Enjoy the ride

For the 10th day of NAPOWRIMO and for Poet’s United Midweek motif

Enjoy the ride
“Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”
― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it…” Oscar Wilde

so like, mid-way between obtaining my PhD
I was cooking in a local hotel to pay for my basics
in university. I had a full scholarship.
But I needed things. I needed dope
and food and a place to live so I decided
to drop out and go to culinary school.
I was totally dysfunctional and I fit in
like a hen in a pot of dumplings.
The few months became 20 years.
Seventeen hours a day, 6 days a week.
Sex in the cooler, smoking pot outside
among the trash bins, cussing like a chef –
throwing and juggling kitchen knives during the slow times, lifting food and
partial bottles of wine,
I had a love for rare steaks, stinky cheese,
and oven fresh bread with French butter.
I indulged all of this at the restaurant,
my true home. I learned the truth there.
Enjoy the ride.
And I did.

34 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cara Hartley
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 15:06:26

    Very well written poem!
    On one hand, I liked Anthony Bourdain. On the other hand, I did not like the disdain which he expressed for larger people. It’s kind of hypocritical to say “enjoy the ride as long as your ride isn’t in a big vessel.”


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 10, 2019 @ 15:47:37

      He never said that. He was a great proponent for movement. I myself don’t have much regard for anyone who is lazy and gets large because of laziness. On the other hand, I don’t care about a person’s size as long as it is caused by some kind of health malfunction. He was skinny but then he was a health proponent, did judo, worked 17 hours a day, and are carefully with an occasional splurge. He didn’t care for sweets. either.


  2. Charmed Chaos
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 15:46:11

    You describe it all so well Toni!


  3. coalblack
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 15:54:15

    Amen, sista. Amen.


  4. Susie Clevenger
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 16:01:48

    Ah yes…Love it!


  5. Vivian Zems
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 16:01:53

    And enjoy the ride- he did. Thank you for this Toni 😊


  6. Sherry Blue Sky
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 16:23:32

    I am laughing out loud at fitting in like a hen in a pot of dumplings. That may be the line that has made me the happiest this week! It sounds like you had a total blast. How very cool!


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 10, 2019 @ 16:27:57

      It was hard work but we also knew how to live. Of course, during the 70’s and 80’s we were high 99.5% of the time, on many different substances. I learned my lesson on that too and now am clean and sober and have been since 1993. Glad you liked the hen line. 😊

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  7. anmol(alias HA)
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 16:28:36

    That certainly sounds like an enjoyable ride — it’s always wonderful to read your ‘kitchen tales’.


  8. Ed Rigg
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 16:28:39

    Hi Toni, I am going to read your post in a few minutes but you posed a question on my post, The Old Barn Gate, what happened to Old Shep.
    Here is the answer:

    Hi Toni . . . Thanks for the comment.
    Yes . . . I think I have an answer for you regarding Old Shep.
    The new owners took him on as a working sheepdog and gave him a good life. The four children were living with Auntie Em in a different State miles away but they found out that when Old Shep died he was buried with his old master, and they now tend a higher flock in Heaven together. How’s that? . . . 🙂

    Cheers, Eddie


  9. Ed Rigg
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 16:36:11

    Hen in a hot pot of dumplings execised my chuckle muscle.
    Never a dull moment as in all vibrant kitchens, but cold in the cooler though . . lol


  10. Just Barry
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 16:54:39

    Lively confessional poem. I also enjoyed the hen line, and I envy your “seize the day” youth!


  11. gillena cox
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 17:19:10

    In my haiku sequence today i referrred to Pandora, many look toward the theme of curiosity and chaos, but i think the most important theme is that of hope. I see this in your poem of adventure and achieving
    Like Sherry luv that hen between tge dumplings😊



  12. susanstoo
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 17:44:13

    I, too, cooked my way through college—undergrad. If I tried to do it in grad school would I have become bourdain?


  13. sanaarizvi
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 17:45:47

    Just love this, Toni! ❤️


  14. oldegg
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 21:22:28

    Congratulations on your survival! You were certainly tempted and chose the best way…gave in to it!


  15. Jim
    Apr 10, 2019 @ 23:06:32

    I enjoyed reading this, Toni. True or not, it went on in our generation. The lives we have led, folk today if they hadn’t similar scenes and time would not believe. I’d like to learn to juggle, forget the knives until I got good. I remember coffee houses sitting on the floor around a room, waiting our turn until the wine bottle (or whatever) came to us. VW beetle car, smooching with a bride for tomorrow, hanging out on the loading docks behind the buildings at night, etc. Do they still do those things but in their own ways now?


  16. SatyaPriya
    Apr 11, 2019 @ 00:19:44

    A hen in a pot of dumplings has to be the best image I’ve read in ages.


  17. Sumana Roy
    Apr 11, 2019 @ 01:13:07

    You had a jolly good ride undoubtedly & you did complete your PHD, isn’t it? You are amazing, Toni. Love that Bourdain quote.


  18. Rosemary Nissen-Wade
    Apr 11, 2019 @ 01:15:38

    That was such fun to read. And very visual! Glad you enjoyed and survived your ride.


  19. Magaly Guerrero
    Apr 11, 2019 @ 10:18:09

    There is something about just baked bread and great sex that is freaking irresistible. I really like that about this poem. But most to all, I love the truth and acceptance of the whole.

    I always hear people talk about the “mistakes” they made in their youth, and I feel sad for the way they recall it. How can something that made you so happy be truly a mistake? Not what everyone expected? Sure. But not a mistake. The universe doesn’t really make those. It just surprises us, teaches us through living. And we can either wail about the rough ride, or we can remember how much we delighted on that fresh bread and fantastic sex.

    I really love this one, Toni.


    • kanzensakura
      Apr 11, 2019 @ 23:10:00

      I made a ton of mistakes, I had addictions, I was wild and carefree and I was quite a chef. I make no apologies for any of it, except when I inadvertently hurt someone alone the way. But it did make me happy. and yes, I did delight in the fresh bread, sometimes eaten while having amazing sex. LOL


  20. Frank J. Tassone
    Apr 24, 2019 @ 14:35:35

    Evocative story-telling, Toni! When are you writing the whole tell-all? 🙂


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