My Version of Comfort Food for the Soul
Posted on June 13, 2013
I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that it looks like I’m going to be at the house almost every day for the next two weeks. The good news is that there’s no possible way I’ll be working on the house every single bit of that time, which means I’ll be getting some writing done on Gaylias 2. I’ve already even started. Writing is one of those ‘feel good’ times I have in my life. It brings me joy and a feeling of accomplishment. It’s when I’m not writing or making someone’s life a bit more miserable—those who deserve it, mind you—that I seek out comfort food for the soul. And it’s not always actual food. Sometimes it is, though.
Let’s stick with the food motif for a moment. Hot pretzels with mustard. Yum! Or hot pretzel sticks with cheddar cheese. Yum! Total comfort food. I used to enjoy Better Made Red Hot potato chips right up until they changed the recipe. Now? Not so much. Overpriced popcorn with butter and salt at a movie? Yum! Bon Chon Korean chicken in New York? Yum. Sushi? Huge yum! It’s all a treat and pretty much a rarity, yet when I have those kinds of foods, I savor it, feel safe in the knowledge that I’m treating myself to it, and just let the ecstasy wash over me.
Beyond the food bit—now that I’ve made you hungry—is the feel good food for the soul that isn’t edible. I remember when I was but a wee lad growing up that comic book stores were treasure chests full of untold riches I could only buy a sample of here and there based on what my allowance could afford. Mom said I would literally start shaking with anticipation before walking into one of those places. It annoyed her, but she just didn’t get it. Comics fueled my imagination and took me places I only hoped were real and could visit myself one day. Silly? Not so much. Why? As a writer, I can visit any fictitious place I want just by writing about it.
I don’t know why, but this just popped into mind and is asking to come out. I saw a news report the other day when I was picking my lunch up from a local restaurant and it featured a dog who was missing part of its face. There were three of us waiting for our food and all three of us had the same look on our face, which made me feel quite horrible. However, when it cut back to the reporter, even she had the same look we did. It was one of surprise, shock, dismay, a bit of horror, outrage and of pity.
The part that touched me, though, is that the dog had recovered and was just full of love and affection. It (I don’t know if it was a male or female) didn’t see its deformity, didn’t pass judgment on itself and saw no judgment in the eyes of those around it. That nearly brought me to tears and I knew then and there that if a dog ever survived something like that and needed a home full of love, I would open my heart and house to it. We can learn so many things from a story like this. And you know what? It’s feel good food for the soul.
Okay, I used to love shopping for rare VHS movies back when VHS tapes were still like little goldmines. I had quite the collection, too, and it made me happy, especially watching one with someone and sharing the experience. Unfortunately, they then invented laser discs, then DVD and now Blu-Ray. And with the invention of laptops, cell phone with texting, and wireless internet, it’s made getting anybody to sit down long enough and keep their attention span on watching a movie a true rarity. But my collection, whatever form it’s in, brings me comfort and not simply because I have it, but because I can remember where I bought many of them (different countries around the world or different places in the US) or who they were given to me by. The memories bring me comfort.
Photographs, signed books and old letters and e-mails bring me comfort. They represent proof I was here, I’ve had friendships, I’ve loved and been loved and there’s a possibility I may be remembered one day. A little proof of one’s existence can warm the heart and sooth the soul. At least it does mine.
Does anybody have anything that you consider comfort food for the soul, edible or otherwise? I’m really quite curious.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
10 Responses to “My Version of Comfort Food for the Soul”
June 13, 2013 at 9:24 am
“Photographs, signed books and old letters and e-mails bring me comfort. They represent proof I was here, I’ve had friendships, I’ve loved and been loved and there’s a possibility I may be remembered one day. A little proof of one’s existence can warm the heart and sooth the soul. At least it does mine.”
About says it all.
June 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm
Are you sure I didn’t leave anything out?
Petra Bond says:
June 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm
What a great post to read whilst tucking in to a massive lasagne! But my answer is cats!. Yes I AM a crazy cat lady but hear me out, cats are famed for their take it or leave it attitude. They are not dogs, they do not love you unconditionally, they don’t need you, you ARE their staff. Currently I have 9, all rescues. Now snuggling a purring cat is the most relaxing thing I know, but mine have arrived covered in fleas, ear mites, with cancer, with over-active thyroids, missing limbs, having lived on the street for years and just plain terrified of humans. All of this means that when one of them comes to lay next to me and purrs contentedly I KNOW that I have in a tiny way made the world a better place and really, that is all I can hope to achieve 🙂
June 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm
That’s actually…kinda lovely. =)
Patricia Logan says:
June 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm
Petronella, that is wonderful, sweetheart.. mine have come to me by one adoption, a whore before she was fixed and multiple others. I admire you, mom to cats!!!
Patricia Logan says:
June 13, 2013 at 11:02 pm
God Dammit. I’m gonna have to keep scrolling up and back to complete my brilliant (as always… yawn) answer because you once again touched my soul… shit! Yes, I too remember… *scroll*… sushi, but only because it is not only my favorite food on earth but because my nemesis was ordering… THE EXACT SAME FUCKING SCALLOPED COVERED CALIFORNIA ROLL!!! Have you ever been to California beside our one beloved (and I will never forget it) rendesvous? Anyway, along with our ties to sea food… *scroll*… now, it’s beginning to bug and I am beginning to drink… I am totally into the fluffies… pronounced Fluuuuuffffiiiiiiiiiiiiiiies, at my house. Kris, you seriously need to friend my 14 yr. old daughter and allow only postings about fluffies, (or I will have you staked) Sorry, did I say that out loud?
Finally, I loved VHS… I hate this new shit that I have to run through… ask Jeff… boyo will laugh at my electronic skills… my cell is 4 years old and held together by a hairband… something all you queens crave… I do n’t honestly get the ridicule… but… it is what it is… COME ON.. WEDDING SINGER, HAPPY GILMORE, MAJOR PAYNE. LEGALLY BLONDE, VEGGIE TALES (sorry) AND THE ASSASSIN!!! dvd AND VHS rocked it, mama… uh… daddy…
June 13, 2013 at 11:53 pm
Did you mean “staked” or “stuffed”? 🙂
June 14, 2013 at 8:11 am
I’ve been to California 8 or 9 times now, I think. I was 12 the first time I went out there. The second time was after my freshman year of college and that’s what I used as the basis for the ‘A Funny Thing Happened…’ book. As much I love CA, I’m actually finding myself taken with NYC a bit. It might be the Korean fried chicken.
June 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm
Basenjis are my comfort food for my soul. If I see anything having to do with Basenjis I will start crying. I had 2 boys and they filled every inch of my soul. As for food, Meatloaf with Mac & Cheese (not Kraft or Velveeta) or Chicken Massaman Curry. I could live off either for the rest of my life! 🙂
June 14, 2013 at 8:11 am
Sounds like me with my Siberian Huskies. =)