I haven’t talked much about The Wolf recently, but she’s still here. She lurks. It’s full-on winter, and when the cold saps my energy the same way it does everyone else’s, she bares her teeth.
Today, this came, in the form of a Christmas card. It’s just a dog named Lois, wrapped up in Christmas lights, but every time I walk by it, I think of my wolf. I wish I could plug her in, too. Only with her, I’d smash one of the bulbs so she got electrocuted.
Wait, was that mean? Sorry. It’s just . . . I’m frazzled.
I don’t have to tell you that it’s a busy time of year. I do have to remind myself, though. There are whole weeks when it’s impossible to forget I have lupus, but some days, I do forget, which is half wonderful, but half dangerous, because it means I also lose track of how much energy I’m using. Grandmothers and parties and deadlines (and extra espresso) have been replacing afternoon naps recently, and I can feel the toll. My legs feel wiggly, just walking up the five stairs to the house. My hands ache, especially under the fleshy place at the bottoms of my thumb joints. I have more and more trouble opening things; I have to concentrate to peel a tangerine. My hair is falling out in big clumps again, which is wolfspeak for “slow down.” Slow down, or I’ll take you down myself. I’d like to think I’m learning to listen.
Yesterday afternoon, I listened. After a big lunch, I sagged, staring blankly at the project I was working on, pretending it didn’t hurt to type. I took yesterday afternoon off, I thought. Must. Work. Then there was a head-in-hands phase, and then the head-on-desk part, and then I gave up and crawled into bed with all my clothes on.
My dreams were outrageous.
In the one I remember most vividly, I was sitting in a new cafe, out by Sea-Tac airport. The point of the cafe was to be able to relax next to all that construction; the project’s managers wanted to prove to people how efficiently they were working and promised customers would see measurable change in the time it takes to have a cup of coffee. (This is a dream, remember?) So there I was, sipping with an excited crowd, watching tractors push dirt and concrete around in the rain. Then the clouds parted, just got sucked right off the sky, like in a cartoon. Only, there was still one cloud left, a dark, angry, writhing cloud, and I was the one who realized something was ablaze.
“Fire!” I cried, and pointed to the spot, about a mile away. Just as I said it, a giant red rocket, possibly a refurbished version of the one I built in 12th grade physics class, soared out of the fire toward a Southwest Airlines jet just lifting off. (Did I mention I read a story about 9/11 recently?) But the jet, suddenly quite bendy and agile, had some sort of animalistic instinct. It sprouted a cottony tail, and the wings turned into bunny paws, and then the plane rabbited cleanly out of the path of the rocket. I’m not sure where the rocket (or the evildoers behind it) went, but the jet made a quick, cartoonish 180-degree turn, and returned to the ground in giant jackrabbit bounds, ears a-flopping all the way down. It swooped in next to a jetway, miniaturized itself, and pounced, now a baby bunny-shaped airplane, down the elevated hallway and into the terminal, where it let everyone out. I wish I remembered seeing the people get out.
But do you know what I said, there in the cafe with the other gapers, in my dream? I said, “Hmm. I haven’t cooked rabbit yet in 2007. Where can I get one?”
I woke up three full hours later, near dinnertime, with one thought: This year must end soon. I ate the leftovers my husband reheated, read a bit, and woke up this morning without a recipe idea for today. But goodness, I feel better.
I didn’t have a rabbit, but eggs will do. Hell, we teach children that bunnies and eggs are related at Easter. Why not reinforce the connection all year long?
Bedeviling Eggs (PDF)
Recipe 347 of 365
There’s certainly nothing devilish about eggs fried in olive oil, with a pinch of red pepper, a good dose of garlic, and a sprinkle of smoky paprika. No, the devil comes later, in the form of a garlic breath so fierce that only the most devoted of savory breakfast lovers would go back for more. I’ll be having this again tomorrow, only I’ll shower it with finely grated Idiazabal cheese before picking up my fork.
TIME: 10 minutes
MAKES: 2 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 large eggs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 thick slices good artisanal bread
Olive oil spray
Pinch smokey Spanish paprika (pimenton de la vera)
Place the olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a small nonstick skillet, and warm over medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle, carefully crack in the eggs, one at a time, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, or until the yolk reaches desired doneness, covering the pan with a lid if the oil splatters.
Meanwhile, coat the bread on both sides with the olive oil spray, and toast in a conventional toaster. (Brushing the bread with oil and toasting in a hot oven would be ideal, but this way is faster.) Transfer the toast to two plates.
Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer an egg to top of each piece of toast, and sprinkle with paprika. Serve immediately.