#52essays: Keep On Keeping On

“Money comes and goes but you live through food.” Fetlework Tefferi says to Carolyn Jung in Spice Genius, an article in Eating Well (jan/feb 2018 edition). I was sitting in my chiropractor’s office waiting to be called when I picked up the magazine. I usually don’t do this because I am a bit of a germaphobe and I always rewind to whose hands have been on those pages and where those hands have been. I reached for it a bit quicker than usual because I have been trying to educate myself more now that I am in the food industry. So as I scanned the cover to figure out which main article to go to first, I happened to drop it and it opened to this piece above. I was so excited! You see this is Cafe Colucci’s owner. Cafe Colucci and I go way back. My memory has faded as to the former address of CC but I remember it being a few blocks up from my apartment when I lived on Opal in Oakland. Near 40th. From a quick search now, they have moved to Telegraph. I wonder if they have replaced our former haunt, another equally good Ethiopian restaurant on Telegraph.

Cafe Colucci was where some of my more memorable food chapters in my memoir were penned. I would gather whatever money I had made that week after paying debtors and head to Cafe Colucci. It was initially an Italian cafe with Ethiopian items on the menu which I found fascinating but I didn’t really care because I knew what I was there for. I would show up and order the $10 platter (kilwa) and often it was like 9:30 in the morning and they would look at me quizzically. They didn’t know I was African. That back home in Ghana, I ate waakye and red-red for breakfast hours before then. That my stomach was built for heavy breakfasts. They always obliged and after about a 20 minute wait I’d have a tray on injera with all kinds of goodies spread out on it set in front of me.

So to say I was ecstatic to see Fetlework’s interview and her smiling face is an understatement. Especially all the way here in raining, snowy, cold Ohio. It took me back to those days of hustling in the Bay and struggle as I did, loving every minute of that journey. It also reminded me that I have lived for food. I have done my most exciting writing in food places. It reaffirmed my dream to open my own place where people would come to have a taste of home. That piece I linked to above had me wishing there was a Ghanaian cafe. Well here’s my chance I guess.

It’s been another stressful week this past week and two nights ago I barely slept. None of my meditations worked nor my night sleep music. I lay awake until morning just thinking of how I was going to cover all my bills this month. You see that job I thought I had might not be had after all. I asked for accommodation and I haven’t heard back. I must return to the drawing block again.  I know that is not supposed to happen but it does happen.

In any case, I just wanted to say that when things get bad, I seem to find these little pieces of affirmation that insist that I keep going. Keep chasing this dream. I hope they are right!

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