Journal Entry 9/1/2019:
“Today I took up my position in Marco’s neighborhood. As fortune would have it, there is a foreclosed home directly across from his, allowing me easy surveillance at all hours of the day as long as I stay by the front windows. The utilities are disconnected, but I should be able to charge my electronics by using the neighbor’s outdoor sockets in the middle of the night.
Coming and going from my hideout will be too risky to do often. This is an upscale neighborhood and I’m sure all of its rich inhabitants are looking for any excuse to further assert their dominance over poor people by calling the police on them. So I’ll just sit here in the attic looking out the window with binoculars and writing in my journal.
Pop Tarts are okay cold, but I wish I had a microwave. Maybe when I’m done with this project of mine, I’ll invent a rechargeable microwave and get rich.”
Journal Entry 9/2/2019:
“Day two. It is as I suspected. Marco will have guests to his house for dinner parties. The dining room and kitchen are obscured from my view unless I were to venture onto his property, which is out of the question during daylight hours, but it is obvious that he is serving them his delicious homemade Fettuccine Alfredo.
I must have that recipe.”
Journal Entry 9/4/2019:
“The knowledge that Marco is regularly making large amounts of Fettuccine Alfredo for his own and others’ consumption is slowly causing my sanity to fracture. But I must keep my wits about me and avoid doing anything rash. The notecard upon which the recipe is surely written in perfect detail, with exact ingredient weights and preparation times, will be mine in time. To allow my impatience to sabotage my own plan would be a dreadful setback.
When that notecard is in my hands, and I become the sole wielder of the most delectable, creamy, cheesy pasta recipe in the world, all the wait will have been worth it.
So that is what I must do. Wait.”
Journal Entry 9/6/2019:
“At the dawn of day six, I realized with dismay that my phone ran out of space to record video within mere hours of my arrival here, and has been constantly overwriting old footage with new. Thinking that not all was lost, I went back to read what I thought were detailed notes I had taken of his movements, but there were only drawings of plates of Fettuccine Alfredo upon those pages. Some of the drawings depicted slices of grilled chicken resting upon the pasta.
Now I only have my faulty human memory to inform me of what Marco’s daily schedule is. Curse my idiocy!”
Journal Entry 9/7/2019:
“Last night, the cravings became too much. At two in the morning, I summoned a DoorDash delivery for Fettuccine Alfredo from a local pizzeria, with a note for the delivery driver to not use their headlights or slam their car door.
When the food was paid for and in my hands, I took it back up to Surveillance HQ and opened the lid. However, before I could even take a bite, I was overwhelmed by a sense that I was betraying Marco and his authentic Italian recipe for the same dish, so I threw the entire thing out the window and had a cold Pop Tart instead. The sleep that followed was fitful and plagued by dreams of noodles dancing in cream sauce and taunting me.
I have decided: tomorrow is the day I infiltrate Marco’s house.”
Journal Entry 9/8/2019:
“At approximately 8:32 AM, Marco got in his car and drove away from his residence. Given that he is Italian and presumably Catholic, it was clear that he was going to Sunday Mass. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect; all of his neighbors would be guaranteed to still be in bed.
The spare house key hidden in the windowsill planter allowed me access into the house. I was sure that I would just need five minutes to find his alphabetized recipe drawer in his kitchen and procure the Fettuccine Alfredo recipe.
But, after opening every drawer and cupboard in his kitchen, no recipes of any sort could be found. Not only that, but the standard ingredients for Fettuccine Alfredo were missing from the pantry, and there was no evidence that the kitchen was regularly used to prepare food. The only explanation was that there was a hidden kitchen elsewhere in the house where Marco’s authentic Fettuccine Alfredo was made in secret.
Just as I was going through Marco’s bedroom looking for trapdoors and hidden levers, I heard the front door open. I should have jumped out the window and escaped that way, but I chose to confront Marco in person about his recipes. He pretended not to know about any Fettuccine Alfredo recipes, but I knew he was lying, and I felt like I was close to extracting the recipe from him when the cops showed up.
So the bad news is, I’m in jail now. When they decide let me out of here, that recipe will be mine.
At least they let me keep my journal.”