“You’re from California! You have no excuse, not to know what a tortilla is!” I said to Ming.
We were in the kitchen. He had just asked me, “Do you want the end of my burrito shell?” as he ate the last of a chile relleno burrito from Roberto’s.
“Isn’t it different?” Ming asked.
“It’s different because you Bay Area people are a buncha numb nuts?” I asked. Hmm, it was unusual to use “numb nuts” as an insult. Why would Bay Area people have it different? Ming is fifth or sixth generation Bay Area Chinese-American.
“Different when it’s used to make a burrito. Isn’t it no longer a tortilla?” Ming asked.
“No!” I said. “A tortilla is always a tortilla.”
“Do you like how gardenia smells?” I asked Ming.
“I don’t know how gardenia smells,” he replied.
“Oh my god! It’s the best smell. I could live in that smell. I smelled some at the plant nursery yesterday,” I said. Ming stopped by Walmart to buy some water, and I strolled through the plant nursery blissfully. No one else was around.
“It’s like heaven–its heaven’s heaven” I added. “If you’re in heaven and you die and go to heaven….you go to that smell.”
Yes, it smells like white-yellow light flooding everything to the point that you can no longer see. Being drowned in God. I sniff and sniff yet survive the experience.
“You know what I would like? If you would do way more yoga,” I told Ming. “It strengthens muscles and bones. So that way when you start falling…”
“Yeah,” Ming said.
“I see what you do sometimes!” I said.
“What do I do?” he asked.
“Like just now, I saw you use the wall to help you get up,” I said. He was clinging to the wall as he got up from bed, at the airbnb cabin we visit. “That’s unauthorized. Unless you’re Spiderman.”
We laughed. “But you hate spiders,” I said. “You couldn’t be a spider because then you would hate yourself. Oh wait–a lot of people hate themselves. That’s a big problem.”