I’ve got to hand it to you people. You really know how to welcome a girl back. Thank you.

I have so many things to tell you about, but sitting down to do it is not so easy. Last week was a blur of pizza-testing, potential staff-interviewing, convection-oven buying, and kitchen-rearranging, and then on Saturday evening, just as we were rounding up a long day of errands, Brandon gashed the side of his thumb on a sheet of stainless steel in a home improvement store. I looked down at his hand for an instant, just long enough to see a lot of blood, and then I gave him a Kleenex and proceeded to quietly hyperventilate. Clearly, he was going to lose his thumb. I mean, right? He wouldn’t be able to cook. We’d lose the restaurant before it was even open. We’d be up to our eyeballs in debt. He’d get depressed. He’d fall in with a bad crowd. Actually, it would probably be worse than a bad crowd: it would be a dangerous street gang whose initiation requirements would include the ritual severing of a finger. (He’d be a shoo-in.) He wouldn’t come home for weeks. I would cry myself to sleep. One night, high on who knows what, he would steal some money from one of the gang leaders, and he’d bring it to me, stumbling and crying, promising to come home, to help me pay down our debt. We’ll start over, he would plead. But they would put out a hit on him, and we’d have to run. We’d go to Oklahoma, to my mother’s house, to hide. He would have to live in the attic, and I would have to tell people that he was dead. It would be hard, but sometimes, when I had a little pocket money, I would buy his favorite Tropicana orange juice, the kind with just the right amount of pulp, and late at night, when no one could see the attic light flick on, I would sneak it up to him, the whole half-gallon, because it was the only thing that could make him happy. It was all over for Delancey, but we would have each other.


As you can see, Saturday evening was pretty scary. We went to the emergency room, and there was more bleeding, and four hours later, he was discharged with a hefty supply of gauze and medical tape. Turns out, the cut is deep, but it didn’t hit any tendons or ligaments or bone, and he’s going to be okay. One-handed for a while, but okay.

And I’ll be back tomorrow with a recipe for you.