Friday, June 24, 2011

In-Flight Asparagus

Taking a brief interlude from my new marmoset-and-manioc-rich life in Rio de Janeiro, I flew to San Francisco last week for a wedding and a conference (am weary and slightly disoriented in Bloomington, Indiana and my world of vegetables is as bleak as this blank-walled dorm room I am now experiencing insomnia in). On the São Paulo-Washington D.C. leg, the international in-flight vegetarian meal was less despondent than I had anticipated. The broccoli, zucchini, and carrots were no surprise, but a most intriguing effect was made by the lone asparagus spear that lay across my corn-speckled rice. It was as though the gray eminence that determines our airborne culinary fate had experienced a sudden moment of gaiety, a giddy nostalgia for the springtime asparagus that used to shoot up along the country road on his way home from school, and had decided to bestow upon us this single stroke of frivolity. Much was lost in the translation from the bright green spear of that country road to the over-steamed specimen that sagged indifferently in the spot-lit darkness of my red-eye flight. But still, I ate around it and drew that drooping final morsel to my lips with a grand flourish.

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