How It Feels To Eat Potato

In a similar vein: I Am A Simple Frenchman of the Soil…I Wish Only To Tend To My Beans In Peace.

Sometimes for dinner the need is just one potato, one big potato. Kitchen is one wooden spoon, big, one merry fire in hearth, open, jug of herbs in corner, one big pot for stew, always stew, wine bottle cork in no label, yellow butter in crock, a big round bread, knife for holding, little cup, one plate, kitchen is finished. My meal is a potato, big, for a big and simple hunger, my plain hunger by the sea. For many years there have been troubles in my country, but I do not worry myself about them – the problems of noblemen, with their many rich sauces, and silken gravies, their multi-coursed subtleties and armies of capons charging across a saffron-spiced battlefield - I content myself only with the problems of the potato. The satisfaction of the potato too; the inside of a potato is steam’d with honor and dignity and is fluffed into peace. With tahini and soy sauce makes for a most savory potato. A potato is enfleshed but unblooded, the greatest calming-meat among her cousins the vegetables. A potato is the hearty nut-daughter of the soil and her skin makes for a most peaceful cracking.

Or a simple shallot vinaigrette, lemon in, and a scoopspoon of yogurt for a potato of refreshment, of freshness. All the pleasures of nutcracking are in a potato: a thrust of knife, a crack of body, a plushing-out of innards. A potato-dinner is a dinner of steam and marvel most marvelous! The rock takes a bath and becomes flesh – she scoops into velvet, my potato friend who is so merrily eaten. She is humble, my potato dinner, but still she possesses cultivation (heh!) and refinement of tone, mixing easily in all company. Encream the flesh! Or dash it with vinegars and spices; tone the potato or flood it with fat. The potato will encompass all! Here I am, my simple self with my simple potato, who yet can proudly wear the finest adornments without blush. My lovely scheme of a supper!

My bigness of a hunger can be satisfied only by the stretch of the soil of the farm entire. Not for tonight do I desire a dish strewn with ingredients, courses to the left and right of me, cheese to finish, fruit to ponder and digest. Tonight is a big simpleness! Of which there will be much and much and then, finally, enough. Wholesome is my potato supper, full too, she fortifies but does not overwhelm. Singe her in the coals, then quietly roast in a little bundle off to the side of the fire’s hot heart; a little Café de Paris butter, anchovy in; a finishment, a finality of eating. All the fineness of bread, all the richness of a good brown nut, all the fleshiness of a parcel of good meat, a happy home for butter, is in a potato; sprinkle her with a good greenness and she will bring you vitamin joy. The mouth is tender, eating potato, the face is slack and happy and relaxment with good potato taste, flesh of hot white snow, skin taut with oil and flecks of salt. Potato is good; eat it for your hunger.

The Sexiest Lines From "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight" Gracefully Compiled For You

The Neilson translation, not the movie, which looks like fun but I am skeptical of Dev Patel, whose performance on Skins was so astonishingly bad and oafish I will likely hold it against him until I die. But it’s sexy!! Have the courage to make a softcore Sir Gawain!


This King lay royally at Camelot at Christmas tide with many fine lords, the best of men, all the rich brethren of the Round Table, with right rich revel and careless mirth.


“By Gog,” quoth the green knight, “Sir Gawain, it delights me that I am to get at thy fist what I have requested here….To tell the truth, after I have received thy tap, and thou hast smitten me well, I shall promptly inform thee of my house and my home and mine own name. Take now thy grim tool to thee and let us see how thou knockest.”

“Gladly sir, for sooth,” quoth Gawain as he strokes his axe.

The green knight on the ground prepared himself properly. With the head a little bowed he disclosed the flesh. His long, lovely locks he laid over his crown, and let the naked nape of his neck show for the blow.


Then said Gawain, “Indeed, be it as you like, I shall kiss at your commandment as becomes a knight.” She comes nearer at that and takes him in her arms; stoops graciously down and kisses the man. They courteously entrust each other to Christ. She goes forth at the door without more ado, and then he goes to his meat, behaving always courteously, and makes merry all day till the bright moon rises. Never was a hero fairer entertained by two such worthy dames, the other and the younger. Much disport they make together.”


Afterwards they slit the slot, seized the arber, cut it free with a sharp knife, and tied it up. Next they cut down along the four limbs and rent off the hide; then they opened the belly, took out the paunch, cutting eargerly, and laid aside the knot.


Lightly he lifts his axe and lets the edge come down fairly on the bare neck. Yet though he smote rudely, it hurt him but little; only cut him on one side. The sharp bit reached the flesh through the fair fat, so that the bright blood shot over his shoulders to the earth. And when the hero saw the blood glint on the snow, he leaped forth more than a spear’s length, eagerly seized his helm, cast it on his head, threw his shoulders under his fair shield, pulled out a bright sword and fiercely spoke. Never in this world since he was born of his mother was he half so blithe.


“Now know I well thy kisses, and thy virtues also. And as for the wooing of my wife, I managed it myself.”


That other brave man stood a great while in a study; so stricken was he for grief that he groaned within. All the blood of his breast rushed to his face, and he shrank for shame when the warrior talked…“Let me but please you now, and after I shall beware.”

The Problem With Boys When You Don't Know You Might Be One Yet, Between The Ages of Roughly Twelve and Twenty-Nine

  1. GOD I LIKE BOYS!!!

  2. God, I hate it when boys treat me like a girl.

  3. Conversely, I wish boys would treat me like a boy.

  4. Conversely, I wish boys would stop treating me like a boy.

  5. Conversely, I feel humiliated and sexless when they treat me like a boy.

  6. Conversely, I feel thrilled and special in my sexless humiliation.

  7. Conversely, I feel desperate and overlooked in my thrilled specialness.

  8. Conversely, I feel solidarity with girls when they are mistreated by boys.

  9. Conversely, girls and I are mistreated by boys in different ways.

  10. Conversely, I like girls.

  11. Conversely, girls are suspicious and homophobic when I like them.

  12. Conversely, I am jealous and resentful of girls.

  13. Conversely, I feel humiliated and misunderstood when girls are nice to me.

  14. Conversely, I feel slighted and condescended to when girls are nice to me.

  15. Conversely, I feel sexless and humiliated when girls are mean to me.

  16. Conversely, I feel ashamed and weak when I am mean and disloyal to girls.

  17. I will sell out girls in private, and I will sell out boys in public, so that no one trusts me and I can feel consistently ashamed no matter who I’m with.

  18. Let’s ignore the boys together, girls!

  19. This isn’t working.

  20. I like a boy who is not my friend, and I like a girl who is my friend.

  21. I will treat the boy who is not my friend with a combination of rudeness and hero-worship.

  22. I will treat the girl who is my friend like the only person in the world.

  23. The girl who is my friend has told the boy who is not my friend that I am a “man in disguise” as an argument for why he should not kiss me.

  24. The girl who is my friend knows things about me that I do not know about myself.

  25. I will give the girl who is my friend my prettiest dress because she looks better in it than I do.

  26. I will buy prettier and prettier dresses that I do not look good in, to make my failure to look pretty increasingly conspicuous, heightening my sexless humiliation, my thrilling specialness, and the threadbareness of my disguise that I do not know is a disguise.

  27. I will encourage the boy who is not my friend and the girl who is my friend to spend more time together.

  28. I will punish them for enjoying one another’s company.

  29. I will punish myself for betraying my own desires.

  30. I will punish everyone and worry about why later.

  31. I will seek to introduce closetedness into seemingly-heterosexual relationship dynamics, to the frustration of everyone around me.

  32. I will seek to heterosexualize my seemingly-gay relationships.

  33. I will make elaborate, time-consuming, thoughtful presents for my girlfriends.

  34. I will spend too much money on my boyfriends.

  35. I will treat affection from my boyfriends with suspicion and hostility; I will also never say no to them.

  36. I will say yes to things I actively dislike in order to better suffer in silence.

  37. Conversely,

  38. Conversely,

  39. Conversely,

  40. But on the other hand.

  41. No, that doesn’t work either.

  42. Solitude?

  43. No, that doesn’t work either.

  44. Maybe my thirties will be different!

So far, they have, which comes as a great and devastating relief.

My Book Is Out Tomorrow!

You are undoubtedly aware, as I have not shut up about it, that my essay collection/memoir “Something That May Shock and Discredit You” comes out tomorrow. I hope very much that you’ll read it and enjoy it! You can purchase it here, or at your local bookstore/library.

Here’s part of the interview I did with A.E. Osworth at Slice Magazine, out today:

DML

I know “eldritch” is a very of-the-moment term (or maybe of-two-years ago, I’m not as poised on the pulse as I was), but I don’t think it’s just, “What if House Hunters were scary,” so much as just—it’s such a jarring show, and such a dishonest show, and I think that’s immediately recognizable to almost anyone who watches it, even people who quite like it. From the fact that you have to already be in escrow in order to try out for the show, so everyone’s pretending to agonize over decisions they’ve already made, to the obvious masochism of much of the show’s audience being locked out of the housing market, to the dulling, constant jokes about women and closets, or men needing to be closer to their Jobs Downtown. And I think especially with the Mean Girls loop— there are so many ways that transition reorients your relationship to time: ways that you attempt to relive the past in order to legitimate the present, or feel caught up in an endless negotiation with something fixed and remote. I’ve spent a lot of time, especially in the early days of my transition, wanting to be like, thrown in front of a Girl Council so I could exorcize my guilt.

AEO

You often resist a standard trans narrative—this is, in fact, the most specific and nuanced discussion of trans identity narratives I have yet read. I found myself straddling the sensation that you were camped out in my own personal brain and the delighted shock of “oh, we can say that in front of cis people now?” How do you balance writing for a trans audience with the knowledge that those outside the community will also read the book?

DML

I want to start with “resist a standard trans narrative,” because I think that’s really been the rule of almost every trans writer I’ve ever read or even most trans people I’ve ever met. I really think we all do that, all the time.

Here’s me talking to Claire Landsbaum in Vanity Fair:

And yet, Something That May Shock and Discredit You is largely about Lavery refusing to learn about himself, and when he finally concedes to do so, wrestling with what he learns in private. “I think it was more around these things”—notions of gender and sexuality—“that I felt myself to be very, very restricted,” he said. “That restriction was something that I had learned very young, often without anyone having to tell me exactly what it was or why. I very quickly formed rules around, This is what I need to do in order to not have somebody ask questions that I think will be very painful for me. This is what I need to do to stay safe, happy, loved, approved of, to get the things that I think I need to get for the day.

“Figuring out the little restrained areas and how carefully they were guarded, even within my own mind, was very surprising,” he added. “They were things that I had carefully not thought about my whole life. It’s like the Bluebeard’s castle story. You can have the whole castle, just don’t go in this one room. I was like, Hell yeah, I won’t go in that room. Not a problem, boss. I spent a long time running through that castle being like, This castle’s great. It’s huge. Then at a certain point, that stops working.”

Here I am in USA Today (!!!)

There’s also a lovely review of the book up at Shelf Awareness (do go on about my “unrivaled panache”!). If you’re in New York next week, please come and see Grace and me at the Strand on Tuesday night at 7pm. I’ll also be on tour in Seattle, DC, Portland, Tucson, and Australia later this spring, so keep watching the skies for future event dates.

These last few months have been a uniquely challenging time for me, and I’m very grateful to have something fun and exciting to focus on – thanks for reading.

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