The Amazon Trail

Poor Me

by Lee Lynch

          My sweetheart and I are on extreme ends of the country right now, for very practical and very temporary reasons. I’m trying to keep the house clean, the animals content without their adored other person, and feed myself.

Last year I had treatments that released me from my allergy to corn products. I can go wild foraging in previously verboten aisles of the food co-op. If I so choose, I can have breakfast, lunch and dinner at McDonalds. I could eat nothing but popcorn and ice cream made of corn syrup. But without my sweetheart, I have no appetite.

She is an outstanding cook. It’s certainly not the only reason I am heartsick without her, but when she takes out her beloved mom’s recipe book and whips up Pork Chops Liegoise with gruyere cheese and Dijon mustard, or her amazing Bread Pudding recipe, redolent of cinnamon and vanilla, which appears in The Butch Cook Book, I am so happy I get all teary-eyed.

On my own it’s ramen noodles with frozen turnip greens and diced turnips (two nights ago) or matzos with butter (last night). For the first week and a half she was gone I ate a bean soup I made with the recipe on the Bob’s Red Mill dried bean package.  One night I took two pieces of two-week old rosemary sourdough we brought home from a restaurant, added cheddar cheese, stuck it in the microwave and immediately forgot it. Later, I gnawed what I could of my rock hard dinner. The next day I made an appointment with the dentist to replace the filling I broke on that bread. It was one expensive doggy bag, but the actual doggy delighted in it. I may apply for a pet food patent: “Doggy Bag Cheese Bread.”

My thrill, on this lone Valentine’s Day, consisted of an iced tea and a soft serve cone at McDonalds. I stopped there on my way home from the dentist’s office after dental emergency number two. I’d eaten muesli at breakfast – something healthy – and a crown came off.

On the other coast, my sweetheart eats prepackaged oatmeal for supper. I found a box of 50 at the restaurant supply store and send a few each week in a care package. Fifty? she’s going to say when she finds out. They come in flavors: maple and brown sugar, apple and cinnamon, cinnamon and spices and just plain oatmeal. Hmm, sounds good. Maybe I’ll have one for dinner tonight.

So food is not filling the void of Without Her, but I’m not going to starve to death. We talk on the phone at least once a day and the emails fly back and forth. Between times, when I’m not working at my job, or writing, or giving meds to the pets or seeing the dentist (three times now and another appointment coming up), she left me something to keep me company: a Kindle.

I should be one of those folks who say, it’s not the same as a book and, passionately, I love the feel of a book in my hands. Although I’m not likely to stop reading and collecting real paper books, these e-readers and tablets are the future. I don’t want to be run over in the digital stampede. There will be books and there will be electronic devices and possibly other mediums for stories. There were, after all, once no books at all, only oral tales.

My sweetheart could not have timed this gift better. After work, I settle at the kitchen table with some food-like concoction or other, and I drown out the pangs of missing her with stories from my Kindle. I avoid breaking the household bank by borrowing e-books from the library. (Confession: I did give her a great big cream-colored faux-fur throw to keep her company.)

Holding a book is comforting and satisfying until the day when you’re reading and your hands get shooting pains and your finger joints ache. For a person with arthritis, a lesbian who wants to keep her hands nimble and functional, this basic Kindle is a little miracle. Hardcover books get heavier as I grow older. Holding a paperback open with one hand makes me wonder if the arthritis comes from doing just that since childhood. Holding a lightweight e-reader is sheer pleasure.

And so, while she bravely eats her oatmeal across the continent, I fill my sweetheart-less days with work, find excitement in a Subway sandwich on Saturday nights Without Her, and plunge into the worlds where my little toy reader, light as popcorn, takes me.


Copyright Lee Lynch 2013

February 2013



17 Responses to “The Amazon Trail”

  1. 1 Shelley February 21, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    This too shall pass, Lee. Sounds like you’ two are making the best a bad situation. And I’ve just passed my quota of cliches for the day. 🙂


  2. 2 S.A. February 21, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Fun blog, as always. (Although I’m sorry part of the inspiration is your current physical separation from your sweetie.) Happy reading, and may She come home soon!


  3. 3 Renee Bess February 21, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    You’ve painted another marvelous word picture, Lee. Due to the subject matter, this one isn’t as bright as the others but it’s vivid just the same. As you sit in the company of your Kindle in your West Coast kitchen and your sweetheart eats oatmeal in her room on the other side of the country, please know I’m chanting for your reunion. May it happen sooner than you think.


  4. 4 Victoria Oldham February 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    Lee, perhaps you should invest in some healthy microwave meals. Things that are soft and won’t break your teeth. 🙂
    HUgs to you both.


  5. 5 xenagirl845 February 21, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Lol… Don’t we all get like that when our better halves are away. I know I do.


  6. 6 Cheri Crystal February 21, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    Now you have given me a hankering for bread pudding. Good thing my Butch Cookbook is handy 🙂

    Jo and I both hope your separation from the love of your life is short lived–we have shared your pain.




  7. 7 laurie salzler February 21, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Lee I had to laugh….your meals sound so much like mine. Linda is in Europe this week and I’ve been living on mac ‘n cheese, cereal and today I splurged on a hot sandwich delivered right to my door. I totally get how you’re feeling. Linda and I lived apart for 6 months….me in Michigan, her in NY until her transfer was finalized. I hope your separation doesn’t span as long as that.



  8. 8 Mary February 21, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Lee, love the food choices, but the dentist stuff….yuck. I hope your separation doesn’t last too long. I understand separation stuff (deployments) and they suck, to put it mildly.


  9. 9 Carol February 21, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    As someone who only gets to see her honey on special occasions (BSB events) I can empathize.
    Here’s to a joyous homecoming soon.



  10. 10 Devlyn February 21, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    Lee, I feel for you Mate. I am a hopeless cook and would miss my partner for more than her cooking but I would either live on take-away of visit friends and family if she was absent for more than a day. I cant even operate the oven and struggle with the microwave. I kid you not!
    As I think everyone is aware, I am a eBook convert from way back. I do get an added thrill when I find out that my friends are still discovering the joys of eBook readers. The kindle is a magic piece of technology isnt it?


  11. 12 Sheri Campbell February 21, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Lee, I have no words of sympathy. Did I see you were part author of the Butch Cookbook? Woman get to cooking and you are too good to let this beat you up. Got a crock pot? Throw some meat in it, add salt and pepper and forget it. When your mouth is watering ….it’s done . Eat something good. It would be a wonderful surprise for your sweetie. Butch up baby.


  12. 13 Erin Saluta February 22, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    I usually love the dentist, but do not envy you your visits at all! And my sweetheart does the cereal for all three meals if she is left unsupervised so it must be some type of comfort food. Hope the time apart is short, the dentist visits end soon, and that the reunion is tasty!


  13. 14 Kim February 22, 2013 at 1:31 AM

    Recently in Thailand for two weeks. Gave my sweetheart an early Valentine’s present of a mini iPad so we could FaceTime. It was fabulous! Technology is a wonderful thing.


  14. 15 Lee Lynch February 22, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    You are all so wonderful to respond. Our reunion has been delayed but another few weeks may be survivable. I feel for all of you with long-distance relationships. And I learned if I fry up some onions and add them to the ramen noodles and greens, I’ve got a mighty tasty little dinner going. Especially when the noodles are a bit on the crunchy side. As for using a slow cooker, that’s how I made the bean soup that got me through the first week. My sweetheart, by the way, is subsisting on cheese burritos and take out chicken. Gonna make her a big ol’ pot roast when we get home. Now I need to check out FaceTime… Thanks!


  15. 17 Mercedes February 23, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    I’m praying that this phase of necessary separation will end quickly. I DO NOT like my two favorite people being separated. :pout:


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