You Are What You Eat

I couldn’t help but smile at her eerie glow from the streetlight above.

“It’s the carrots.” She said without showing a tooth.

“Sure it is.” I replied.

She seemed to think that everything she was could be attributed to her diet. You are what you eat she’d tell me constantly. It wasn’t a nuisance, just an odd distraction from her beauty.

“You look nice tonight.” I’d say.

“It’s the pears I’ve been eating, they really help.” She’d reply.

It’s not even like she’d know, she’s not a dietitian; she’s a painter. Hell, she’s not even a great cook.

“What do you want for dinner?” She’d ask me nightly.

“Take-out?” I’d always try.

“No chance in hell! Full of MSG. I’ll cook a stir-fry.”

The stir-fry was her cross, and she, the savior of the Jews’ and the overweight, was forever nailed to the plate of vegetables and rice.

Her eyes aimed to the heavens above, “What do you want to do tonight?” She asked the streetlight flicking above her.

“Watch you be beautiful.” I replied, dreamily yet in all honesty.

“Something we can both do.”

”Should I get you a mirror?”

We ended up seeing a movie. Some train out of Hollywood that went off the tracks and ended up being a unintentional documentary on how culturally lost we are as a society.

“I liked it.” She offered.

“You like everything.” I countered.

“Why can’t you?”

She had a tendency to hang life over me with a string.

“Isn’t life great?” She’d say, setting the trap.

“Not particularly.” I’d say, half-heartedly. I could barely muster the energy to be pessimistic.

“Maybe that’s just because you’re not trying hard enough.”

No matter how hard I tried, how many movies I liked or how many greens I ate, I still wasn’t trying hard enough. She couldn’t accept my pessimism as genuine distrust for civilization.

“But people are so nice!” She’d cry.

“Tell that to the man stealing your purse.” I snorted. She never got that purse back.

Pessimism is genetic. My father was a writer, and his father before him was one as well. Somewhere along the line there was a defect, as my great-grandfather happened to be a clown. Life is funny like that. Not funny like a clown, funny like knowing that annually, hippopotami tend to kill more people than lions.

“Ohh, don’t you just love clowns!” She exclaimed, pointing at a street busker.

“My great-grandfather was a clown, and my great-uncle died because his dad couldn’t afford food.” I said, my eyes trying to melt the pavement beneath my feet.

It’s not like we weren’t in love. If I believed in true love, I’m sure we would have had that. Our relationship was like so: she is a single, positively charged Hydrogen ion, whereas I am two negatively charged Oxygen ions, we combined to neutralize each other and create harmless water.

“Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” I said to her.

“You know I don’t like Iron Maiden.” She said with a frown

I sighed like Boreas, the Greek god of the northern wind, blowing a Persian ship to the great beyond. She frowned like a Teletubby paying alimony.

Nightly, she would return to her apartment at 7pm sharp to watch television. This was fine by me, because I usually wanted to be home to watch the news. It took me months to discover what show was so dreadfully important to her. Sitting on her lopsided sofa, we began to watch Jeopardy. Pleasantly surprised, I concluded that I might not have been giving her enough credit.

“Oopsie daisy! Wrong channel.” She exploded, snatching the remote and slamming her tiny fingers onto the buttons.

When she finally got to the right channel, I found myself wishing I were nose-deep in sulfuric acid.

“Big Brother?” I said in a disbelieving undertone.

“Oh it’s my favorite show!” She said in a clueless overtone.

Big Brother is my least favorite television show.

“How can you watch this?” I said, eyebrows hidden under my hair.

“Easily!” She chirped, fingernails hidden between her teeth. “It’s so exciting!”

An hour later, I was asleep and she was crying. I woke up with a start, expecting to see a bloody butcher knife in my right hand, and Julie Chan’s severed head in the left.

“What?! What is it?” I shouted, drool hanging limply on my lip.

“Rob got voted off!” She said through sobs.

I went back to sleep.

She was beautiful, I cannot tell a lie. I sometimes wondered if that fact alone was all that held us together after a long night of playing Monopoly Jr. and watching The Price Is Right re-runs. I enjoyed my time with her, although it generally equated to the warm fuzzy feeling that your stomach explains to your brain after telling some kid a joke and ruffling their hair.

On the other side of the wooden coin; she offers a sort of uncorrupted serenity that intelligent people cannot offer. How can you be happy knowing that there’s no reason to be?

“There’s not reason not to be happy!” She giggled. She was in a bubbly mood that night.

The next night; “There’s no reason not to be happy; these avocados are to die for!” She was in a you are what you eat mood that night.

And the next; “There’s no reason not to be happy; there are so many good movies out this week!” She was in a I like it mood that night.

A week later; “There’s no reason not to be happy; that man just gave $20 to charity!” She was in a people are so nice mood that night.

The next month; “There’s no reason not to be happy; Chelsea got voted off!” She was in a Big Brother mood that night.

The next year, it was I that was happy; “There’s no reason not to be happy; you’re here.” I was in a her mood that night."

You Are What You Eat

Godspeed

Joined August 2008

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