A Literary Feast

Posts by Zach Torrin

Apprentice, Eating.

Posted on June 24th, 2013

I apprenticed in the furniture making shop of a surly old Swiss man with strong opinions and no desire to keep them from anybody. He would shape high finish masterpieces from rough slabs of lumber while telling dirty jokes and comparing the breasts of the women he had dated in his youth. He would pause in his work to belt opera and then, in the same breath, call the radio host the c-word for pronouncing the composer’s name incorrectly. He was quite a contradiction, but one thing that held steady in every aspect of his life was a fine attention to detail and a high level of pride in his work. I expected, of course, to learn more than my brain could retain about…


Posted on March 18th, 2013

Listen to the lady at the produce stand.   It’s 8am on a Saturday morning. You arrived in Maui the night before on a flight too late to be believed, drove the length of the island from north to south under a starry sky brighter than you could have imagined. Your boyfriend put the radio on reggae and rolled the windows down, because that’s what you do when you’re driving a long, straight road in the dark through fields of sugar cane that cast long, moon-lit shadows on the road and you want to be absolutely sure that this place with the palm trees is Hawaii and not some Inception-substrate dream that you’ll soon wake from to find you’re actually still in Alaska, shivering…

Hawaii Five-D’Oh

Posted on March 18th, 2013

I’m not the best food planner. This was evident when I decided that a block of cheddar cheese was a wise grocery purchase to keep in my tent during a week of tropical camping. I rumbled into the park on my moped, the sun dipping low out of sight as the island wind rose to a ferocious peak and the sky opened up, dropping a thick blanket of warm rain over the beach. Ripping open my tent flap I threw my body under the canvas just in time to avoid sleeping in a stinking nest of damp, dirty clothing. Pleased with the success of finally having beaten the storm home, a feat I had not yet accomplished as it rained every evening and I…


Posted on February 14th, 2013

Sugar. Sweet sweet sugar. I just can’t seem to quit you. Everyone is telling me you aren’t right for me, that you don’t treat me well. My friends say that you don’t love me the way that I love you. But they don’t know how it is when we’re alone together. They don’t know how you comfort me when I’m feeling forlorn in the middle of the day, or how you give me something to look forward to when I am driving home after a long, draining shift at work. They don’t know hard it is to give you up when you are woven into almost every aspect of my life. But, the doctors say you’re the root of my problem, and they’re professionals,…

‘Lite’ Protection

Posted on October 22nd, 2012

If you drink enough beer, things that didn’t seem appealing in the starkly sober light of day, things that didn’t interest you in the least, start to become the focus of your inebriated obsessions. Things like hot pockets, toothpaste brands, the names of your kindergarten teacher’s twin sons. Things like pollen build-up along the curbs in the parking lot. Things like Mace. When I was twenty one I lived in an ‘undesirable’ neighborhood. The kind of neighborhood where you could peek out your front window to see drug deals and old ladies smashing windshields to powder with a purse full of bricks. My roommate at the time was an oft-deployed infantryman who was extremely invested in the armed forces lifestyle. I would come home…

The Scoop

Posted on August 16th, 2012

Mine was a childhood spent in the kitchen, though I dont want you to get the wrong idea and imagine me peering into a sinkfull of freshly washed vegetables as I helped to prepare a nutritious dinner. No, it wasnt quite like that. I was raised in large part by an elderly aunt who never had kids of her own and who had fully embraced the fifties’ dining model. As the majority of her small apartment was plastic wrapped and moth balled, we rarely left our tiny kitchen sanctum except to sleep. We did everything in that one little room; played endless games of war and rummy, did crossword puzzles, watched candlepin bowling on Saturday afternoons. She had her short wooden rocking chair, her…