I just watched a video of Gordon Ramsay demonstrating how to chop an onion. Nice to know I have been doing it right all these years. I was taught how, not by my mom ("Get out of my kitchen...") or my grandmother, (who I remember making cookies and martinis, though she must have consumed more than that,) But by a 16 year old boy, who was my friend, when I was 16 too. He was a fellow worker at my first summer job. He consoled me when I failed my drivers test, and he taught me how to cut up onions. There is a trick to it, which saves a lot of time, he said. And he was right.
He was my friend. He did not want to get in my pants-- he had a boyfriend. The next year and the years after, I did not come home for the summer. I never saw him again. I have no idea where he is now. have no idea where he learned how to wrassle onions. But sits in my mind whenever I hold an onion in one hand and a knife in the other. I think about how he was kind, when he could have been otherwise.