Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My days in purgatory

Last Friday night, I realized, even though I'm not a Catholic, or any derivative of the religion, I was and am living in purgatory.  It was pouring in Los Angeles from Friday to Sunday.

When I woke up in the morning, I put the key in the ignition and turned it.  The dash lit up, the gauges went wacky, and the car just rang, but the usual starter didn't ignite.  Damn it, I thought.  What's wrong with the car?

The triple-A guy came out and tested my battery and alternator.  My battery was dead - dead like the next-door-neighbor croaked from a heart attack.  He jump started the car, as we both got drizzled on by the rain, and it worked - at least for a little while.  Then, like the ex-neighbor's heart gave, so did the battery.

I felt miserable.  I was immobile.  I couldn't drive anywhere, and I didn't feel like paying a bill for a new battery.  That's too much.  Pop's could replace it a lot cheaper, but Pop's 30 miles away in South Central.  So, I called another friend - who kept saying that his borrowed car battery charger would return.  I waited the whole day for him, and he never got that charger.

Twilight, eventually rolled in, as it does everyday.  But now, the heavens looked painted a phantasmic shade of midnight blue with endless sheets of grey clouds.  The chicken was clucking in the backyard like she was going mad because she was caged and imprisoned too.  (This was done for her own good though because she'd just get soaking wet and who knows what disease she'd inherit if that happened.)  But like me, she was annoyed that we were trapped in a purgatorial existence of limited life.

Thus, I flipped on the tele and Criminal Minds came on.  In the kitchen, my mother and I had just finished baking pork baby back ribs.  My mother at first wanted to boil them first to get them tender.  I said, "NO!"  I said, "Doing so, would make it lose all its flavor."  She said, "Alright then, what do we do?"  I said, "Marinate it."  She marinated it in a Korean sauce of spicy chilli, sugar, and spices.  Three blends of savory, sweet, and salty all in one.  We baked it for three hours, until the collagen melted and made the ribs have a crystallized texture that was in tact and in shape, until a fork or knife gently went through it.  Then, it would just break apart into shreds.  And inside the mouth - it melted and exploded with flavors.

So there I was, watching tv, homicides and murders.  I ate some ribs, and poured myself a liquid amber whiskey.  I swirled it in the glass, aerated it, and sipped on the smokey flavor of the whiskey.  I thought, I feel like an obese white Southerner.  I imagined myself screaming for, "Zel-dah!  Zel-dah!  Whey iz my wizz-key?  Zel-dah, bring me my whizz-key?"  Except there was no Zelda, and I had my whiskey.

As the tele kept running, I got more ribs.  My mom saw me and said, "Again?!  You just ate."  I thought, You don't understand, mama.  I'm trapped in purgatory, and we poor souls need something to take our minds off our existence.

I poured myself some more amber whiskey.  I took out some old Italian wine cake and spooned in some Spumoni ice cream.  The ice cream was chocolatey, pistachioy, cherryish, and vanillay.  Ice cream makes everything better, I thought.  And I ate away like an obese Southerner - the spirit is willing to fight but ain't the body weak.

I want some more ribs, I thought.  How come I don't have a Zelda plating me up some ribs?  'Cos you're in purgatory - and Zelda's not.  So, I walked and plated me up some more ribs.  I thought to myself, this would taste awfully good in a Mexican tamale.  Then, it'd have to be deep fried.

I thought to myself, this is what it feels like to be an obese person.  This is what it's like to medicate yourself on food.  This is what it's like to feel good and terrible in the same stroke of a moment.  I noticed, however, that the chicken stopped clucking with the nightfall.  Oh - and they just caught murderer on tv.  He was an impotent prison guard.

The ghoulish skies continued to rain down on the valley of Saint Gabriel.

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