Chapter 1. Pasta and Salad
They were back to back cooking Friday night dinner. The usual. Pasta and salad. He asked her what she was thinking. She told him the truth. He changed his mind about slicing the cherry tomato in half. Instead he turned to admire her lovely sensual back as she stirred the marinara sauce.
Chapter 2. Basil and Oregano
His grip tightened. The sweetness of freshly plucked basil and oregano enveloped the kitchen. The spaghetti strap on her white cotton sundress slipped loosely over her tanned shoulder. Her hair scooped high in a messy tail exposed her delicate neck. He was no longer hungry. The truth had that affect on him.
Chapter 3. Marinara Sauce
The sway to her hips as she grooved to Coldplay broke his heart. Nobody said it was easy. They got that right. Her sultry Italian lips kissed the wooden spoon smothered in steaming marinara. When they first started cooking together she would invite him to taste her sauce. But it was no longer his palate that she was seeking to please.
Chapter 4. Steamy Sacred Ritual
She adjusted the seasoning and plunged the spoon back into the thick rich sauce. He noticed that one of her turquoise earrings was missing and this made him feel sad. God, it was hotter than hell outside and sizzling in their tiny kitchen. Yet she insisted on keeping this weekly culinary ritual. “Sacred,” she called it. Insane, was more like it.
Chapter 5. Boiling Water
He was sweating bullets yet she was cool as a cucumber. Her full childbearing hips rotated in pulsing infinity circles. Round and round. Effortlessly sustaining the rhythm of the driving guitar riff, all the while stirring the marinara. Irony is cruel at times. Some voids were impossible to fill. The stainless steel pasta pot, a wedding gift from her parents, had come to a full boil. Spitting and splashing beads of water violently onto the stove top. Like angry tears. He could relate.
Chapter 6. Fistfuls of Linguine.
As she reached for the pasta, he could see the thin translucent scar on the inside of her fragile wrist. Exposed and formidable. Skimming the surface of her veins. He longed to run his finger across it. Feel her vulnerability once more. He remembered how red and swollen it was at first. Like a lost river. But they were beyond that now. She measured the linguine by fistfuls. One for him. One for her. One for the pot. Just in case.
Chapter 7. Forks and Other Kokkengrej.
She reached for the stainless steel fork that was stuffed in the pottery utensil jar next to the stove. It was the big one he used to remove the steaks from the BBQ. He knew it was bad form to pierce the meat like that. Releases their juices, she would chastise. Toughens the meat and makes it hard to chew. He knew this. But he couldn’t resist the urge to stab. Impale lifeless objects. It was in his blood. He was once an ancient warrior. She was the Goddess of basil and other fine herbs.
Chapter 8. Al Dente.
He leaned back on the counter and watched as she stirred the pasta. He had difficulty breathing around her. There was a time when this was fun. And romantic. He closed his eyes and remembered. How she used to test the linguine. How she’d take a few strands and toss them across the room. How they giggled and applauded the sticky ones. How they carved their love in steam.
Chapter 9. Breaking Bread
She insisted he cut the bread into perfectly polite little pieces. “It’s not rocket science,” he scoffed as he pulled out the scarred pine board and prepared the Filone for cutting. It wasn’t all that different from sawing a piece of wood. A skill he had mastered at his father’s side by the time he was eight. She was all wrong about the bread though. It was made to be broken, torn and ripped apart. Stuffed into their mouths like savages.
Picture Book Version.