Colorado #2: cheesegasm

"The house was different without you here. At night, the only sounds were the sounds of the house settling. It was kinda spooky."

"Got used to my late-night noises, hmm?"

"Yeah. A bit of music, and the taptaptaptaptaptaptaptaptap of keys. Wasn't quite the same without them."

- Jeff

The cold seared my lungs as I locked and shut the passenger door. Impatient at my slowness, Chris grabbed my hand and pulled me behind him as we ran toward Wal-Mart. He shrieked at the cold and wrapped arms around me ("You're warm!"), all but carrying me as we ran, dragging me as I tried to keep up with his longer steps.My friend is taller than me. At 5'1½" inches tall, virtually everyone is taller than me.

Inside brought us from full-tilt to full-stop, stripping off coats and gloves and mittens as the warmer air calmed the fire in our lungs.

"We'll need a basket. No, not one of those. A cart."

The metal cart was cold to the touch as we went through the aisles, picking up ingredients for salsa, cheese dip, and hamburger vegetable soup.

* * * * *

"I don't suppose you've ever had this?" I handed him the can of Ro-Tel and explained it to him. "This is half of what you need for the quintessential Southern college-student cheese dip. A package of velveeta cheese, a can of Ro-Tel. Cube the cheese, add in the Ro-Tel, nuke until melted, stir, and eat with lots of chips."

"Never heard of it."

"You can do this."

"Well, we've already got salsa."

"Let's do it anyway." I added the velveeta and the Ro-Tel to the cart.

We bought drinks and snacks and makings for actual meals, then went adventuring on the opposite side of the store for a measuring cup. Cooking for a houseful of bachelors can be interesting when you have to use the palm of your hand to guess at half- and quarter-teaspoon measurements, and the closest item to a measuring cup is the coffee cup hopefully proffered by the shorthaired roommate.

He protested. The measuring cup cost less than two dollars. I ignored him. I'm good at that.

* * * * *

He dipped a chip into the hot cheese dip and crunched it between his teeth. Chris is never the easiest person to read, but even I could translate that expression: the rolled eyes, the half-smile.


"...and this is a recipe that you can make."

"Oh yeah. I think I'll be making more of this after you leave."

"Then I've done my job."