Friday, October 20, 2006

Fish and Broccoli Reminds Me of You

I just returned from a business trip to Charlotte. I didn't get to see much of Charlotte since it was a quick trip, and it was foggy the one time we drove anywhere. I can't tell you much about Charlotte except that it is the nation's second banking capitol, that it has a nice airport with rocking chairs, and that the U.S. Airways terminal smells like ketchup and cigarettes.

The company I was consulting for got me a car to drive me home from LaGuardia. It was so good to be home; I was exhausted from two long days of meetings and smiling and trying fake my way through talking about economic policy with a bunch of Congressmen and financial executives. I wonder if they could tell I'm probably poor enough to qualify for some of their low-income housing loans. I think I was the only person in the room without a business degree from Wharton or Harvard, but luckily there's always a few people around who are dying to talk anything but shop. I provide levity, or something. Jester-consultant.

ANYWAY, as the car drove me home, each block I passed in Brooklyn reminded me of someone who's touched my life. My friend Jason lives there, and Carl's across the street. My friend Keith lives over there; gosh, that was a really nice date he took me out on last year, he really knows how to do it right. Ah, there's where W. and I used to have drinks, and here's where me and my ex ran into that tiny little puppy one time and I watched him cuddle it in his big arms. And I felt really glad to be in Brooklyn.

I guess being gone for two stupid days really juiced up my nostalgia factor, and at lunch today I had a memory that went much farther back. For lunch I got some salmon and broccoli to try to help my body recover from the travel-related booze and food abuse I heaped on it in the last few days. It reminded me of something from my childhood.

My mom loves to tell a story about how my sister, when she was maybe 4 of 5, went to a birthday party. Somebody asked the kids what their favorite food was and everyone was shouting out, "Pizza! Hamburgers! Ice cream!" etc. etc. When the chorus stopped, everyone heard my sister meekly say, "Fish and broccoli...." and they all laughed at her. She misheard the question and thought they asked what everyone had for dinner the night before. I think she started crying, and later my dad accidentally washed the goldfish she got at the party down the garbage disposal. More crying. She was always a softie, and it always made me worry about her. Still does.

Today I wrote her an email, saying "Fish and broccoli reminds me of you."

I'm glad we're close enough that she'll know what I mean.

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