HIDEOUS MONSTER SAUCE
Dad told me to skip the hideous monster sauce but he's crazy like that. He even left Mom. Or Mom left him. It depends on which one of them you talk to about that. And whatever had been happening to them that day. Mom'll talk about alimony in front of me, and Dad will just talk about 'your money' to me as if I'm a combination of Mom and myself, or maybe just Mom. Mom's representative, instead of his kid.
Could be worse, though. I know the fuck that's the case.
Even before they split, I was hanging around a lot at my friend J's house, and her parents both drank and so it made everything more pathetic. Nothing super bad, like beatings or screaming threats that ended up with the neighbours calling the cops, but a lot of sloppy complaining and each of them bitching quietly to J about the other with a glass or a bottle in hand. And always when they were pretending to do some sort of typical Dad or Mom task. Her Dad would ask her to come help him for a minute in the garage with something and he'd start by saying something nice about her and then it would go into, 'your Mom used to be like that, but now...'. And her Mom would create something called a 'girls moment', which could be in the kitchen or the bathroom or even the garage when her Dad wasn't home, and J knew it just meant a whine fest about her Dad.
And it's not like I was asking for gossip about J's parents and this is how I found out about it. It really kind of became easygoing small talk when it seemed obvious to her when she was over helping me make my Hideous Monster Sauce and saw my parents teetering on the same edge just without the booze.
I don't know if J really enjoyed coming over and helping me stir a bowl or chop up some thyme or whatever. I don't think she cared. It was a good sauce, really tangy with some spice, so why not help a friend whip it up on a lazy Saturday afternoon? It got J out of her house, that was the probably the main thing for her.
But I guess another thing is that J was probably the only person who totally believed me about the story of the sauce. And it's not like she’s really weird or creepy or anything like that. When I told here she was like, 'okay yeah, that's that'.
But I got that a bunch of other people were going to not be so okay with it.
Now it makes total sense that B slipped and fell down from the edge of the ravine and onto the rocks below. The drop had to be at least eight meters. It was like a two story house plus the boring slanted roof that was really like an attic. And we'd been there before because it was a long cut home from school that you'd take if the weather was nice and you didn't want to get home really fast. A lot of kids did. Both total assholes and people you got along with. Everyone knew about spot but it wasn't always packed.
You could walk along the path on the edge of the ravine, which is what a couple big houses backed onto, or you could walk along the stream down below. A stream so slow and shallow 'even a baby couldn't drown in it’, B said.
Not like their last words or anything.
It wasn't dark and that was the difference. If it was dark I would totally understand that it only looked like a completely black figure that leapt out from the already black shadows and pushed B on the shoulder which sent them screaming headfirst for the rocks below.
But it wasn't dark. It was five in the afternoon and it was early October and I saw an all black thing with weird clumps of fur and a snouted melt face leap out from the thick underbrush at the top of ravine and push B on the shoulder which sent them screaming headfirst into the rocks below.
I knew just the way they stopped screaming when they hit and the snapping noise at exactly the same time meant B was already dead. And I was just watching a movie of this, really. It was so obvious there was nothing I could do because it was all done. B was dead, the hideous monster on top had won. So I looked up at it in something more like 'yes, I saw that', instead of fear or anger. Agreeing on what just happened, that seemed to be what we were going to be saying with our eyes. I couldn't really see its eyes, but I knew where they were supposed to be. Above the melty face snout. You just get locked in because that's how these things happen, right?
And I really expected to have that threatening monologue, 'don't-tell-anyone-this-is-a-big-secret-that-you're-taking-to-your-grave-and-if-you-do-tell-you'll-find-me-putting-you-in-your-grave-very-soon', flood my head as we were doing this, but it wasn't that at all.
It was a recipe for an all-purpose cooking and dipping sauce.
Suddenly it was just there, like a bubble popping in my head and the stuff's in my brain for good. Every single instruction stuck in my memory.
And then monster's head began to melt even more and it started to run down its neck and chest like it was burning hot wax and the snout dripped down to its belly button and it looked like it was trying to open what might be a mouth in a silent scream.
And that's when I heard myself actually gasp in shock, that something so ugly and disgusting can actually be here and do that. Not because of what it did to B but what happened to itself.
Then it slipped back into the underbrush from where it came from only like thirty seconds earlier and that was it. And B was just lying in a crumpled pile on the rocks dead in front of me.
I told them what I saw. My parents, B's parents, the cops, the emergency and hospital people, the grief and trauma counsellors.
They didn't believe me and I wasn't surprised. But it wasn't like I was getting down on my hands and knees and begging them to believe me. I was pretty adamant about it but totally saw where they were coming from. It sounds like something I might make up because it such a crazy thing to watch, my friend falling to their death. A way to cope.
I told them that makes sense. And I told them that I know what I said happened makes a lot less sense. But also that I had a recipe in my head that I never had before. And none of them had a good explanation for that except that maybe I made a mistake, maybe I knew the recipe from before and had forgotten it until a shocking thing made me remember it.
Sure, okay, whatever. You have your take on it and I have mine. I had to see a therapist or psychiatrist for a few weeks after what happened and it seemed like a waste of time to me and soon I didn't have to go anymore. But I bought the stuff for the sauce a week after B's funeral and it took like no time to make and it was really good.
Dad doesn't like me calling it hideous monster sauce. But he hasn't even tried it. J always dips her finger in the bowl after I add in the horseradish and then licks her finger and purposely makes a disgusting melty face even though I know she likes the taste. I tell her not to walk along the top of the ravine when we go through there, but she doesn't listen.
|If it tastes like a duck, you're probably ballin'.|