Noah had gone to a bad place and wouldn’t be distracted.  I took the bottle away, but it was no good, Noah was asking if the big man’s big boyfriend had tattooed his neck for him.  Soon the fat bouncer was shining his flashlight to make the crowd part.  He put the flashlight in Noah’s face until Noah turned with him, then pushed Noah gently to the entrance.  I had seen this bouncer wrestle a man to the floor.

When I finally got the beers the gentleman with neck tattoos was sitting at a small table in back.  It was quieter there.  I told him I was sorry, my friends and I got like that.  He told me not to worry so much.  Then he leaned forward.  “You handled this well,” he said, “so I’ll tell you a secret.  When you go home,” he told me, “take the turkey breast out of the fridge.”

“Ok,” I said.

“And while it’s normalizing to room temperature, take some bread, two slices, good hearty bread, tear it up and put it in a bowl.  Mix in some nuts if you have them.”

And that’s what I did.  I had both walnuts and macadamia nuts.


“Put in two eggs,” he told me, “and some milk.  Put in some gravy if the turkey breast came with gravy.  Then shake some thyme all over it, put in some salt, pepper, and curry powder.”


I can hear his voice now, whenever I find a turkey breast in my fridge and need to take it out and do something with it.


“Curry powder is often neglected.  Curry and thyme go quite well together,” he said.  I was looking at his tattoo, wondering if it was the kind from jail.

“Take that turkey breast and slice it open with a good sharp knife.  Put that stuffing right inside of it.”


“What do I wrap it with?” I asked.  “I don’t have any twine.”

“Who needs twine,” said the man, “when you have bacon?”


I had bacon.  “Wrap it up tight, like you’ve killed a bunch of squirrels and now you’ve got to bury them.”


“Of course by this time you’ve preheated the oven to 375 degrees.  You’ve melted a bunch of butter in a cast iron skillet.  You put that turkey breast in the skillet, pour the rest of the gravy on top of it, put on some more thyme, and you cook it for 3o minutes.”


“Now comes the tricky part.  At thirty minutes, take the turkey breast out, admire it,


and flip it over.  Use both tongs and a spatula.  Then cook it for another thirty minutes.”

“Then what?” I asked.


He shook his head sadly.  “Get away from my table,” he said.