Dangerous Compassions


“He said all men love bread pudding.”  Ming was telling me something our friend said at the Asia at Buffet a week ago.

“Hmm,” I said, thinking of raisins.

“R had just come back with some bread pudding.  And I said, I don’t like bread pudding.”

“Well, the proof is in the pudding,” I said.  “Sounds like a provocative statement meant to inspire conversation.  Sounds like he said something controversial for attention.”

Ming had just toasted me a bagel.  I was telling him how I need a beading needle.  The eye is the whole length of the needle.  For the bigger beads, I can just put some glue on the end of the stretchy cord.  But the smaller beads–no way.

A long time ago when I worked on the res in Bishop, the Indian Education Center office worker beaded a lot.  I saw a way she did it, leaving the beads in a little tray or dish, and bringing the thread to them.

That was where someone invited me to a BBQ–I said thank you but I don’t eat meat, and he said, “Well, you’re not going to last long with us Indians.”  Twelve years later, I was considering how to procure a rabbit for a Western Shoshone person I loved.  Rabbit being his favorite.

Ming said he was Mr Underbutterer.

“Mixie Underbutterer?” I asked.

“Mixie Underbutterer?” Ming asked.

“Mx.  You know.  The non-binary honorific.  We talked about this.  The terrific honorific?  You don’t remember this?”

“No,” he said.  And he put more butter on the other bagel half.

“I didn’t hallucinate that conversation,” I said.

I was waiting for the glue to dry on the end of some pink stretchy cord.  I distrust the plastic stretch cord bigtime, believing the thready kind is more secure.  The glue dried, sticking the cord-end to the plate, which Ming saw.

“Hey, that’s cool!” Ming said.

“Are you making fun of my string?” I asked.

“No, it could be art!” he said.

“No strings attached?”

Lately I sleep about two hours at night and take a nap in the day for about three hours.  What do you think?  Whatevs–I’ll take it.

“Do you need something?” I asked Ming.  He was standing near.  I looked up at him.  “Oh!” I said, startled.  He was wearing a take out container on his head.  “On your head for a hat!” I said.

He laughed and bent over, laughing.  “That’s what I needed,” he said.

“Did you get your desired reaction?” I asked, laughing too, willing to try other reactions.

This song has been stuck in my head by a favorite band of mine.  “Stardust” by Eileen and the In-Betweens.  They were here–they gave a concert in the cat courtyard.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *