We need to feed ourselves once and a while to keep the gears sweaky and moving. Here's a guide to cooking and eating for the Young, Broke, and Restless.
Small Plates by Olivia Starkie
Death and Thanksgiving Recipes
I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately. It’s something I’ve always had maybe more of a preoccupation with than the average person. When I was a young child, it was the source of biweekly panic attacks. Sometimes I told my parents about them, and sometimes I hid in my room and endured them by myself. I’ve always felt a crushing sense of how finite everything I experience is. I have dreams of the apocalypse, of people lying in parking lots with needles in their arms and nuclear bombs dropping on New York City and everyone I know dying while I try to run, while I try to survive. But I know in my heart that even if everyone I love goes first, I’m still not going to get out alive. I have dreams about zombies, three hundred of them chasing me into the Pacific Ocean or grabbing my arms and I wake up in a cold sweat, heart beating out some kind of furious pattern in my chest. I often become preoccupied with my fear of death, because it is raw and visceral and almost always lurking in the dark corners of my mind, threatening another panic attack, threatening to manifest itself when I am in public or at work and I cannot hide and let it wash over me.
Last Wednesday, somebody I knew died. I was one of the last people to see or interact with him before he passed, and, though I didn’t know him well, he was the kind of person who you meet and immediately like. He radiated warmth and good humor. He was a teacher and a mentor and a father. His death was something nobody could have predicted. He was young and in great shape, someone you’d look at and think to yourself, this person, out of all people, seems the most infallible. But that’s how we think, isn’t it? We don’t look at people and contemplate the ends of their lives. How could we? But this is a week, at least for me, to think about death.
On Monday, a grand jury cleared the name of a white police officer who, this summer, shot an eighteen-year-old black boy with his hands up. This police officer, I’m sure, already believes he has the right, by way of his chosen profession and because of his victim’s race, to take the lives of young men. But on Monday, the law reinforced that belief. In this country, it is possible to murder, to take another life into your own hands and to destroy it, without fear of punishment or retribution. A young man, like many young men before him, is dead, and the man who killed him walks away, believing in and upholding the racist legacy of murder that is America’s oeuvre, its twisted and glossed-over foundation. This is a week to think about death.