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I've decided to skip the whole mainstream process of how nice girls get published. At some point, why write if you can't reach out and touch someone? I also hope someone out there reading my work, might publish my work. Hey a girl's gotta eat!

Big S

The Big S

We called her big S, aptly named for a woman who stood 5 foot 11 in flats and carried more then a few extra pounds.

"Fat" never seemed quite the right way to describe Big S. Voluptuous, big and beautiful, these were a much better fit.

I've never met a woman who could carry off being overweight with that much sex appeal. She never tried to hide behind big sweaters or housedresses. No, it was spandex and bra-less tank tops for Miss S much to the delight of many, many Latin men.

The first time I met Big S she was stirring tomato sauce wearing nothing but a black lace bra, matching panties and an apron.

"It's hot as yell!" she yelled in an accent that sounded one part western and two parts any big city above the mason Dixon line. Turns out the lady was from San Diego.

Oh, and she was cooking for me.

Our mutual pal Alex who was the maitre d for the catering company I chefed for, dragged her in when I complained I was short on prep cooks with a brain. The last couple of girls I’d hired didn’t know the difference between chopping an onion and curling their hair.

I was just about to say something to her about the possible hygiene issues of a semi naked prep cook hovering over a vat of tomato sauce, when she screamed "Try this!"

This; was a tomato concasse that I'd written on the prep list and assumed no one would tackle until I got there to show them how to make it even though everyone in the company had made concasse about five trillion times.

I let her shovel a spoonful into my mouth already writing the speech in my head. "Now see here, there is no room in a proper kitchen for non proper attire." Then the full and lovely taste of the most gorgeous tomato concasse I’d ever tasted filled my mouth.

I got the basil, the extra virgin olive oil but it was the back kick, I couldn’t place.

"It's a little bit of chili,” she said reading my face.

"I love it!" I said forgetting all about what she was wearing or rather not wearing. I also, for a full breath, forgot who I was, what year it was and whether or not I was dreaming, the taste was lovely.

"If you like that, you definitely need to try my guac!"

“Yes….”I stammered….I guess I do.”

The next couple of weeks were a non-stop gastronomic orgasm of delight with Big S infusing all my New York recipes with a heaping dose of Cali-Mexican and white trash southern.

To this day I add cayenne pepper to my Caesar salad dressing and jalapenos to my Apricot jam and proudly think of Big S.

But alas, she was only in town for a few weeks.

She left as she arrived in a cloud of hooting, hollering and fried chicken, leaving me with a longing I’d never before known for cilantro.

A couple years later, when I was stuck in a flea bag of a motel after a week of fast food with my parents on a family reunion of sorts it was Big S I called to rescue me.

She arrived driving her car, “the thing,” and announcing, “Honey you are about have yourself some fun!” then drove me to Mexico and spent three days pouring margaritas down my throat.

“Straight up darling, you don’t want the ice in this town!”

She took me to ensanada where the only tourists rode motorcycles or chewed tobacco and for our haute cuisine, we ate 25 cent tacos downed with beer.

For theatre, we visited emsanadas version of a stripper bar, and watched Mexican women dressed in one piece 1970's bathing suits, due something that looked like a cross between runway and the cha cha.

By the time I rejoined my parents, my face hurt from smiling so much.

Tragedy had befallen both Big S and me.
We lost our mothers. S went thru a divorce
We buried our friend Alex.
But as each tragedy fell on our doorsteps,
I would stumble and fight to regain my footing.

S would stand right back up and give tragedy the finger,
rising stronger then before, never letting her joi de vivre go for a moment. Her fire never dimmed.

S lost a hundred pounds on the Atkins diet
and showed up a few years later, a shadow of her former self.
I was worried when I saw the tall slender lady in the tight jeans
and felt sad for the loss of my big sexy friend.

As soon as she opened her mouth I knew Big S was still in the house.

"Ain't I the sexy bitch!" she screamed.

After her divorce Big S left her home and moved into a 30 foot RV which she parked in the lot at her job. The ambiance wasn't much unless you liked black tar with a scenic background, but she loved knowing that if the going got tough, she could wheel her life right on outa there.

When the Santa anna winds blew fire into San Diego, I was sitting at a restaurant in Manhattan with Big S and her great pal G. She stepped outside to take the call.

She came back to tell us they said the winds and the ash and fire were blowing right into her home on wheels.

I figured she'd go into panic or try and catch an earlier flight back to Cali, but instead she refilled her glass with chilled vodka and said," You know if I get back and my camper is totaled it just means it's time to start my whole new life!

Later on that week, we went to a costume ball and several drag queens fell in love with Big S thinking that at nearly 6 feet, she might be one of them. She nearly brought a 7 foot tall drag queen to tears when she explained that his/ or rather her freckles were beautiful.

"Hey honey I'm covered in them! Freckles rock!"

Big S and G came by my hotel room to say goodbye on their way to the airport. G was sipping beer on ice and both of them were as giddy as you can get at 9am.

"How do you do it?" I asked.

"Honey ..what's the alternative?" She said and hugged me.

Turns out there were 2,000 homeless people sleeping at her job and therefore her home, when Big S got back. She fixed her sewer pipe with some tools she had stored in the camper and dusted things off as best she could, then went about the business of feeding 2,000 lost and miserable people.

Right after that, I'm pretty sure, she went dancing.

But wait! There's more!