“I bought groceries– I thought I could cook dinner sometime.”
My dad made steak and pasta with onions and mushrooms in a cream sauce. I laid on the floor by the fire while butter and heat worked their magic, scrolling, writing, reading.
“I hope it’s all right,” he said. (There is an almost worshipful doubt about food in the Arrowsmith line, as if God Herself and all her familiars were sitting down to eat, and the cook has suddenly understood how very, very mortal he or she is).
I said, “Even my kid making me a burrito tastes good– there’s something about someone else making me food that always tastes better.” (This is true, and it’s also true that my dad is a fantastic cook).
It was marvelous. Subtle, layered, unpretentious, perfect: nutmeg and salt and fat, and a splash of red wine to wash it down and match the strong blush of pink in the meat.
Then a Danish film, lying on the floor like two kids at a slumber party, finishing our wine and making a dent in the good chocolate. A film about pride and belonging, fathers and the way life maybe isn’t built around redemption but is windswept and pulled by unseen tides, by the ticking clock, and the gifts we are able to give.