I wrote this while digesting Halal.
I just wanted Halal. I was done tutoring and now I wanted Halal. I don’t love Halal – I just crave it. It’s one of those foods that I never want until I want it and then there is nothing else that I can think about/desire.
My stomach feels like a man is yawning and stretching inside it despite my stomach being far too small to hold a man.
There weren’t any Halal carts in sight when I left the apartment where I was tutoring. He didn’t need my help. By “he” I mean my student. Sure, I taught him extra info and I think my weekly visits push him in a direction academically that is positive. He loves me though. He said it. He said: “I love you.” I thought :”I want Halal from a pushcart.” He said: “Can we be roommates?” I thought: “I’m gonna get both sauces.” He said: “Can we be best friends?” I thought: “What if I could mix chicken and falafel!” He said: “I’m 14… that means I’m legal… in… Cambodia.” I thought: “I should have been listening to this conversation.”
I’ve been propositioned for sex by lots of older men. Never one younger. Never a teenager. Never one who was “Joking.”
This came after he asked if I had a girlfriend. A question I always answer with hesitation and self-disgust because I’m never quite sure how to define my relationships and that inability fills me with shame. He took my hesitation as an indication that I preferred sex with men.
My heart is trying to depart my body by burning its way through my skin. This sentence is a physical not metaphorical sensation. I just ate something out of styrofoam.
I had walked six blocks with no sign of Halal. My method of taking whatever street had green lights assuming that the fact that I was in Manhattan would be enough to mean I ran into Halal was not working out. The smells of Dunkin Donuts, Subway, and other indoor eating establishments filled with digestive tract ruining food products were tempting but could not distract me from my intended meal of day old chicken, week old lettuce, prehistoric onion and rice – yellow from stagnation – covered in sauces white and red.
I think my skin wants to melt off, but I’m not going to let it.
He told me a couple of weeks ago that all the girls in his class were “too flat” for him to date. I think he meant in the crotchal region. He doesn’t know that that was what he meant yet.
Each brightly colored street was simply a mirage of mean, rice and sauce that only provided disappointment and stomach grumbling. Until one. One street had the thing I wanted. In the form of two carts offering similar options. But different. In the form of a decision. Fuck. I hate my lfie.
My hair is greasier. I don’t know how it’s that instant, but my forehead seems slimy.
I picked the one across the street because I wanted to continue crossing streets with green lights. It took 40 seconds to make my food! How exciting! Now I had to find a subway station. It didn’t matter witch one, I just wanted to sit down and eat my new meal while it was hot. 5 blocks and 10 halal carts later that seemed less plausible. My stomach is mad at me for its lack of food filling. My brain is mad at me because I refused to use it in finding the closest halal cart to the subway. And I am mad at me for caring so much about stale rice and meat.
My brain is less functional than usual – I think filled with grease.
Then I realized the problem with my plan: Rush Hour. I crammed my self into an R-train feeling self conscious about the cumbersomeness of my styrofoam box of food product as I danced around a bike and a dog that needed to travel during rush hour.
I ate it. On the subway.. The red and white sauce dripping of the ends of my mustache, my esophagus filling with discomfort, thoughts of a 14 year old closeted boy wanting to discover his sexuality stuffing my head and I was _______.
This is a mad lib and you get to fill in the emotion.