Sunday, September 8, 2013


2100 meals ago, I began a food log to check my robust eating habits. Every munchie of mine, etched in cursive, invokes a memory. I thumb through the plump palimpsest once in awhile, and each meal - a pocketed token - helps me reconstruct lost days.
Vivid among the fuzzy pixels of my baby-hood is the softness of my nanny’s steamed eggs over porridge. Li Ma, a sturdy woman who took the Caltrain from San Francisco, would dollop a pillow of egg into my bowl as I watched Baby Mozart. She was the first person to note to my rhythmic potential: every so often, I would swat away the spoon, exit the high chair, and shake my bottom with metronomic accuracy to Rondo Alla Turca.
The Relativity Revelation took place via avocado several years later. I was slicing the fruit for a salad, one eye on the butter knife, another on the clock, when - poof! - my internal ticker shifted. Time's fugacious ways revealed themselves with the sneakiness of wisdom teeth. Farewell, lolling hours; make way for the lifelong scramble (yum). 
Visits to Taiwan are so distant that the majority of my memories have evaporated, leaving only shapeless colors: green and gray, washed together by the rain. Of course, tastes lingered too - I can recall each meal shared with my mom. The snacks could always fit in one hand, because we plucked them off street vendors while hustling between bus stops. I remember slurping a seafood soup with noodles finer than the streaky rain. Drops landed in my bowl, displacing most of the soup. Rain soup, seafood soup - the ocean was still there.
I had red bean pancakes on my first date. The perfect medallions were velvety within, but tongue-singeing without. With no time to wait for them to cool, we tucked the cakes into a to-go box and hurried to the movie theater. The container, poor thing, sat on the floor, where it was eventually squashed by a fattish man tiptoeing through the aisle. Oh, well - the death of a dessert begot something far sweeter.

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