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The Sun Magazine

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Chapel Hill Journal

A dark, heavy-blue February day pulled from me a sigh of quietened relief. So much artificial gyration had had its warrant sent out. Knowing itself to be a dead man, tracked straight to certainty, the ice block of conceit dropped itself dead in its tracks. What a beautiful sight! The love beast sang its own death song from out an already anguished mouth. And yes, the penetrating tone of the morbid howl was the one that burst an airtight catacomb. Now that the catacomb be banished such that no magic-claiming map may direct one thither . . .

Dear Food

Under various sedimentary names this restaurant, located on the fringe of Eastgate off 15-501, has been popular since it first opened in 1964. Actually Mr. Mariakakis had run the Marathon in the forties and early fifties, so the production itself is a Chapel Hill folkway. It has always been a favorite eating place, not only for the excellent Greek and Italian food, but also for the dramatic value of the clientele in terms of modern theater. It is this reviewer’s educated guess that the Kwikee, as it is known among the illumanati, has the most variegated caste since independence, liberation and fraternity.

From The Honey Pot

An introductory note: I’m not a gourmet, a nutritionist, or a professional cook — just someone who’s tried to prepare food and feed people with love for about ten years. So don’t take my advice for more than homey suggestions or my recipes for Julia Child creations. I’m also a vegetarian (more about that in future columns) and a Capricorn (for those who are interested) and a well-loved wife and mother. This column is not meant to substitute for books such as Diet for a Small Planet or The Joy of Cooking, but I hope it will flavor your day with a fresh view on what we eat and what we become because of what we eat. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Tabula Rasa

I entered John Umstead Hospital (Butner), on, or around the 13th of March, 1975.

Goodbye, Patriarchy!

It’s like the French Revolution. One by one, prominent men are wheeled out to the guillotine and dispatched. Of course, the present-day “deaths” are metaphorical. Garrison Keillor is still alive, just out of sight. But “Garrison Keillor,” the charming, folksy, self-deprecating Midwestern humorist, is dead.

Hospital Runs

On my very first hospital run I picked up this long-faced, country white guy who’d survived seven surgeries in the last five years. He looked to be late eighties, all but dead, but friendly in a half-deaf way.

Last Lecture

Recently I was invited to give a special lecture at the university where I teach. I accepted the invitation though, contrary to what my sons might tell you, I don’t really like to lecture.

Another Appetite

The air has cooled and somehow smells different. The garden has calmed down and the sun is setting further south. The kitchen is no longer the furnace it was in August and people like me get the urge to create some hot and hearty concoction to nourish those who sit down at our table.

Tabula Rasa

I have a question (many as a matter of fact). I find that asking questions is the first activity of the awakened other. This other — the awakened stranger, the child of Self — is helpless and vulnerable as an infant curled, before the cord’s cut, lying on the curve of the mother’s belly. Once the cord is cut, the first breath (in or out? the question is enormous) having been delivered, the other is seeded, like a grain of sand in an oysterling, waiting for the moment when the flesh becomes aware and begins to create the pearl of wisdom.