It happened again. I learned about Peter Straub’s talk with a slate columnist at the Brooklyn library about 2 hours too late. On the plus side, I was bummed and when I’m bummed I’m motivated enough to do 70 minutes of yoga and 70 minutes of yoga leaves me ready to build a house. But not help cook dinner, it’s funny how that works. So we treated ourselves.
I usually go for Thai and my boyfriend gets Chinese. The reason I’m telling you what I ate for dinner last night is because his Chinese place always gives us two fortune cookies and this time they were deeply enlightening. My boyfriend’s said: .
Yup, his was blank. Mine was mind blowing: You like Chinese food
Take that back. NO, I DO NOT. Not anymore. Not since that one time.
I stopped eating Chinese food long before the diet change. It happened on one of those crappy days in which you try to cheer yourself up with a lunch special. I drenched the top of my veggie fried rice with sweet and sour sauce, stirred it in, added a packet of hot mustard, as you do, stirred it in and hmm, that doesn’t look like a vegetable?
I discovered the dreaded.
Do I tell? If I tell, you’ll be grossed out. You may get sympathy gags. This was years ago and I’m still traumatized. If I don’t share, it’s like the tree never fell. What I found is completely irrelevant now, but we’ve gone too far to turn back. You must know. I found a roach. To this day, I am only grateful that it was near enough to the top that I found it before having any. That I have a certain order to doing things and didn’t just dive in with my mouth open.
For a while, I couldn’t even smell someone else’s Chinese food without going back to that place where I’m cradling the oyster pail in my hands, staring at a food nightmare that’s staring back at me. Granted, with dead eyes, but still staring back with eyes. Eyes.
But I’m over it. Almost completely over it. Enough to stand the smell of my boyfriend’s takeout – from a different place.
Chinese food has put me through enough. I called my 7-year-old niece to talk birthday gift ideas and may have complained a little about wanting a better fortune. She plucked one out of her imagination just for me:
You are a fire-breathing dragon of niceness
I choose to believe she wasn’t just buttering me up so I’ll find a telescope kit she wants. She left out that I’m a fire-breathing dragon of niceness who creamed her in our sledding race, but I forgive. I am a forgiving, fire-breathing dragon of niceness. Thanks, little buddy.