A Sandwich Moment

by f

the exact sandwich I'm talking about! from http://pinkpignyc.com

Soon, W will be leaving for Ithaca. That is eight hard lonely hours away from here. Five, six, seven, any number in between. Eight sticks. It could be less or more, but that is what it is.

For the past week we’ve enjoyed a hundred thousand idyllic moments together. Sleeping in each others arms, ignoring the pain in our crooked spines. We’ve gulped down lemonades and mochas at fifty different Starbucks. Sometimes, we talk at length about Cold War politics. Sometimes, we talk about stupid things, like the fake cute-language we’ve made up between ourselves. We are linguists who like to work with baby-talk nonsense. Sometimes we forget that we’re speaking absolute nonsense and the homeless guy from the table next to us puts down his tepid grimace cup and glares our way like we’re out of our minds.

We’ve had a lot of moments when the impending separation registers with us and we feel depressed. Sometimes these sensations are not synchronized. I see it on his face when he thinks about it, and he knows when I feel the same.

In order to cheer myself up, I bought (two) of my favorite sandwiches in the city. Two perfect, glorious Cambodian Num Pangs. Cauliflower and eggplant and spicy soy chili mayo. These sandwiches are mild fireworks on the tongue, an explosion of taste and beauty. I needed a few explosions. For me, they act as culinary pep-talks.

Of course, since these sandwiches contain eggplant, W won’t eat them.  Absolutely won’t touch them. He doesn’t understand why I take such extraordinary detours specifically for these sandwiches. So when I brought them home with me and set them on his mattress, two lovely boxes, one right next to the other, I dove into one of them, immediately. It took just two minutes for me to conquer the first sandwich. The second sandwich stood there, about to be eaten. However, I’d already been rude about starting to eat before he’d finished making his own dinner, so I waited to finish my dinner. Instead, I turned to the computer and started working on something else.

Five minutes later, I heard the investigative sniffing. W opened the lid on the sandwich box and sniffed around it. Picked it up.

I didn’t think anything of it. He wouldn’t actually eat it, would he?

I went back to my work.

Then, I heard the munching. W has extraordinary teeth, specifically made for violent chewing. He was eating my sandwich!

“You’re –”

He stopped eating. The chili mayo dribbled down his throat before he smeared it from his guilty face.

“No!” I squealed. “No, no! Please! Continue!”

I don’t think I can possibly explain how difficult it is for W to eat foods he expressly says he does not like. He hates pasta. He hates eggplant. He hates zucchini. He hates cheese unless it’s on a pizza or in a grilled cheese sandwich. No matter how many times I’ve begged him over the years, I’ve never been able to get him to eat anything he doesn’t want to eat. And because he’s a vegetarian, that severely limits the number of places we’re able to go.

I stared at him until my eyes went weak from it.

“I’ve always wanted to know what you loved about this sandwich.” he said. “You always love awesome things.”

“And do you like it?” I asked.

He crammed the last of the sandwich into his mouth and rubbed his stomach. I don’t know what made me love him at that moment, but I flung myself into his arms and we stayed like that for a while until his back gave out.

Yes, it’s been an emotional mess for me.

3 Comments to “A Sandwich Moment”

  1. This is a lovely, lovely post. You know you have us girls at your back.

    He’s mad to hate pasta and cheese (!!!!) but I am 100% with him on the zucchini. Yech.

    • *HUG*
      Thank you, D.
      And it’s OK if you hate zucchini. At least you’re not a vegetarian! You have the freedom to hate some vegetables. 🙂

  2. Oh, this is a wonderful post! Very sweet and loving! I can just picture the whole thing, and to know it really happened makes it all the better. 🙂 Its wonderful that you two have such a great relationship together, and that you’re so close. This is an inspiring post, because it proves there really are men like this in the world. 🙂 And people really do have relationships like this.

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