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In Hot Water

As a whole, it's just been one of those weeks. But Wednesday, the universe wouldn’t align no matter what I did. So, after work was over, I went through my usual laundry list of perk-me-ups:

• I went to the gym and did my little gym routine extra hard, while listening to The Prototypes on my iPod—really loud.
• I sat in the steam room and breathed deeply.
• When this didn't work, I drank—two stiff drinks at our office holiday party (a negroni and a gin martini, twist of lemon)—and danced (particularly to “How Do You Want It?” by Tupac, which was smartly requested by Melissa, our arts and entertainment editor).

But the universe was being stubborn that night. It wouldn't budge.

So, when I got home around 11 pm, I started to draw a bath. For me, baths are the ultimate. If they can’t fix it, nothing can.

I hadn't eaten dinner and at that point, I realized was starving. A craving for pasta hit me hard. So while the water was running, I started chopping (a form of therapy itself): parsley and garlic and capers. I added all this to a bowl and threw in some chile flakes plus big chunks of home-canned tuna in olive oil (given to me by a chef friend, and I don’t mean to make you jealous, but that Albacore tuna is insanely good). When the fusilli was done, I tossed everything together with more olive oil and a squeeze of a Meyer lemon. Then shaved Parmesan over it all (boldly going against the Italian rule—no cheese with fish—but it was that kind of night).

At that point, my bath water was perfect. But so was my pasta. Wanting everything to be perfect, I decided, What the hell? I poured myself a glass of red wine (a true garage Cab made by none other than Robin Rinaldi’s husband, Scott, in their Castro flat) and brought it, as well as the bowl of pasta, into the bathroom with me—and giddily polished off both while immersed in the steamy water. It might sound weird, but let me tell you, it was also pretty wonderful. The right food in the right place at the right time—sometimes that's all it takes to make things ok again.