I ended up taking a half day today. Showed up at eight thirty, finished my evaluations, and got out by one. On the way out, I checked the fridge for updates. There were several. A second Post It had been stuck to the first. It bore a prissy message, which (I felt) did not match the spirit of the other notes: Whoever keeps stealing my Tupperware, please put it back. It's EXPENSIVE!
Underneath and around that, in no particular order, I read:
Some of y'all could use a cooking class -The Thief
Hands off my tuna!
TUNA = STINKY FOOD
No soup, one year!
I know who wrote this ------->
I looked over my shoulder. No one was around, so I uncapped my pen, crossed out HEADCHEESE, and wrote CHEESEHEADS in its place. I hovered my pen over the prissy Post It for a moment, thinking of a retort. Nothing clever came to mind. I recapped my pen and went out.
I've been thinking. I started this thing, this project, eating paper raw. When that didn't work, I mixed it with sauces and condiments. Gradually, I got fancier and fancier with my preparations, until the paper began to taste good. This morning, I had a strawberry-Neverwhere turnover with cinnamon custard. Lunch was the last of the (STINKY) cabbage soup (whose flavors were at their most delicious, having had two days to spread and mingle). I could hardly taste the paper at all.
And that's wrong, too. It's essential that I enjoy my meals, but there's no point in eating Neil Gaiman's compleat works if I barely even notice I'm doing it. I think I have the solution: there should be more work put into the preparations. My paper dishes should be works of art, in their own right. There should be color co-ordination, and elaborate garnishes. I could dye and sweeten tubes of paper, and fill them with chocolate cream. Or I could substitute curls of paper for sprigs of parsley. I could serve tiny delicacies on edible paper pads. Sushi with soy-drenched paper instead of nori. Puréed crab-and-paper rolls. Cake with a torn-paper collage glazed into the icing. Hot mint tea with carefully crafted paper leaves floating on top. Boiled candy hardened around cinnamon-flavored paper balls.
I checked an origami book out of the library, thinking it might come in handy. As soon as I got home, I fixed myself a little snack.
Future attempts, of course, will not involve anything powdered. I plan on laying in a supply of fresh ingredients tomorrow.
I feel like I'm giving Neil Gaiman's writing a funeral. A long, ornate, laborious funeral. I'm interring his worlds in my bowels. I don't know what to think about that.