Saturday, December 16, 2017

This world does not revolve around me. This world would not notice if I disappeared tomorrow, with the exception of my family and friends. So why do get the urge to post nonsense that most of you won't care about, didn't need to know, and which will not make your lives any richer? I don't know. I struggle with that. I just hope my stories and food stuff has a slightly larger meaning that the words I use to tell them. I hope there is something people get from my silly stories that they can apply on their way to where? Enlightenment? Being dead? Oh hell, who knows. Anyway, here goes.
I do not do many public ceremonies at my house. I will serve sapo and nu-nu, two medicines that come from the Matses indigenous of the Peru/Brazil borderland on the Galvez, Upper Yavari, Blanco, and Choba rivers. The nu-nu is a snuiff, very harsh, that immensely improves your vision for some hours. Sapo is the secretion of a frog that is burned into the subcutaneous layers of your skin--generally upper arm--which is full of bioactive peptides and turns out to be a fantastic medicine for a lot of illnesses: It basically resets your body function, from your heart beat to your kidney and liver functions.
Of course, not many people come to me for treatments because the medicines are very painful to do--though short term at about 15-20 minutes--before the benefits kick in. Enough. I've written about these medicines in my books, all over my blog, and in dozens of magazines worldwide. They are not the point of this story. This story is about a man who got in touch with me and wanted to do the medicines. I told him if he was sure, and if he wasn't crazy when I met him, I'd serve him small doses to introduce him to the medicines. If he did them well, I could go with a slightly larger dose the next time.
Over the course of several emails and a telephone call, it finally occurs to him to ask the price. I tell him $150 for the session. He didn't appear to blink or choke at that figure, but I still felt compelled to explain. "The price is high for two reasons," i said. "First off, I pay exorbitantly for the best quality medicines from my Matses friends. More importantly is that when people say they will be here at 9 AM, I scramble to clean the house, the kitchen from last night, vacuum the dog's hair from the living room rug before the client arrives. But," I said, "most people show up at 10. Then they want an hour's worth of stories from me about the medicines and the Matses and the Amazon jungle. Then they do the first medicine, the sapo, and when they are done in 15 minutes, they need to rest for an hour. Then they want more stories about the nu-nu, and thats another 30 minutes and then I serve them and then they need to rest for an hour while I cut fresh fruit for them, clean up the bathroom where they puked on the side of the toilet. And then they leave at 4 PM. That's why I charge a lot of money."
"Why?" he asked, having missed an entire speil.
"Because if you stretch a two hour session into 7 hours, my day is shot. Someone has to pay me for that. Hell, It's not even $25 an hour!"
"I'm not that guy," he explained. "I'm the guy in your driveway at 8:30 AM, sitting in my car till you are ready, and then I'm gone by 11 AM."
"Cool," I said. "For those people, I charge $120 the second time and if they can do it again, I drop the price to $100 a session. And when they come often enough to be friends, there is no charge at all."
Needless to say, he did not show at 8:30 AM--and he only lives 25 minutes from my house. He didn't show at 9 or 10 and by 11:30 I was writing him a note saying he could reschedule, but that he'd have to pay for the missed session and the new session in cash before we began. Why didn't he come? I don't know. Cold feet? Fear? I wrote him several times asking if he was okay--I know that people get into fender-benders that can take hours to clear up--and I would have been fine with that, but he never responded, even to cancel and tell me to go to hell, even now, a full 34 hours after he was scheduled to be in my driveway.
So with the day shot, I decided to try my hand at apple cider. I never, for some reason I can't think of, tried it. So I went to the store and bought 10 kilos of organic honeycrisp apples, brought 'em home, washed and cut them, then tossed them into a pot of spring water. I made a gallon and a half and it's damned good. Spent $24.90 on the apples and $5 on the spring water, so it came out about 4 times what organic Apple Cider costs. That's okay, right?
In the evening I made lime chicken and then the whole family showed up unexpectedly and ate it all, including all the rice and veggies and I was happy but did not get to eat.
So tonight I'm gonna eat. I am in the middle of making stuffed manicotti (stuffed with parmesan, ricotta, fresh mozarella, basil, salt and cracked black pepper) that I will bake on a bed of tomato sauce (currently on the stove), then top with tomato sauce, parmesan and fresh mozarella for the last 15 minutes of baking. I'll be serving that with sauteed spinach with garlic and olive oil. I tossed a couple of chicken thighs in the oven--well seasoned--in case I get the urge for meat. Or if the family shows up.
Or maybe, just maybe, my client went into a little coma, wakes up, and arrives at 9 PM tonight, just 36 hours late, and needs a bite to eat.
Eat healthy, everybody.

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