Here are some things (FIVE to be exact) that I will be talking (TYPING) about today. Put your reading glasses on. (Speaking of, I need those now I think.) But first, random picture of Drew and a dead plant in a pumpkin planter.
- Geromino Jeff
The other night, I was laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, when OUT OF THE BLUE (or, in Korean, kapchuggi) I had this vivid flashback to the time my ex-boyfriend Jeff told me this story about how when he was super little, maybe like 4 or something, he was in the backseat of his mom’s car, and somehow, as she was driving down the road, he managed TO FALL OUT OF THE CAR?! This was clearly the 80s when kids graduated from car seats at age 1 probably, so I’m sure he was just popping a squat in the back without the confines of a Graco straight jacket holding him inside a cushioned bucket, so I guess back then something like this happening was more plausible. If I remember the story correctly, his mom didn’t notice right away so he was just like, chilling on the side of the road, I guess. I think he said it wasn’t a major highway, and he didn’t get hurt, so I imagine it must have been a small, back road in their hometown (he grew up in a hick-ish town about an hour outside of Pittsburgh where you could essentially fall out of your mom’s backseat and not see another car pass you for quite some time while you’re crouching in a field of cattails next to a rotting possum carcass.
Now, me being me, I latched on to this story HARD and made him tell it to me over and over like it was my favorite page in the Fucking Bedtime Stories for Young Adults Who Should Still Probably Be Living with Their Parents book. That’s my sociopathic personality—Ruby—winning out against the other more reasonable, empathetic ones.
Sometime after this, Jeff and I went out to dinner with his mom and stepdad, and my dad. I was 19 years old and had much less of a filter than I do now, so without even thinking about it, I blurted out that Jeff had told me the story of how he barrel-rolled out of a moving car except that I start cracking up so bad that I could barely finish saying it and I was also crying & choking because my giddiness comes at me HARD. In my dumb head, I assumed that Jeff’s mom would join me in laughing at this hilarious memory, but she was HORRIFIED and said, “That was one of the worst moments of my entire life” and then the tone grew super somber except that I still wanted to continue laughing so now I was in physical pain trying to use all of my power and brain-drawer of sad memories to stifle it.
Later on, Jeff’s stepdad asked me how the job search was going which was great because I told Jeff earlier in the day to make sure no one said anything about that because I didn’t want my dad to know I quit my job because then he would figure out that my mom was paying my bills, so it was a great dinner.
Anyway, the whole point of this was that when I remembered it the other night, I started involuntarily cackling, like side-splittingly, to the point where Henry woke up and mumbled, “What” with a sludge of reservation in his tone because my laughter scares him lots. So I told him the story and he slurred, “Yeah, you told me that before” and fell back asleep WITHOUT EVEN A TINY CHUCKLE. Wow, Team Jeff’s Mom, I guess.
Wednesday night, Chooch and I went on a stealthy nighttime stroll around the neighborhood. There are less people out at night now which makes social distancing easier but it’s also sketchy because, you know, Brookline. So we stick to the sidewalk on the main road to be safe DON’T WORRY! On our way back, we were in the middle of a conversation (thankful I have a teenager who still talks to me but also sometimes he talks too much; I’m never satisfied) when a car full of young people drove by and screamed something in jibberish at us from their open windows. Look, I’m a highly sensitive person, so not only did I scream, nay—shriek, but my feet fucking left the ground. Like the force of my startled yelp boosted me into the air long enough for my fucking feet to pedal the air.
“Did you just actually SCREAM? Oh my god, you’re so embarrassing,” Chooch muttered.
“Why, did you know them!?” I cried, hand still clutching my pearls.
“No! But now what if you inspired them to turn around and do it again? Oh my god, I hate you. You’re like Shaggy from Scooby Doo!” and then he kept yelling ZOINKS at me and I was like STFU.
It was scary, OK?!
Not as embarrassing as the time Henry and I were walking and some kid yelled out of a moving car (without falling out of it, a la Jeff), “Your shoe’s untied!” and I was like, “OMG thank you so much!” and bent down to tie my shoe which was not in fact untied because it didn’t even have laces.
“You’re an idiot,” Henry muttered and left me there to figure it out on my own.
3. Fufu for MeMe
A few weeks ago, I read this book called Slay and in this book, there was the briefest mention of a Ghanaian comfort food called FUFU, which is a soft bread-like foodstuffs made from plantains and cassava, which is then used as a serving device for soups or stews, such as PEANUT STEW. I of course latched on to this, the greater message of the book flitting out of my brain like a spurned butterfly of social consciousness. I started sending Henry recipes for it, which then turned into him watching one YouTube video after another of Ghanaian women churning out fufu on their stovetops, until he was finally ready to commit to the cause.
And this is how, Sunday evening, our house was ALIVE with appetizing African aromas. Henry was unhappy with the consistency of his final fufu, but it tasted AMAZING. You just plop a fistful of it in a bowl and pour whatever soup or stew your heart desires (I mean, you have to make it first, don’t just expect your heart to conjure it up, unless you’ve got that kind of magic, and if that’s the case, do you need a roommate?) around the fufu hill. To be most traditional about it, you should pull pieces of fufu from the mound and press them down into tiny bowls in which to scoop up the soup.
The fufu was a fucking delight, but the stew was the real winner here. It was filled with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, some other things probably, with fresh peanut butter used in the stew-y part, and garnished with peanuts.
I mean, it doesn’t make for the most attractive meal, but WE EAT WITH OUR MOUTHS, NOT OUR EYES.
In one of the books I read earlier in the week, they had Persian jeweled rice so now I’m hounding him for that and he’s all, “ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER? I NEED ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER FOR THIS?” Lol. No one ever said being with me is easy.
4. Subway Update
Henry is slowly but surely making progress on my massive Seoul subway wall art. I think he now he has all the lights in place, but they haveto be adjusted so that they match the colors of the lines they’re representing, and he still needs to get a sheet of plexiglass to attach the actual subway map to, then he has to build a frame for it, and finally attach the sound box thingie that will enable it to play the actual subway jingles at a press of a button.
Pray for him.
- 5. Nightmare Nun
Wednesday night, I had this awful dream where I was a kid, maybe 7 or 8, and I was speed-walking along a street in my old hometown, Old Clairton Rd, with a mom who wasn’t actually my IRL mom, and a man who was a plain-clothed priest. We were in a hurry yet trying to remain inconspicuous, because presumably someone was after us/me. I kept hearing this low, demonic grumbling all around me, coming from the trees and empty houses. We were headed toward my old middle school and then turned down a road that I used to drive on all of the time when I still lived out that way yet I can’t remember the name of it. There were people standing outside of their houses on this street and they were yelling things at us, but the priest kept shielding me from them and was shouting, “DON’T LISTEN TO THEM” over and over and this when I realized that something was wrong with me, and I was crying but they kept dragging me along with them, down this residential street which was never scary to me at all in real life because it’s like the quintessential suburban utopia, houses with actual flower boxes hanging outside of their windows and shutters painted thoughtfully to match the aesthetics of the rest of the house – you know these houses. WHERE FAMILIES ACTUALLY SIT DOWN AND EAT DINNER TOGETHER, probably. But whatever.
In real life, when you get to the bottom of this street, there’s an intersection with other residential streets, and then they all spill out onto one main road that take you past the police station. But in my dream, there was an empty parking lot at the end of the road, one that hadn’t been used in some time, so there were cracks in the pavement with weeds growing through them. I know this because I was walking with my eyes down. We all stopped here in this parking lot and I turned around to say something to my mom, but before I could finish, she started to scream and as she screamed her mouth grew wider and wider until the red-tinged silhouette of a nun came out of her mouth and FLEW INTO ME WHILE YELLING A BUNCH OF SCARY JIBBERISH and in real life, I woke up SCREAMING THE JIBBERISH THAT THE NUN WAS SAYING and my cat Drew woke up on my chest and looked at me over her shoulder like, “THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU” and as I waited for my heart rate to go down, I realized that the jibberish the nun was saying was the SAME JIBBERISH THOSE KIDS SCREAMED AT ME EARLIER THAT NIGHT FROM THEIR CAR.
Welp, that’s all for me. Gotta get ready for my loathsome Friday late shift. :(