Spaghetti Western


Tonight we ate spaghetti bolognese. Preparation of such a simple yet
classic dish seemed an innocuous enough activity for an evening, men’s health and
well suited to the kitchen in which Quỳnh toiled.


The water burbled along merrily, health care the meat sauce aromatic and hot in
its temporary, non-stick home. Quỳnh twiddled chopsticks and twirled
pasta in order to create her culinary masterpiece, while the
bystanders looked on, all the while making light conversation. The
world in which yours truly existed seemed peaceful and well, until …




Jolted from my early-evening, pre-dinner daze I honed in on the source
of this sudden, unexpected sound to discover a new decoration on the
cooktop wall tiles. A single strand of golden, cooked spaghetti was
clinging to a spot that was white and featureless only moments
earlier. Staring at it with a look that merged curiosity with
determination was Quỳnh.


I turned toward her with trepidation, desperately searching for a sign
that might explain this sudden outpouring of aggression, hoping it
wasn’t deep madness that met my view. My acute peripheral vision
registered with relief that no sharp object had found its way into her


“Al dente”, she stated with unnerving directness. “It’s how the Italians do it.”

Posted via email from RockPortrait in Vietnam

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