Crushed tomatoes. Whole tomatoes Ground beef. Onions. Mushrooms. Garlic. Basil. Salt. Pepper. Noodles. Baguette. Mozzarella cheese. And wine.
It was all there. Nothing more. Nothing less. Although not implying that either would be inappropriate. After all, it was my first attempt to do so from the ground up. So, call it beginners luck, but it was perfect, (other than the, needing to photograph it in order for anyone to know that meal was ever prepared), never the less, perfect.
Now, having finished washing my dishes and, finding a spot to reflect on the whole experience with my last glass of red wine, I suppose there are a few people I need to thank; Alan and Terri Kaiser - for the moral support while I was getting things started, listening patiently as I talked about work and church, while browning ground beef and cutting vegetables with you on speaker phone; Alysse Rupprecht and Mack Qualey - for replying to my pictures and videos of the whole charade - making me feel like you were indeed impressed by my efforts; and the Italians - for discovering ways to make ground beef mixed into tomatoes, vegetables and spices - and poured on top of boiled noodles, taste so delicious.
Heaven is real everybody, and I'm sure of it because - even in breaking the age old rule of never eating, let alone, preparing spaghetti by oneself, there must be a place where all that joy in doing so comes from; and on nights when there's no one around to experience it all with me first hand, I want to believe that some day, you and I; (you being - all of you out there wishing you'd have been here with me - tonight, chomping on raw tomatoes and mozzarella while I was boiling noodles to perfection and sparking excitement all over the night sky); some day, you and I will walk up to heaven's gates, to realize it's all a grand kitchen of folks making spaghetti; talking about the things that make god happy, eating their fill, and remembering nothing about what loneliness feels like.
I'm confident it will all be completely different than that, and yet exactly the same. Either way, I'll be there, and I'm sure of it because - even in breaking the age old rule of of never eating or preparing spaghetti by oneself, there must be a place where all that joy in doing so comes from; and i was there tonight, at least for long enough to know how new everything will be, and i wanted you with me.