” PONZI SAUCE over Steamed Vegetables” by MC Lubow

I woke up steaming mad, sick and tired of my gastric juices being in distress,
sick and tired of starting a lovely sunny California day with
acid rain, the sour sauce burning up my insides from tum tum to sore
red throat, making it hurtful to talk, even to close friends. Yes, I’m sick and tired of being mad at myself, for my confusion, my
exhaustion, my emotional paralysis when it comes to sorting numbers, dividing up coins, and custom sofas, art, and fine china that once graced our holiday table.
I can divide all right, but I never wanted to be a number, or spend time
in check books, researching how I spent every dime and nickel in 2010, and coughing up dry facts, under penalty of perjury,
when my only crime is helping my family, I cop to that.
Like Hello…I am no diff than
folks everywhere who pray their loved ones have safe shelter, not live helter-skelter, on the sharp edge of poverty with its debilitating depressing aggressive dark pit of despair, with only starch in their shrinking pantry, instead of starch in their uniforms, for they have been injured, disabled, unable to work at their calling.

So I call myself on myself again and again…Hello…Am I a mad woman to not recognize the signs that my quarter century marriage was on a nickel and dime collision course with my dream recipe of lovability, stability, compatibility.
Was my fate to be that declarations of love would be replaced by court mandated Declarations of Income and Expense ? Man, oh man…

I came to the castle on the green tree hill. I sought refuge in cookbooks of sauces, while he cooked the books of our shared accounts and shredded financial records into spaghetti. At book club my gal friends shared gourmet tips. I came to grips
with the kitchen graters, whisks and sauce pots at TJ Maxx. I peeled off
layers of burnt potato skin denial and put my sweet meats on the back burner…
of our old Jenn-air. I sought fresh air along the sea paths of my soul. Is the air
we breath, tho petrol polluted, still free?

I churned away, my insides gurgling like a neglected garden hose…realizing
I was being spurned by the man I had pledged to love til kingdom come..I
looked in my vanity mirror. Wide eyed and wild, I stared, saw in the newly mined furrows of my face, that I could not mask my raw feelings.
I was and am furious, delirious, seriously
mad, mad, mad at my hub, a numbers whiz, who kinged himself, and whose favorite activity is being in his counting house, where he collects coins of every metal. I put my foot to the pedal of my chariot he now claims is his.

I am mad at the guy who had charmed me, disarmed me, but now alarms me. I thought of Savonarola and the Bonfire of the Vanities. I realized my days with my hubby were numbered. I couldn’t chance him burning my books. I was mad enough from getting myself into his Ponzi Sauce. Mad at Madoff and other Mad Men for their disregard regarding others. Mad at Madoff and other sociopaths for their seedy paths, despicable descent from a pyramid of trust to an obscene pyramid scheme. Madoff’s fall into the dead sea of greed, preying on human frailties of uncertain self esteem, those wanting into a Billionares’ club, the club where one could make out like a bandit, the stealth club that accepted Jews of wealth, where greed was no longer latent in their taste buds, but on their tongues, who shmoozed they had found the holy
Grail where one could not loose, the best
way to invest, earn high interest, but keep the deal close to one’s chest.

So I am not one for that club, but I do desire a life of modest comfort,
of returned love, of kindness. Call me crazy, if you must…I do not seek to be a bag of a lady hiding out on a secret street with The L. A. Times for a tent.
When I had a full pantry, I shared it.
Now that my share is being stolen from me, I cannot share what I do not have. This puts me in a pickle. turns me inside out, like a Frida Kahlo painting of my internal distress. So I try to tuck my guts back in; try to trust my gut more. I ask for clarity. I study body language. Read lips.
I hang out in bookstores and libraries,
instead of boutiques I once explored.
I will soon open the covers of my new cooking life story storybook,
wondering what mysteries, adventures and passions may be revealed. I pray for a page turner.

When I make Ponzu Sauce and steam veggies for my supper tonight, I’ll steam
broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, asparagus and garlic
in a collapsible steamer, but I will no longer collapse.
I will squeeze fresh lime and lemon juice,
but I will no longer be squeezed dry.
I will sprinkle my digits with delight, and I will not poke his voodoo eyes out.
I will stir in some nice rice vinegar and low sodium soy sauce. A little aqua, from the Owens Valley, if true be told. (My DWP bill is out of sight.)
I will shred a half knob of fresh ginger and a scallion, thrown in for dash,
but I will not throw in my monogrammed towel.
I will ride my own white stallion to the table and allow myself a Mona Lisa smile as
I gaze out the window and reflect on my survival.

MC Lubow

© 2011


  1. lkthayer · June 28, 2011

    Bravo MC! This is kick-ass writing!! 🙂

  2. Clint · June 28, 2011

    As i gaze on your words, i feel a kindred spirit. You maintain a desire for a direction. I have lost mine and feel it is all spinning away. To think on your words, i find wisdom to cherish my days. You touched me with your feelings as i had begun to feel nothing. I am sorry for your pain and wish eagerly for you to be happy again. I think that shared happiness is bliss, i will hope to always be friends. May your days grow brighter with each sunrise and may your words reach someone else in need.
    Bless you.

    • mc · August 12, 2011


      What a lovely way to meet a new friend…
      I am heartened that we have met thru the human
      need to reach out through our words…

      Yes, we must cherish our days, and all our blessings…

      M C

  3. Beverly · August 23, 2011

    Very strong words . They tell the story well. But…you will no longer be squeezed dry. You are beginning to come alive. These writings are most cathartic & expressive. Very necessary & well done.
    Love to you. Beverly

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