In Ireland, I was in a car crash and when I finally sat down to eat at the hospital caf, it was to a hot plate of chips and curry. I will never forget the warmth of the curry or the crispness of the fries or how everything seemed to melt away in that moment as I ate my chips and thought about…well, nothing. I let the warmth spread through my belly and the salt build up at the corners of my mouth and just let myself be alive and happy. All the chaos of the morning fell away and I became more than the girl I was in that moment.
The beauty, the silver lining of having a shitty time is that afterward, eventually, sometimes, I am served up exactly what I need. And my gratitude for those moments will never be enough.
Today, I had a shitty day. I walked around all day feeling like my heart was broken. Feeling like I was muted, stunted, taped up badly. And so when I got to the Irish pub I did not hesitate to order a black and tan with curry fries. And the curry wasn’t quite right, but it was warm and thick and flavorful. The chips were fat and crunchy and salty. And in that moment, although I did not forget my broken heart, I was able to put it way back on the shelf and realize, I’m not that girl with the broken heart. It’s happening to her, but it’s not me.
Right. And as much as this place keeps fucking chewing me up and spitting me out, it then turns around and serves up exactly what I need. A plate of curry fries; a good, solid, genuine person who makes eye contact with me and hears my pain; a nice gesture; a sunny day; a leg pat; a shoulder pat; a lunch companion; a cloudless sky; a funny text; a warm bed. Like, “just kidding, I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. Come back to me.” I’m heard and I’m validated and I’m relieved. Jesus, but it’s still abuse. It’s still not right. It’s still not functioning.
“And when you come back in from nowhere, do you ever think of me?”