Refried Beans

refried beans2

“He hath eaten me out of house and home;
he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of his.”
Henry IV, Part 2, Act IV, Scene 2

Dear readers, I must speak to you of a quest most urgent and dear to me. There is, from parts distant, a sauce that brings sensation strange and flavor most powerful to all who imbibe it. The complexity, earthiness, and singularity of this concoction is unmatched in all the wide world, and it has captured my heart.

I speak of mole poblano, that savory, chocolatey, peppery, spicy, sweet, sapid, saliently seasoned sauce from the Puebla region of Mexico. No distance can keep me from a good mole sauce. Just the other day, Alice and I traveled to a distant region of Manhattan, to the house of the Fairy Godmother. This distant and forgotten, yet beautiful region, known as “Washington Heights,” is home to a fine purveyor of mole poblano–a restaurant called “Refried Beans”.

I was inspired, after my last visit there, to write a new scene for one of my plays–my greatest masterpiece and, by far, most brilliant play–Cardenio. In this scene, Cardenio and Luscinda–the two nascent lovers–enjoy a final meal at Refried Beans before Cardenio’s departure in service to the Duke.


Scene II
Enter Luscinda and Cardenio

Lusc. What strange and colorful pictures on the wall
are here.

Card. They are the works of Frida Kahlo
And her husband Diego. Now let us sit
And partake of some Sangria. Fine and fruity,
It is a drink most worthy of our love.

Lusc. Methinks no drink could e’er be great as that
Undying love that binds our souls forever.

Card. But still, you must admit, it’s pretty good.

Lusc. Let’s speak no more of this, for time is short,
And my poor glass is empty. Fill it hence!
So like our love it is–gone so soon,
Except this drink has pitcher for refilling,
Our love has none, for gone you soon shall be
And I must wait.

Card. Fear not, Luscinda dearest,
For thou we soon must hunger for each other
Our food is here, and so our bellies shall
Be sated, thou our hearts yearn e’er for more.

Lusc. Let’s speak no more of this.

Card. It makes you sad.

Lusc. It is not that my love–
My mouth is full, and more of this sweet sauce
I must imbibe. How you distract me now!
So fervently my mouth craves for this sauce!
So sweet and sav’ry! I dare not talk to you,
For speaking steals experience of full power.
I long to eat in bitter solitude,
Far from the ogling eyes of those who gaze
With envy on my mole enchilada. Go now at once!

Card. But dear Luscinda, I thought we could share
All in our lives–both love and life and food.

Lusc. How dare thee think of sharing! This food is mine.
You swine! You cruel and thoughtless man, who dares
To think my enchilada’s his. This guacamole
And all before me’s mine alone to savor!

Card. But woe is me! I be bereft of flavor
And love–in one fell swoop all’s lost!

Exeunt Cardenio

Lusc. I’ve traded love for food! How dear the cost
Of such a wondrous enchilada sauce!

Exeunt Luscinda

refried beans3


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