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April 26, 2004


She was Lebanese. Her family owned the biggest supermarket chain in Houston. Her name was Raven. She married a farmer’s son she met at college bar. He looked more Arabic than she, with a prominent hooked beak and long flowing hair. Raven was raised as a princess in a very wealthy family. She knew nothing of work, domestic chores or want of money. The family disowned her for marrying the infidel. She went from princess to trailer trash in the span of a wedding day. The boy took what work her could find, mostly driving trucks or operating machinery. She spent her days in the trailer with the TV. We could see the trailer from our commune. We often invited them over. She only knew haw to cook one item, lentils. The Lebanese call it Mjaddarah; we called it ‘mud.’ It was a basic but excellent dish of caramelized onion, lentils and basmati rice, a staple of the Middle East and southern Asia. I like it best without the rice. She taught all the hippie girls how to make it. May favorite way of eating the ‘mud’ was to ladle it onto fresh baked bread slathered with butter and shovel it in open faced. It was the best of the vegetarian goop forced upon us by our well-meaning chicks. They got caught up in the confusion of the times and the marriage unraveled, she returned to her princess throne in Houston. The husband built a sailboat and set out to sea.

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