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El Sombrero and The Great Miasma

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St. Joseph's festivities knocked me out before I could post yesterday, so this is a two-in-one entry in which I discuss a lot of food and a severed finger. Yesterday we snacked on blue cheese and walnut baguette, dry roasted peanuts and the like, so that by around five I felt if I didn't get a bowl of homemade soup I'd die. You know that feeling of having been bombarded by snack food? So Dear One and I traipsed Rue Belanger for a likely hole-in-the-wall, and I felt drawn to a place called El Sombrero. We've passed El Sombrero hundreds of times. Someone has painted orange mountains on the walls, and seagulls on the ceilings, which is okay because that same someone has festooned the room with lovely, real plants that seem to be thriving in an atmosphere of love. The soup section of the menu was nice and long, and we settled on something called pozole. Pozole turned out to be one of those homey, peasant dishes you normally can't get anywhere other than in a place where someone loves you. It contains hominy, which I've always been curious about: a mealy, ultra-satisfying and starchy corn floating around in a rich, red broth. Hiding at the bottom of the broth were pieces of tender, long-roasted pork. The bowl was huge, and there were tortillas to play with. I became an instant pozole fan, even though Dear One was the one who ordered it., as I had ordered the much paler caldo de pollo, a chicken and coriander broth with white rice. Longsuffering Dear One kindly lets me ransack everything he orders.

Today's new thing involved the severed finger, which figures in the murder mystery I've been writing for the past year. I had to sew up some loose ends, but I couldn't do it at home because it's tax time, so I had to travel across town to meet with my accountant, after which it was too far to schlepp all the way back home to write. Today, instead of figuring out the ins and outs of the severed finger in my usual cafe haunt, I thought I might go to Premier Moisson at Atwater Market. But it snowed a nasty wet snow, and there was a bit of a walk between that market and the metro station, and I was feeling cold and sulky. I was not feeling at all like an intrepid soul who does a brave new thing every day of the year. So I hit upon the marvelous idea of writing my heart out at the food court in Alexis Nihon mall. It's the mall adjacent to Dawson College CEGEP, so at one point, for a couple of hours, I wrote about the severed finger in the din of a thousand teenagers yelling over their pizza slices at each other. It's a funny thing but at home if Dear One or JR poke their heads through the door and utter a whisper, I fly into a self-righteous frenzy about how I need silence. But if 900 Dawson College students want to have a screaming food fight I can write my heart out in the middle of it. In this, my first time using the mall food court as my writing studio, I wrote four times as much as I ever write in my "room of my own". Maybe I need to dissolve more often into The Great Miasma. 


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