Given that I read, on average, over one book a week, you’d think I’d have analyzed why I read so much by now. There’s the whole “wanting to feel smarter” thing, but that’s mostly on the surface. There’s an answer beneath that.
The other night I was raving to my wife about meatloaf and how it’s an under appreciated food. Rarely can you combine so many prominent ingredients and produce something so delicious and versatile. It’s very rare that something can be great on its own, but also just as great when adapted to sandwich form. While my wife enjoys meatloaf, she doesn’t get carried way with obsessed thoughts over it. Probably no one does.
This morning I started a book called Uh-Oh by Robert Fulghum and not even 10 minutes into the book, he’s on the topic of meatloaf. He’s writing pure poetry about one of my favorite foods. This is just a small taste:
Never ever eat all the meatloaf when it’s fresh. Put about a third of it away in the back of the fridge and forget about it. This is the best part. The part you are going to eat about 2:00 A.M. some dark, rainy night when you need sustaining. No health department would allow such a thing to be served in a public restaurant. But nothing’s better for you. It’s a matter of mental health. I’ve never heard anybody say he was depressed by eating a cold meatloaf sandwich.
We share the same thoughts. Although his conclusion in the chapter is about the union caused by late night food cravings, it’s just as true about books. I read not just to learn and understand things better, but to feel connected. And today I felt connected over meatloaf. He concludes:
I don’t go to the refrigerator just to eat. But to think. To sort it all out. And sometimes I think about the other people who must be at the same place in their kitchen at this very moment, doing exactly what I’m doing, hungering as I hunger, wondering as I wonder. We will never get together. There will never be an international convention of us. No kitchen is big enough. But we are bound together. We make up that secret society of the Fellowship of the Fridge. Somehow muddling through and getting by. And not really as alone as we often think we are, after all.
On a side note, I’m now reminded of a video I made that even featured meatloaf in some stop-motion goodness.