I’m drinking my coffee (whom my housemates in Fire Island have affectionately called mud since I like my coffee the way I like my tops, alpha strong) as I write this with the a/c buzzing in the background. I live in a studio and this wall unit suffuses my entire apartment with cool, crisp air as if it were centralized conditioning. Tim, still tired from his OffBway show last night, is still sleeping, huddled up in my purple comforter (which, at 4 years old, is ready to be replaced by a bluegreen one I just got on sale at Bloomie’s Home.) I’ve been reading the Sunday Times online and browsing through the website of my newest athlete crush, the Serbian player Novak Djokovic. (He replaces my old crush, the hottest torso in town, swimmer Michael Phelps, who replaced Spanish tennis star Tommy Robredo who replaced the yummy Jewstud ballplayer Gabe Kapler. Anyway, you get the picture.) It is the first Sunday in June and I’m happy to have found my life at a momentary standstill, It’s surprisingly quiet I think I could still hear my heavy dinner last night churning in my tummy.

I had dinner with my old spinster aunts last night. (My friends have branded them my lesbian aunts, which they’re not.) We went to our reliable, fave Chinese restaurant on Grand Ave. and I feasted on duck, lobster, sea bass and salty fish fried rice. I must’ve practically starved myself all day to prepare for the meal. (After eating so much meat last weekend at the Pines house, this was a refreshing treat.) I always feel bothered by a sense of distancing from my family (in both the physical and emotional sense, a la the film, Babel) and every opportunity I get to bridge this gap without crossing intimate personal lines, like non-threatening dinner at Ping’s, is always welcome. (I’m not out to my family which my friends disclaim since they do claim that anyone who hears me talk – well, there is a fem inflection somewhere – and sees me act – okay, so I flail my arms when I’m excited with fey abandon – with half a brain can make their own educated guess,) But what struck me last night was not so much the news at the table (such as my bro-in-law, this yummy but pretty dumb surfer dude shacking it up with my sister in Waikiki, getting busted for cocaine, which I already knew before they did) but the scene in the Asian supermarket. I’ve been so used to going to my neighbrohood Keyfood chain that I forget what happens in Asian ones. Suddenly, I feel like I was back in my mom’s kitchen, recognizing the different stuff she uses for her signature dishes. What rekindled this memory, I guess from sheer repulsion, is watching the fish vendor go on with his routine. I was supposed to look for flavor sauces to take home to Brooklyn but instead got transfixed at the fish counter. A customer selects a fish from this murky tank, which the vendor scoops out with a net. He raises the caught fish high enough so that the buyer can see it, wildly moving, in its final seconds, before he overturns the net in this single theatrical swoop and drops the fish to the ground where he deals it one fatal blow with a mallet. (It was a thud followed by a bop.) He hoses the fish down, scales it and guts it with this badass knife, as he pulls out its internal organs, all these while the fish’s tail is still flapping wildly. The fish vendor puts the bloodied fish in a clear plastic bag, labels it $4.99 and hands it to the client, as if he were at a deli handing over half-a-pound of pepper jack cheese. (I forget that dead fish never shut their eyes — which I blame on every anthropomorphic animal animation from the Little Mermaid on — so gazing at the bloodied dead eye, lolling itself on one corner through the clear bag, was enough to make me shudder.)

Come to think of it, I had fish at a Chinese restaurant less than a mile away from that Chinese supermarket last night. I think I’m getting a tummyache.

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