Scene 23 – Tuesday Evening Steaks

by johnepete

Tuesday Evening Steaks



Su looks out the window and sees John watching the fire closely. Picking up the plates of steaks, she carries them outside and places them on the table. ” Fire ready yet?” Su asks.


” Not quite, the coals are still a little dark but we can throw them on a little early if you want.”


” That is probably a good idea, I don’t want to miss that sunset tonite, it looks like it’s going to be a good one.”


John walks over towards the table to grab the steaks when Su hands him one at a time. “Hang on, I want to season the grill,” he says.


” Season the grill?”


” Yeah, just sprinkle some of the seasoning on it before we lay the steaks down. Hang on, be right back.”


John runs inside, grabs the John’s seasoning and heads back outside saying hello to Lucky as he goes out the door.


” Ok, yeah. I heard somewhere that if you season the grill it’ll make the steaks taste better, figured it’d be a good time to try. Those beans are smelling good.”


” Oh thanks for reminding me,” she says.


Su goes back inside, turns the beans and checks to make sure they’re not burning. ” Phew,” good they’re ok. Su fishes out a few beans and a piece of bacon and tastes them. Very good, she smiles.


Turning the burner to low, she goes back outside. ” How long until they’re done?” she asks.


” ’bout fifteen minutes, maybe longer.”


” Why so long?”


” They’re thicker. Want to hear a cool story while we wait?”


” It’s not that big foot story is it?”


John smiles, ” The South Florida Skunkape Theory? No, but that’s a good one too. This is more like a legendary tale kind of story.”


” Well, wasn’t that other one too?”


” No the other one is a theory, this is a legend.”


” Ok whatever, tell me.”


” Ok so, back in the days when pirates would capture rich dames and hold them for ransom, that’s how Captiva got its name. A pirate named Gasparilla would rob and loot incoming supply and explorers ships. He did this for many years. He was later convinced to take his crew and leave or be overtaken and killed. He agreed. On the day of his departure, Gasparilla being the pirate he was, couldn’t resist one more raid on a ship before leaving.”


“ He chose what seemed to be an unprotected vessel. As the ship neared, he recognized it as a U.S. Navy ship and it was too late to retreat. They offered not to kill him and his crew if they turned themselves in. Gasparilla didn’t like that idea. Instead, he tied an anchor around his waist and threw himself into the water. It’s said that he made an oath just before he did so.”


” Yes, turn the steaks,” she says.


John turns the steaks and replaces the lid, ” About eight minutes maybe.”


” Ok, go ahead finish.”


” Right. So this oath wasn’t really an oath, it was a Calusa Indian chant. The same chant that the Calusa chanted as they entered the very same waters, disappearing forever.”


” I don’t understand. Don’t forget my sauce,” she says, pointing to her plate.


John opens the grill lid. Smoke bellows out. Pouring the juices from the plate onto her steak, he lifts one end of each steak checking to make sure they aren’t burning and places the lid back on the grill.


The female neighbor where John heard the music coming from leans over her lean fence. “That smells wonderful.”


” Thanks, hi” Su says, turning around.


John smiles and waves with the tongs in hand.


” Hi, just wanted to tell you that. It adds to the ambiance,” Faye says.


” It is wonderful isn’t it. We’d offer you one but we don’t have that much to share, we spent everything.”


Faye smiles and nods, ” Oh no I understand, it smells so good we just had to say something though.”


Faye’s husband leans on the fence with a beer in hand smiling and waves. ” Hello, smells great!” George says.


John waves.


” Hello,” Su says.


John nudges Su, ” We’ve got that one extra steak.”


” I don’t know,” she whispers.


” You gonna eat two steaks in one sitting?” John asks.


” Ok,” Su agrees.


John clears his throat and speaks loudly, ” We’ll fix y’all up one…..”


” Really?!” Faye says with a smile.


” Well thank you!” George says.


” No problem,” John says.


John turns to Su, ” I’ll do that real fast, can you watch the steaks, they only have a few minutes left?”


” Can you do it after?”


” It’ll only take a minute.”


” They’re almost done and they don’t even have a fire going yet.”


John speaks loudly to the neighbors, ” we’ll bring one over to you in about ten minutes, is that ok?”


” Yeah, great! Looking forward to it,” George says, lifting his bottle in greetings.


” No problem,” John says.


John lifts the lid on the grill and again the smoke bellows out. ” Wanna check?” John asks.


” Sure. Smells delicious,” Su says, sniffing the aroma of the grill.


John hands Su a steak knife and holds the steak in place with the tongs for her. Su grabs the tongs and cuts into the steak.


” No blood, maybe a little, but it’ll cook some more when we take it off the heat,” she says.


” Just let it cook some more,” John suggests.


” It’ll be fine,” she says.


” Sure?”


” Yes, I’m starving.”


” Clean plates?” John asks.


Su quickly walks inside, grabs a couple of plates out of the dish rack , looks at the beans and bacon, smelling their aroma, then goes back outside handing the plates to John.


John opens the lid ducking out of the way of the smoke. Picking up each piece of meat, he places them on separate dishes one at a time and hands them to Su.


” Heavy. Oh my God they look so gooood!” Su says as she waves the plates beneath her nose smelling them.


” They do, don’t they.”


” You better come on before I eat yours,” she says jokingly.


John smirks and Su sees him do it.


” You be bad,” she says smirking back.


John puts the lid on the grill and hurries to open the door for Su.


John quickly walks over to the refrigerator and prepares one of the steaks the same way Su fixed his. Placing the steak on a paper plate, John shakes seasoning on both sides and drizzles it with olive oil. ” Be right back,” he says, covering one plate with the other.


Lucky comes out of the bedroom and sits at the corner of the cupboards that separate the kitchen and the dining area watching Su’s every move.


While John takes the steak over to the neighbors, Su fixes their own plates with the green bean dish, slices of sour dough bread and sliced tomatoes on the side, then places them on the table with silverware and drinks.


” Looking for fallout, huh?” Su says, handing Lucky a small piece of the bacon.


John comes back in and is surprised to see the table set, ” Wow, I didn’t realize I was gone that long.”


” You weren’t,” she says.


” They said to tell you ” Thank you.”


” They’ll enjoy it.”


” Yeah, they seem like pretty decent people. Why are we sitting at the table this time?” John asks.


They sit down and start eating. Lucky moves over to Su’s side laying down, staring straight at her.


” Oh. When I’m done eating I want to sit back and listen to you finish telling me that story you started.”


” Almost forgot about that, didn’t think you were all that interested in it,” he says, cutting into his steak.


” It’s not a great story but I do kinda want to know how it ends, that chant thing … After dinner though…..”


John nods his head chewing on a large piece of meat that is making one side of his cheek bulge out.


Su raises her fork with a piece of juicy meat on it and they toast forks smiling.