Dangerous Compassions

nice typo you got there

I was wanting to eat those lovely thick fries at Red Robin, so golden and delicious, and I’d been craving a veggie burger.  I talked to Ming about veggie burger options.  It wasn’t the patty itself I wanted–more the whole experience, with toasted bun and sauce.  The burger, but definitely the burger accoutrements.

Ming really likes that word–accoutrements.   I’ve never heard anyone say it as much as he does.  He’s funny with the French origin words.  He says “souvenir” like “sylvan ear.”  We laugh about it.

“How are you supposed to say it?” he asks.  I pronounce it for him.  He tries to say it right, and we laugh some more.

He also says “elltz” for “else.”  Sometimes I tease him, calling him a bumpkin.  We have a good time.

Other words I associate with Ming are “lampoon” “accolades” and “aspect.”  He uses those words a ton.  So now I use them sometimes, which is more than I used to.  Well, aspect is common, but not the others.

Anyway–back to my story.  We headed to Red Robin.  Ming missed our freeway exit.  I was annoyed because I was hungry. 

We got there–the host tried to seat us at a booth, but I asked for a table.  I’m kind of confused about hosts not noticing I’m really fat and wouldn’t fit in a booth.  I don’t get it!

Our waiter was amazing.  Quick, helpful, brought Ming extra broccoli to go with his broccoli.  Ming’s a fiend for free broccoli refills.  The waiter was very easy to communicate with and understanding.  Great waiter.

A shake we ordered was supposed to come with some cookie things on it, but they were missing.  Ming asked the waiter, who quickly comprehended what Ming was asking for and brought the cookie things with extra cookie things.  We were too full to eat them, so Ming wrapped them in a napkin and we brought them home.

“Red Robin–I really like the fries,” I told Ming afterward.  “I like the experience of sitting there with you, and the fries.  But also it really makes me think of late stage capitalism, fiddling while Rome burns.  Everyone distracting themselves with this comfort, as it’s all falling apart–death.  So I really like it, but it’s also depressing.”

Ming said he knew what I meant.  We were driving home on Rancho, a favorite street of mine, this former highway street that cuts diagonally.

The tvs at Red Robin showed different sports games with subtitles.  I glanced up at a basketball game.  The subtitles were yellow.  Some of the tvs were mirror images.  I was confused how that happened–reflections in windows.  Another tv was a reflection of a reflection, so no mirror image..?

Or maybe it was just a tv.  I didn’t really care.  I was with Ming, enjoying life, but a little kid was wailing to its mom, and I was getting sad.  Ming held my hand, sometimes.  I shared the part of my shake with him in the large metal cup.

A dad was with his kid at a table next to ours.  The dad was standing there and seemed really impatient.  Like he didn’t like his kid and had nothing to say to him.

He made a motion I didn’t understand.  It looked like someone tossing salt over their shoulder, a fast motion like that, with a wrist flick.  I wondered if he really had tossed salt over his shoulder–why would he do that?   Maybe it was a nervous tick, or a fly was there.  Who knows.

Something about his attitude toward his kid was hurting me, like he hated his kid and resented being alone with him.  I couldn’t take it and closed my eyes for some seconds.  I felt how difficult it can be, to see others’ pain and bad behavior.

It was just a feeling, not like the dad yelled at the kid or said something mean.  Just a feeling in the air.  Then the other people came back from the bathroom, the dad seemed relieved, and they all left.

I was just having a fantasy about moonprinting, a potential nice typo for monoprinting.

You reach up into the sky, grab the moon, and press it onto your paper.  It will leave a moonprint.  Love it, love it–roundness, dark craters, glow.  Go crazy, then.  Press the moon into everything–your shirt, your spouse’s shirt, your front door, your own body.  The wall, your car, a tree out in the courtyard.  The moon shrinks more so you can press it into a cat, who yelps as the moon pushes against its soft fur.  Calm down.  Put the moon back in the sky.  Think you bothered it enough.  Leave it alone for a while, just looking at it like a regular person.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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