Why I Love This Old Apartment Building

Juli Kearns Everyday Stories 2 Comments

Marty’s off to New York for a couple of days and, as H.o.p. was going to be missing him, Marty prepared yesterday a big pot of red beans that would simmer and simmer and simmer and be prime eating by the time Marty was doing the sound check for his gig. So while Marty was in New York, H.o.p. would be here eating his favorite red beans and rice.

It was a gorgeous day yesterday. The weather is unbelievably perfect. The several windows that aren’t sealed shut with time and paint we have been keeping open and the slightly cooler air mingles with the smell of the red beans and andouille making something like heaven on earth these first autumn days.

Early this evening I go in to prepare H.o.p. his bowl of red beans and andouille. It’s not quite thickened enough but it’ll do and smells beautiful. I glance out the kitchen window to my left where we have an exhaust fan lodged that’s capturing the smell of the beans and broadcasting them out the back alley, and there’s George waving his arms ecstatically. He has smelled the red beans and andouille and they are calling to him.

I give George a bowl of red beans and andouille which he’ll carry back up to his apartment where he’ll prepare his rice. We’re not having rice today as Marty’s not here and H.o.p. doesn’t like rice. He likes his red beans and andouille straight.

And that’s why I love this old apartment building. I like looking out and seeing someone waving their arms enthusiastically over the aroma of red beans and andouille and having quite enough to prepare an extra bowl.

Comments 2

  1. The weather has been spectacular! I’ve been out for a walk
    this late afternoon/early evening, just for the sheer joy of
    being out in the cool air, out in that beautiful light. What is
    andouille? Your telling of the neighbor, George, and of
    his catching the aroma of the cooking beans, that reminds me
    of when I was growing up here in Va. Highland. The houses
    in my neighborhood were pretty much cheek by jowl and since
    everyone had windows open when it got hot outside, as no
    one had air conditioning, I could hear so much of my neighbors’
    lives. Our next door neighbor on one side was a Catholic woman
    from NY who married a Southern redneck. She would cook things
    in her pressure cooker just about every day and I could hear it
    making that pressure cooker sound. It seemed comforting
    somehow. And sometimes in the early morning I could hear
    the man coughing, hacking up stuff, clearing his phlegmy
    throat. Somehow in some kind of way I like having the memory
    of knowing and not knowing people who lived so close to me,
    of somehow having an intimate view of their lives even though
    in some ways I knew very little about them.

  2. Hasn’t it been gorgeous? And I managed to drag H.o.p. out with me for a walk this evening because I simply couldn’t let this day pass without one. I had to get out there. And he enjoyed it.

    Pressure cookers scare me. But the everyday sounds of people going about their lives is, I agree, comforting. It’s nice to hear the various rhythms which become a sort of music…

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