Helena Grande, Ten Recipes to Love Things You Would Despise Otherwise

This list of ten recipes offers poetic paths towards reconciliation with despicable things that do not deserve your attention. The instructions below suggest that by loving vile things you will forget that they ever existed and knots of hate within you will be untied forever. Some of the things listed below are especially annoying during the pandemic but not only.

Read each thing preceded by the phrase “How to love…”

  1. the rumbling fear of your cancelled future: cook yourself that favourite dish you had when you were a child. Eat the meal in silence and remember every single fantasy of the future instilled by your mum and dad and also your siblings and cousins while your personality was still undefined and you didn’t have enough capacity to discern what you wanted to be or have or even desire. Write those memories down. Burn them. Feel free from the past.

  2. the eating noises of your flatmate: Avoid breakfast by getting up earlier or later than your flatmate. Drill holes in your room’s wall during lunch and dinner time to overlay sounds. Call your wall “the chewing wall” and try to sell it as an artwork. Tell the art dealer the story behind it.

  3. the returning feeling of missing your ex even harder every day: wrap yourself around banana skin. You’ll need 102 bananas. Once your entire body is covered, do not close your eyes but instead try to imagine yourself as a banana. Feel the shape of the banana, the texture, the weight, the flavour. All this effort must have kept you busy enough to forget about that bastard who does not deserve you.

  4. the daily unconscious call to waste time: do it evermore, better, and for longer periods of time. Embrace laziness, fall into your recurring digital maze, and build a house in it so you can get lost any time you want. Delay your appointments, postpone deadlines, get fired, and actually never get a job again but dedicate your life to your procrastination. Do therapy to overcome the feeling of guilt and share this knowledge with your community.

  5. the steps ahead in a new project: learn to fall asleep while you are awake. There is a special interest in that dream in which you find yourself naked at a house party you were not invited and you have to find your clothes while everybody is looking at you and you feel cold and alone and abandoned. When you wake up, you see you are dressed and realise that it is possible to find all your clothes in a nightmare the same as carrying out all the steps in your new project.

  6. a building built on your way: do not walk around it. Get a coffee in the cafeteria of the building and wait until they close and then act as if you didn’t have a house and sleep in front of the building. Live like this for three months or until you feel strong enough to cross the building through the main door in front of you and walking out at the other side of the building through the back door.

  7. the buzzing coldness of your empty fridge: put on comfy clothes, running shoes if possible, wear a face mask, do not think about the differences between being inside the secure and clean atmosphere of your house and the outside. Push your anxious fear down your body until it reaches your feet and you can walk over it and get yourself to the supermarket and buy food and warm your fridge up with fresh food.

  8. the dried bread that has grown mould on the corners: do not eat it, take an improvised snack instead like a tuna from a tuna can. Cut the chewy crust and soft crumb into small cubes. Put it in a bowl and smash them. Do it until you get a soft and malleable dough. Sculpt a mini Mickey Mouse head for your nephew. Give it to him and make sure he recognises it as an object and not a deformed slice of bread.

  9. the forgotten unpaired socks: stop contributing to heteronormativity by believing in things such as platonic love and perfect match. Proceed to pair all your unpaired socks based on their proximity or any affinity you think it may help them to succeed as bare feet shelter.

  10. the air between us: judge it by its consistency. Do not smell it or touch it. You can capture it in a paper bag as far as you keep it untouched for 72 hours because viruses die after 72 hours. Afterwards, open the bag, breathe deeply inside it and remember the time in which you could smell your friends, strangers, and crowds of people in public places.