Excuse me if I don’t make a lot of sense today. America broke up with me this week, and I’m only now beginning to make sense of it.
They talk about the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), but I am unsure of where I stand. Mostly I just feel numb. I feel like I should have known better. There had been so many signs. There were all the times you questioned my English, or tried to explain to me my own culture. Or the time you came over to my house for dinner and asked if we were eating dog. The couple of times you mistook me for Lisa Ling, or automatically assumed I could fix your computer. And so many times you told me I was overreacting to jokes you had made or things you had done, that I was too emotional, being too touchy. I needed more things to do, you said. Was it that time of the month? After all, America doesn’t see color, and everyone knows America believes in women’s equality, everyone says so.
I should have seen it coming. You told me yourself, that no one understood what you were doing with me in the first place, that you could do better. You made sure I knew that. You said I was cute, and “pretty in my own way”, but there was no way I could ever be a 10. Oh sorry, you said it would be “very hard” for me to be a 10. There I go again, misrepresenting you, but what do you expect? My English will never be as good as yours, and going out with me in public always embarrassed you a little bit. “Why her?” your friends would ask, and you would shrug and tell them that it was a good year for small town girls. You thought I was lucky, for a while. But it’s time to go back to the Courtneys of the world. Doubtless you think I’m overreacting now, at this very moment. SAD! You should have known better, too.
When you are dumped, you want to eat the whole world. I am saying this, just a few hours after having inhaled 3 pieces of broccoli-and-sausage pizza and some pillow-soft pappardelle in duck ragu. Also, I an gluten- and dairy-intolerant, so my stomach will feel like exploding any minute now. But I feel like it will be worth it. I have been eating and drinking so much lately, never feeling full, always so ravenous. Maybe a case of indigestion is a good thing, when you are hell-bent on eating your feelings.
But if your stomach is always empty and your face always in need of stuffing into a silent mask of despair, a great big bowl of noodles is probably a better bet, in the long run. So if you find yourself at Guaythiew Moo Jay Pui, also known as “Moo Deng”, on Prachatipatai Road in Banglamphu, and you feel like there is a bottomless hole in your gut that you cannot fill, well, this bowl could go a ways towards helping a little bit. Sweet pork broth, two different types of meatballs (one smooth and bouncy, the other sweet), a heaping helping of rice noodles and a generous shower of deep-fried shallots and fresh coriander? You can’t always get what you want … but a bowl of pork noodles does go a long way.