Our weekly outing as a family. Here's a sample of the conversation driving to the restaurant.
TCG: There’s one of those trees from the south… you know… marigold?
TCG: Magnolia! Is this the street where we turn?
UCC: No, I think it’s past that light ahea-
TCG: And there’s more of that funny orange bougainvillea that Mother loves.
DOB: Ugh! Look at that car. What a horrible shade of blue.
Something about bright car colors aggravates her, but it’s usually taxicab-yellow.
TCG: Is this the turn?
Time passes like cold molasses dripping down a tree in Vermont, in February. When I regain consciousness, we’re at the restaurant.
DOB: What’s that?
UCC: Crunchy tuna roll
DOB: What’s this?
UCC: That’s the teriyaki chicken bowl you ordered. Is it good?
DOB: Yes. No. Not the broccoli. Or the carrots. Are you using that?
Pointing to my tiny saucer I’m using for dipping sushi in soy sauce and ignoring her empty saucer adjacent. Not waiting for my answer, she begins stacking her broccoli on it. Not uneaten broccoli, mind you. She can’t see what she’s eating, so she shovels amazingly large bites into her mouth and begins to pre-chew – pre gum actually – things. Then she is able to remove things too al dente (being nolo dente herself) by rummaging around inside her mouth with a finger, pinching lumpy things dripping in saliva daintily out, and placing them carefully on the reject pile in my soy sauce saucer. Carrots, she can mostly see, so they’re stacked, mostly unmasticated, among the broccoli.
DOB: What is that?
UCC: It’s my crunchy tuna roll.
DOB: What’s in it.
UCC: Crunchy tuna mostly.
WISIMH: But it also has a bit of wasabi and sesame seeds, and the barest hint of bitter regret at the breakdown in social discourse. When I eat it, the crunch makes a barely audible cri de coeur that sounds like faint mourning for all the lost opportunities for assisted suicide.
DOB: Oh, more broccoli. I can’t chew broccoli, even though I’m getting a new tooth. Right here, see?
WISIMH: Jesus Christ cosigning on a foreclosed mortgage, we don’t need to fucking see it every time you eat.
UCC: Yes, I see your new tooth. What is that? (pointing at her teriyaki bowl)
Blank look. Like the expression on the face of a dishrag crumpled in a corner of the sink. In fact, with miscellaneous peices of chicken and rice stuck to her chin and the front of her shirt, very much like a dishrag.
UCC: It’s your teriyaki chicken bowl. Is it good?
WISIMH: You’ve got some stupid on your face, right there, in the corner of your mouth. No other side.