Dispatch From The Mundane 021
Это так красиво. Спасибо.
Due to a technical issue, last week’s AIMR will be reposted. Thank you for understanding, homies.
Happy New Year, Loners!
You made it. Your hand is open and empty. What did you let go in 2021? How did I ring in the new year? With a fever and fatigue, I rang in the new year cleaning my room. I caught up on chores that I missed long before I got sick. In a dream I’m on a rooftop shouting in the new year and I’m in the streets running after tomorrow but this year was quiet except for the hum of music. I pull the fridge out, I cleaned the oven, I wiped everything out and did laundry. I stood quietly in the dark of 2022 and peeled the thick but soft skin of a pomelo like an orange. The smell was so hopeful, and it tasted of honey and lime.
Remember when I told you to make tortillas? In 007, I encouraged you to take flour and oil between your fingers and shake hands with the supple dough that comes together with such an endeavor. I've got my tortilla press out, but you don't need one; I admittedly still prefer to flatten tortilla with my hands or a wooden rolling pin. I like it to have dimples in it, and that is in the shape of me; it's as close to God as I can get. I'm just Cronos swallowing my children fresh from the cast iron.
Tortilla is perhaps one of the most generous at-home skillet carbs that you can make. This time if you make it, I want you to make Teresa's poblano oil tortilla. I love to orbit Teresa's Atlanta-based cocina. Monday was a snow day, and I opened a cabinet to grab the AP to make some roti and saw that Teresa was working on this dough. I purchased the poblanos to make a stew and fried rice, but her visuals interrupted my thoughts. I'll say it's one of the more excellent parts of the internet— the part where you think you're collecting visuals for inspiration. The scrapbook function of Pinterest comes to life, and it feels nice.
Ended up using my poblanos in breakfast tacos this week and not soup— I roasted poblanos, tomatoes, scallions, garlic—pumpkin on a sheet pan altogether. When everything was blistered or soft, I separated the tomatoes, scallion, and garlic. I ground them in my molcajete (mortar) with some salt, ancho chile, and pepper to make a roasted scallion salsa—a squeeze of lime. I tossed the poblanos and pumpkin with paprika, garlic, and onion powder to taste and added a little cheese. Served on toasted tortillas. The poblano's musk and the earthy delight of the pumpkin came together in a union that I had to recreate for breakfast twice this week (and likely a third.)
Today I made it again, but I added chayote, also known as choko or mirliton. It's a beautiful gourd with origins in Mesoamerica, and it looks a bit like a pear and reminds me of zucchini and an Asian pear having a child. Its crisp flesh is hydrating. So maybe your hands cling to the dough and maybe you make poblano oil or you take change and add pumpkin to your tacos.
Consider any of this.
Let's talk shop: did you resolve to do anything different this year? Typically I would feel this hot rash of embarrassment for even beginning to contemplate something so earnest. I would say something to the extent that resolutions are stupids, time is a construct, show me an actual new year, cowards!
I'm genuinely exhausted by the unfettered lengths we go to disable our sphincters and shit on our dreams and wants. There's a point where I can't appreciate anything because I've decided I don't deserve it because of some trapping. I want to be able to do a pull-up. In 2022 I sadly can't worry about what you have that I do not- my life isn't getting any longer through acts of comparison, and I don't. I want to learn to play 3 guitar songs and write one song.
Maybe start a youtube channel. I want to play my guitar in public for my friends to roast me like marshmallow on a pike in hell. I want to learn about ways to invest and have better finances. I don't have any hot takes. I apologize that I decided to choke the flame from the coals of often misdirected judgment. This year I'll attempt one whole adventure into the world of puff pastry. Stop shitting on yourself in 2022.
It’s 2 am, and I’m up listening to music and reading comments on a live performance of “Zombie” by The Cranberries. When I was once a kid, I recall watching a music service known as The Box or Video Jukebox Network. I remember MTV but not before The Box, and it came after B.E.T. and Vh1 in my house. Recalling the Box makes me reflect on my first tapes: Slick Rick’s The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick, Sade’s Diamond Life, Queen Latifah’s U.N.I.T.Y., Mariah’s Rainbow, and the soundtrack to Aladdin. I’m six years old, and when I wasn’t watching music videos, I was begging to watch a movie. I see What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and prefer that to Titanic. My favorite Batman is Val Kilmer.
My dad brought home a box and rigged the cable box. It was a process that I don’t recall, too, unlike when he’d show up in my childhood neighborhood after months away with a large wrench and open up the fire hydrant. The kids in my area would rush the hot cement streets, and we’d shriek. That’s how I felt to receive dozens of channels and flip through them partially. We got The Box very clearly. In that way, some recall the bright neon Vice colors of MTV. I remember the infomercial nature of the channel and a phone number on the screen that you could dial in and vote for Lil Kim or R. Kelly next. It’s weird. As I recall this, I remember a sensation of explaining this channel as a child and explaining it now— I have this dizzy feeling of aging, but I don’t feel older than that moment of consciousness.
I could never call into The Box. The rotor dial phone in my house wouldn’t allow for it.
I love the comments sections of old music videos and live tapings. I love it as much as I love watching people cover songs. I’ve said this before, but I was meant to learn an instrument. Nothing makes me happier than singing songs, I know. It’s as close to reciting gospel as I can get in this life, likely. I should feel embarrassed telling you this, but it’s nothing new.
There are so many remarkable stories in the comments — it’s a primary source. People leave recollections of where they are or when they first heard the song. I love seeing everyone, young and old, old and new, saying, “Dolores, we miss you.” In the performance Dolores announces that five years ago they wrote this song hoping for peace in Northern Ireland and they can’t believe how things have progressed and are hoping for peace for Christmas. I don’t have to look up that the song was written after two teens were victims in a bombings in 1993. My father was Pop-Up Music Video and I love the primary sources such as these.
Here we are, human as ever in sincere retelling of a lifetime in melody, regret, joy, and angst: I wish I were born earlier so I could’ve seen it. This is still real in my country. I can feel the pain, but it’s soothing. Dolores, thank you. What little I could say I’ve learned of Russian and watching live concerts of bands from Moscow last summer has led to the ability to recognize Cyrillic beauty and gratitude: Это так красиво. Спасибо. This is so beautiful. Thank you.
I can’t sleep as usual, but I’m up late and feeling so based that I can read someone else’s tearful admission around the world. So I think unembarrassed because it’s all the same. You’re reading me say “I’m here, I was here, maybe I’ll be here tomorrow and I’ll eat one more pumpkin taco and I’m just singing songs and saying, Dolores, the world still hurts, and the silence is deafening, but to see you in the spring of your life— I wish I were born earlier but I don’t want to forget about pulling the numbers on the rotor dial phone so I could request this song with my small hands.
God, please consider.
Это так красиво.
alone in my room is a once defunct and now weekly dispatch from the mundane from a local ficus. kelly is a writer & serial hobbyist. consider donating to the world central kitchen and their mission to feed the people during crisis. there are two episodes of alone in my room on soundcloud. you can donate to support a hobby or buy soil here.