The Harder They Come by T. C. Boyle:
She was at the stove two days later, making a pot of low-cal chicken vegetable soup (tenders sautéed in safflower oil with garlic and onions, chicken stock, zucchini, tomatoes and snow peas from her garden), late afternoon, a glass of zinfandel on the counter beside her, everything as still as still can be. Kutya was asleep on the floor, in the cool place by the sink. A faint breeze, just the breath of one, came in through the screen windows. Quartering the tomatoes and dicing the zucchini, occasionally taking a sip of wine and gazing idly out the window to where the hummingbirds were buzzing each other off the feeder, she felt herself easing into a kind of waking dream, and wasn’t this the way life was supposed to be? No worries. Just living in the moment. Normally she would have been listening to the radio, but she’d spun through the dial twice and there was nothing but crap on—classical, with the stick-up-the-ass announcers who sounded as if they’d had all their blood drained out of them the minute they turned the microphone on; Mexican talk; Mexican music; Mexican car ads; classic rock with the same playlist they’d been rehashing for the last half century and, if you didn’t like that, the alt rock that was such crap even the musicians’ mothers couldn’t take it—and so she was listening to the house breathing around her, to the jay outside the window and the neat controlled tap and release of the blade on the cutting board.