I made spaghetti. I have this thing about spaghetti where I remember it in two distinct ways: one is my mother’s, very straightforward, marinara and pasta topped with dusty parmesan; simply delicious. The other is the Friday special in elementary school, which was a big heaping of noodles smothered in melted American cheese and meat sauce. The meat sauce was really just leftover taco filling.
I didn’t make either of those tonight. My dish was mostly veggies.
I had two bagels today – one for lunch, the other for breakfast. I ran out of cereal over the weekend and sandwich bread yesterday so I had to improvise. I tried the bagel function on my toaster for the first time. In the morning, it burnt the bread black as the crust on a gas pump. At lunch, I get the browning better.
Who makes all our food? I was listening to a podcast talking about migrant farm labor. Many migrants live on the farms seasonally thanks to a federal law requiring farmers that hire temporary migrant workers to provide free shelter. That same law is up for getting gutted, lowering requirements for health and safety inspections for workers’ housing. In the podcast, a former government oversight agent said even under the stronger law, migrant housing is often horrible. So here’s the answer to the question: our food comes from other peoples’ suffering.
All told, between the bagels and spaghetti, I didn’t spend much.
There was a highway beside the neighborhood where I grew up. It didn’t look like a highway and everyone called it Church St. It was two lanes most places. There were many spots you couldn’t go faster than 35. But take it far enough East and you’d hit the Atlantic, far enough West and you’d be in California. It’s strange to think of that packed asphalt having the power to take you to a different time zone.
The NC DOT is currently trying to extend Interstate 540 through the southern half of the Triangle. They want it to be a beltline, something to take the edge off the traffic and accelerate peripheral growth. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it isn’t. Either way, the project involves tearing down 1800 acres of forests and buying out 209 homes with eminent domain. That’s a lot of change for a road that won’t even take you to California.
Tonight, two kids were playing on the swings at my apartment complex. The sun had gone down enough to take the edge off another hot day. The kids ran, jumped, and twisted up the swings like two steel hangs of DNA. Neither of them’s thinking of a highway, or property laws, or the Atlantic, but I wonder what this town will look like when they’re my age? What will be the ratio of neighborhoods to highways?
Currently Reading: Have picked a new book but not had the chance to start it yet; more info to come
The difference between a path and a road is not only the obvious one. A path is little more than a habit that comes with knowledge of a place. It is a sort of ritual of familiarity. As a form, it is a form of contact with a known landscape. It is not destructive. It is the perfect adaptation, through experience and familiarity, of movement to place; it obeys the natural contours; such obstacles as it meets it goes around.
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays