The Richness of Empty Evenings

I had this huge hole where dinnertime used to be, this gaping Grand Canyon in which nothing was expected of me. Good Lord, what was I supposed to do?

by Jenny Allen
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Photograph: Shutterstock.com

I’ve even come to love the dinner hour again. I buy wonderful prepared foods from my neighborhood market—carrot-and-mango salad or cranberry-chicken salad. The labels say made by maria. (The deli man says she’s Greek and cooks for several stores.) I take a long bath, so long that my fingertips wither, and then I get in bed with my tray, switch on the TV and send Maria a little telepathic thank-you. Other nights I go to my favorite neighborhood coffee shop for a supper of its excellent turkey burger and coleslaw. I spread out the newspaper and sink into the wonderful, gravity-less freedom of not having to think about, shop for or prepare a dinner, this gift of being cooked for, instead of cooking, which is really a gift of time.  

 

JENNY ALLEN, a performer and essayist, is the author of the play I Got Sick Then I Got Better.

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Originally published in the April 2012 issue

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