Dangerous Compassions

orange you glad I didn’t say banana

“What’s going on with this potato?” Ming asked me, holding up an orange.

“That’s an orange,” I said.

“Ok,” he said.

“It’s up for grabs.  Anyone can eat it.  As long as it’s an orange.  If it changes into something else, don’t eat it.”

Ming said he understood and peeled the orange over the sink.  I could see why he was asking because the orange had been bought for a specific fruit salad purpose.  But it had passed.

“It tastes moldy,” Ming said.  “Do you want to try it?”

I took an orange slice, inspected it, took a bite, and it tasted good.  “It’s good,” I said.  “It’s not the most delicious orange I ever had, but it’s an ok orange.”

He tried it some more.  Gave me more.  I was trying to taste some moldiness or problem under the okness, but it was fine.

“Are you sure that orange was ok?” Ming asked five minutes later.

“Yeah!” I said.

“You’re coughing a lot,” he said.

“I’m coughing because it’s morning.  I’m coughing from phlegm.  Not from the orange.”

“I’m coughing too,” he said.

“Do you think the orange made us sick?” I asked, incredulous.

“Maybe it got stuck in the back of our throats,” he said.

“Because it was bad?” I asked.  He was making no sense, to me.  I guess it was just a feeling.

December fell off our calendar again.  Ming was wondering if that meant we would have no December.  We would no longer need calendars because the world was ending or the revolution was coming.  I imagined losing track of the date, and it sounded scary.  He stapled December back on the calendar as a preventative measure.

I have a lot of anxiety.  It feels like unexpressed pain.  This morning I danced for 20 minutes in the kitchen.  It felt really good.

I took the dried up bits of rejected potato off the range that had been sitting there for a long time.  Ming called them his potato dice.  I said something about Las Vegas and gambling.

It’s windy outside. The moon last night was the slightest sliver near the horizon as we left home for a pupusaria I found less friendly than our usual, which is closed Mondays.

Now I’ll appreciate more our usual place, the scene of a movie shootout.  I love that waitress who seems to moodily accept me as an annoying fact of life.

“Oh, it’s those Catholic Workers again,” she says in her mind, in Spanish.  Or, “Oh, it’s those weird people who always order loroco,” she says.  Or, “There’s that’s fat lady with the sleepy Asian guy again, who always want a piece of foil.”

Who knows.  It’s been many years.  She I love more than just about anyone who I don’t really know.

I could have given her a valentine.  To the lady who I love most of everyone I don’t know.  She would probably think it was stupid.  That’s cool.

A picture from the prayer room.  I gave my friend this button, and she put it on her hat.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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