Saturday, March 24, 2007

Intimacy, Unfiltered

I was standing in front of the counter of the over-lighted Viatnamese Paris Sandwich shop on Mott street. I wanted to try everything on that neon menu glistering from the wall.

"Grill Pork Sandwich", "Rice Noodle with pork and cuncumber", "Coconut Cake", it goes on and on. I knew I will love everything in that little shop. Indochine fusion food is among my favorite.

I finally ordered hot milk tea, Rice noodle, coconut cake, and I was debating about what I can take home.

The pretty sales girl beamed while I was still trying to make a decision: you know, you can have some of our best Garlic bread! Freshly made!"

I moaned. I love Garlic bread but have been cutting on carb lately in my diet, which makes the itching worse. We all wanted things more if we can't have them.

"Actually" she said :I have only three left for the day, and you can take all of them!"

I was thinking whether she is giving to me for free. I don't look like I need that kind of charity but I love the gesture just as well, it is very homey.

"I will charge you the price of one."

"Which is?"


"OK!" I was overly excited. Garlic bread is among things in life that make me happy, not to say, freshly made and Parisian style too.

The three loaf of bread are pretty sizable, looking appealing and promising to fill very sizable appetite of a few. I know I won't be eathing them myself, it is infeasible, but I want to own them then, like wanting to own a red dress from Gucci, only this cost $1.25, the other cost a month's salary, so they stay where they are, in the window and I am going home with my bread, not one, but three. I could not be happier.

I had the full bag of food dangling from my arm while I walked along Canal street toward the subway station.

It was raining a little, I just left work early that evening to take care some errands. I was feeling relaxed. There was interview the next day, but I was so confident and excited that I am looking forward to it with an eagerness that suprised me.

We all need things to keep us going, or keep our sanity.

If they can not be my real aspirations, then at least make them news one, those that can challenge my mind if not touching my soul.

Interviews have gone well--it was my enthusiasm that have been making magics, besides I am really really good at what I do or hope to do. I realized to get stuck in a place, or in places, I don't want to be has made me such a bitter and negative person. I was not healthy to anyone before, especially not to you. Love from a sad and negative girl is but just burden and neediness. So you are right in distancing from me, I have distanced me from myself as well, until it is happy and peaceful.

Now the intimacy is back, between myself and everything around me, the city. And you really never left, you have always been there, in my heart of girl in the past, in my heart of a woman of today, no matter where you have chosen to be.

My IPOD is playing Bruce Springsting "The Promised Land" from the album On the Dark Edge of the Town.

My heart is warm with the knowledg that I have 3 loaf of freshly baked garlic bread in my plastic bag and good books to go back home to for a lovely and peaceful night. And I love the feeling of owning more than enough food, real ones, not green salard, not cheese.

I was thinking if I have 3 kids at home right now and I would be such a proud mom tonight, door would be opened and I would call out "Come get your garlic bread, children. Eat all you can!". The thought makes me smile, although I have only myself to feed as of now--so it is plenty of food.

Crossing Lafayette street, among the coming and going shadow of crowd, with my eyes looking straight ahead, I was in my own world, when a voice called my name. Someone must have passed me and recognized me.

I cotinued passing to the other side of the street and then turned around. A girl's face revealed itself from the darkness, she was running back across the street and smiling. She is so happy to see me.

"Wen Ying! Long time no see!" I smiled at this not so close Indonisian girl friend whom I quite like. She is pretty and quiet but funny.

I have few freinds in the city, more non-Chinese than Chinese now, most of latter have moved back to China in recent years, and become a presence online. And I have always been picky with friends. Being alone does not bother me, hanging out with people I don't like saddens me the most.

So I did not expect someone calling out my name, not even in Chinatown. There are too few of them scarttering in this huge city, and they just don't do that here in this country, calling out your name, taking the trouble of stopping you. So I was nicely surprised and warmed.

"You look good!" She said.

"Thank you. You too!".
She was smiling, and I can not help but to ask, for I know she wanted to share the news,

"I heard you moved to Brooklyn and Chee Ping moved in with you."

"Yes, I think it is public news now."

"I am so happy for you!" I did not like the ex girl, and I knew Wen Ying has waited for Chi Ping to take the move for sometime. He took his time.

We chatted more. She asked me to join them for dinner, I said I just got food and need to go home. My garlic bread is crying to be tasted.

After promises to make plan to meet again in the Grand Sichuan at St Mark's place, after hugs and kisses and giggling more over the boy, we parted.

I continued toward the N, Q, R W station, I continued my thought of garlic bread and the promised land, I continued to feel happy about someone calling my name on the street.

So maybe, it is a sign that indeed, this city, has become my home, where I have had my little routine, little world, little nice gestures, little surprises in stock for me.

When I started descending toward the platform, I realized that I could have done something really nice to Wen Ying and Chi Ping, and myself. I could have given them two loaf of garlic bread, freshly baked, Parisian style, my favorite.

Only now, they will have to come home with me, where I will keep them, partially decorative style, in my kitchen, to remind me that how little things as such can make you so happy or satisfied, when you are happy with youself, the only time when you know you can truely give.

And truth be told, subconscioulsy, I only wanted to keep the garlic bread to myself. They are just too good.


Blogger Thomas said...

Kind of a nice post.

1:28 PM  
Blogger NYE said...

Long time, no see, have changed yet again...welcome back.

1:30 PM  

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