(This post was originally written on 750words.com. It has been edited.)
I want The General to be about urban foraging. The same way that soldiers must do wherever they are stationed. You work with what you have. Right now, I have no money, so I work with what I can find. These days, in this environment, I can find berries and vegetables in my garden and herbs. I want to find more. I want to make maps. I want to start a zine called Ripe. I want a lot of things, I think maybe I can do it.
The first thing is finding all this stuff.
(OK, the first thing is I have to talk about how freaking loud this library is today. It seems that this must be the kids’s time. There are kids at the computers talking. There are babies crying. There is a cellphone ringing. And the parents are just sitting there, standing there reading a newspaper while their kids chatter on. Does the library not have rules anymore? Quiet. Oh my God, I can barely think, let alone form a sentence)
So, maps. Maps of the places around me first, where to find the blackberries. Blackberries are like a weed in this part of the world. But a weed that offers fruit, so why not profit from it? Or, rather, not profit in the money sense, but in the worldly sense. I need to start mapping the blackberries in my neighbourhood. That’s the first part of the zine. Then tracking the time when things are ripe. They’re ripe now, but let’s talk about when they look like they’re ripe, but they’re really not. Warning! Do not eat because it may look plump and juicy and ready, but wow, it really isn’t. That’s part of the zine.
Another part is about recipes, and ways to use the things you find
(Something weird is going on with 750words right now. It’s really annoying, asking me to save at every other moment, and I’m not even close to being finished. I don’t know what’s going on, if it’s the site or the library or the server or what. The library has been having trouble, too. God. Not a good day today.)
Recipes, but not recipes in the conventional sense. I mean, that’s the problem with what I want to do. I want to be a part of the foodie community, but at the same time, I hate the foodie community. I hate what it’s become. Why does it have to be about photos of every ingredient and every step? Why is it so hard for people to make things without a recipe?
(OH MY GOD PEOPLE CONTROL YOUR KIDS THIS IS A LIBRARY AND I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO TELL YOU TO SHUT THEM UP.)
I don’t want to do recipes the way everyone does recipes. I want to talk about food and talk about finding food and talk about cooking and baking food. I want to share what I know but it might be hard to impart what I know because what I know is so instinctive. I can’t tell people how to do what I do because I don’t know how I do what I do. It’s the same as English. For the longest time I didn’t know why I spoke the way I spoke and wrote the way that I wrote because it’s all instinctive. When I started to take other language and linguistic classes, that’s when I learned.
Maybe, if I took cooking and baking classes, I’d know how I do what I do. But I rather doubt it. I don’t sift flour. I don’t measure with the back of a knife. I don’t use a timer or any of the other tools that people deem necessary. I just put ingredients together. It always seems to work in the end.
(OH MY GOD THESE KIDS ARE STILL TALKING PLEASE SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP I JUST WANT TO WRITE IN PEACE AND I DON’T KNOW WHEN THIS DAY WILL BE OVER BECAUSE THIS WEBSITE ISN’T PARTICULARLY COMPATIBLE WITH THE LIBRARY’S COMPUTER AND I CAN’T SEE THE WORD COUNT BUT IT HAS TO BE SOON RIGHT? I CAN’T BE THAT FAR AWAY FROM 750 WORDS, RIGHT?)
I wonder if it counts all caps the same way it counts the lowercase letters. Dude, seriously, tell your kid to go and go. It’s not his choice. Just go. OK. When you refresh the page, you can see the word count, and I’m almost there. I bet by the end of this sentence, I will have written 750 words for the day. And there it is. Thank God.