own god damn business— his wife. The children, Hansel and Gretel, take turns watching the cockroaches in the corner. Fava beans are like large lima beans with hard shells. They taste much like lentils, and make good soup. Somewhere, I have the recipe, if I can find it. It is in the closet, with the galoshes. It is in the garden, in a hole. My older daughter keeps flushing it down the toilet. It is on my mother-in-law’s kitchen wall. She takes it down on the Jewish special days. Let me read it back to you. Fava beans produce a red gravy that is much like human blood in color and consistency, when boiled. It is a common ingredient in most infidel pies and witch caldrons. Blood pudding, a favorite of the English, however, contains no fava beans. No one could find any fava beans. No chef is truly great without a good supply of fava beans, but most have had to do without. “There are no completions in nature,” wrote Ernest Fenollosa. Ernest Fenollosa was a great fan of fava beans.

1 July 1975