It’s a rainy November night, and the knock-off Grandfather clock you broke down and bought drunk one night on Stoli from the Home Shopping Network has tolled 1 a.m. You, of course, have no such real heirlooms in your family, because you are an emotional orphan.
It’s late, it’s cold, you’re lonely, and you’re looking for a little love. And where do you go for that, dears? Why, you go to your pantry and find the one lone box of Annie’s All Natural Mac ‘n “Real Aged” Cheese and do what you can.
I call this meal Sex in a Box.
a box of mac ‘n cheese
a pot to boil it in
butter and milk
1.) Get a new pot down from the shelf, or wash out last week’s supper from the pot in the sink.
2.) Fill it with tap water. Clear the empty wine bottles off the stove. Boil it.
3.) While the water starts to boil, gently pry open the box with a table knife. Things are tough right now, but there’s no point in sacrificing a good manicure. Good Lawd, you’re not that hungry yet!
4.) As the water roils rippling with bubbles, rather like that natural hot spring in the Pacific Northwest that you visited once with Leonard, your old favorite screw, add salt. It’s your only chance to season the pasta, you know.
5.) Stir. Boil. Think. Remember.
6.) I like Kosher salt. It’s the salt Jews use. Jews like Leonard.
7.) LEONARD!!! LEONARD HONEY I MISS U!!! COME BAAACK!! I BOUGHT BACK THAT BAR MITZVAH TORAH I PAWNED!!!
8.) Reach for the box, and another drink. Because you’re going to need it.
9.) Take comfort in the fact that the cheese is “Real Aged,” just like you! Pour in the pasta. Set the timer for eight minutes, and top off your drink as necessary.
10.) Cue Inner Monologue #2:
“Shells. Like those shells you once cut your foot on, running along the sandy shores of Waikiki with your other favorite screw, Big Jim.”
11.) Snap out of it. The timer’s ringing.
12.) Drain the pasta, the same way you drained the bank accounts of Leonard and the patience of Big Jim. Swirl in some butter, drizzle in a bit of milk, and dissolve the dusty cheese powder in the handy little packet. Top off with a flourish of black pepper to make a statement all your own.
After all, it’s not like there’s anyone to share it with.