I’m not going near an open flame. I fear my mouth would be as a flamethrower. I should back up.

I wandered around Pike/Pine this afternoon/evening watching a protest that had shifted from an outpouring of anger to one of sustained momentum. I wondered if everyone was thinking what I was thinking – if this fades away today, nothing changes.

I left my amateur protest backpack at home. It has the basics: bottle of water; a little spray bottle with X parts water and Y parts baking soda, which has very little to no scientific backing on its efficacy with respect to softening the oh fuck that stings of CS gas or pepper spray; a bike helmet; ski goggles; safety goggles; gloves; and a rain jacket. I left all of that at home because the protest dynamics had changed, the police posture had changed, and Mayor Durkan graciously said she wouldn’t use gas weapons on her constituents for 30 days. (Or maybe was just running low on tear gas.)

Spoiler alert: Not sure if Durkan broke the letter of that agreement, but she shattered the spirit of it. Not long after I got home there was a malevolent chorus of flash bangs. A sad 1812 Overture, with the cannons aimed at your neighbors.

I swapped my camera bag and a film camera for the Amateur Protest Pack (formalizing it with capital letters) and a digital camera. Arrived to find the police and National Guard occupying Pine from the East Precinct to just about Broadway. It was disheartening seeing the troops out there – body armor, gas masks (is it still called MOPP gear? Mission Oriented Protective Posture?), and clubs…AKA weapons. All enemies foreign and domestic. Are these enemies? Is this why you signed up?

I’m angry, so I’m moving on. I walked up to the Co-op and bought some bread, Seoul spicy kimchi, and hummus to tide me over for the night. But right around midnight I decided the hummus wasn’t going to cut it. Since I’m not a planner, I sliced up a serrano pepper and a jalapeño pepper and chucked them on the skillet.

Now what?

Garlic. Always garlic. Tossed a couple of handfuls of spinach on top. Removed from heat. Opened kimchi. Forgot that kimchi ferments in the bottle and worried that I had a little kimchi volcano about to erupt. Added kimchi. Grape tomatoes for the finale.

That has to be weird, right? Having hot and cold foods thrown together? It didn’t matter, for two reasons. One, I don’t give a shit. Two, those peppers and kimchi nearly spontaneously combusted. I like spicy food, and I’m exaggerating a little, but it had a kick. I can’t taste anything but fire. Delicious, but probably not a great idea.

PS – Seoul kimchi, my pager is beeping off the hook with reps from Laughing Cow who want to make me a ridiculously profitable sponsorship offer. I’ve been holding them at bay, mainly because I can’t remember how to use a pager. But the other reason is that I feel like tonight I have created an authentic as it gets lifestyle influencer relationship with your kimchi. DM me with an offer, preferably one that starts in the mid six figures. Laughing Cow will be so pissed.