strand—leave in a helpless position: be stranded a thousand miles from home with no money.
I am a food connoisseur. Friend and family alike will tell you I love to eat! And I like food that’s good to me, but not good for me. I like food that sticks to the hips, thighs, butts and bellies long after the taste is gone from my mouth. I’ll do low fat, but not no-fat because my logic is if the food didn’t need the fat, it wouldn’t have been there in the first place. I like the camaraderie and the solitude the comfort of food brings. I eat to cure depression. I eat to celebrate. I eat to eat.
Most women go to the mall to shop; I only shop at malls that have good restaurants nearby. No matter what I’m doing, the foremost question in my mind is when and where are we going to eat when we’re done. One of my friends calls me Breakfast-Lunch-and-Dinner because she swears I am evil amplified when I miss I meal. But I never thought that food would make me lose my mind (albeit temporarily) and do something really stupid!
In 2005 during the Memorial Day weekend, some of Nefertari (Diane, Nicole and me) went to Silver Springs, Maryland for the 1st annual BOCA (Belly Dancers of Color Association) Festival--a weekend of dance workshops. We had an early morning flight, so I didn’t have time to eat breakfast, and the cardboard I consumed on the plane could not be counted as food. So, when we arrived in Maryland, we decided to grab something quick to eat before going to the hotel. I was eenie-meenie-minee-moing between an Annie’s Pretzel and a Cinnabon, when my keen sense of smell kicked in and I got a whiff of something even tastier. Ah, yes! A bakery that sold pecan rolls. It was the pecan roll hands down.
I was as happy as an audience member on an Oprah give-away show. Taking it apart layer by layer, I walked toward baggage claim with the taste of cinnamon on my tongue and the caramel coating sticking to my fingers. I was on the last part—the ooey-gooey center—and just as I was about to put it in my mouth, I saw my luggage come around the carousel. As I reached for my luggage, I watched in agony as my precious roll went airborne and landed nut side down. Bending down to pick it up, I reverted back to my childhood mantra, “God made dirt, so dirt don’t hurt.” I even thought about kissing it up to God to be doubly sure. It may have worked in childhood, but it wasn’t working for me as an adult. Reluctantly I put it in the garbage. But it wouldn’t go away. I kept thinking about it, dreaming about it, wondering how it would have tasted in the end, even though I knew—just like it had in the beginning.
I just knew I was going to get me a pecan roll on the way home, but when we got to the airport, we were on a different concourse. No!!!! It was right at 11:00 and our flight didn’t leave until 11:40. Could I get one? Not on my own. With my penchant for getting lost, I knew better than to wonder off to another concourse by myself. But hey, Nicole has an excellent sense of direction and believes she can get anywhere in 10 minutes. She volunteered to go.
I was all for it, but the sensible one, Diane said no. She is our conscience—when we want to listen. We didn’t that day. So when Diane went to the bathroom, Nicole left with my blessings. When Diane came out of the bathroom and found Nicole MIA, she just looked at me and shook her head. Shortly thereafter, they began calling passengers for our flight. The first 10 rows--No Nicole. The next 10 rows--no Nicole. I called Nicole on her cell phone--no answer. They called the last rows-still no Nicole. My heart dropped into my stomach and came back up again. Diane looked like you could cook an entire Sunday dinner on her head--with smoke coming out the top, and fiery red, coal ready cheeks. She had to get back to finish some paperwork, and we knew this. What was funny at first, turned out not to be quite so amusing. Just as they were about to close the door, and leave us stranded in Maryland, I saw Nicole walking fast with a white bakery bag in her hand. I ran, grabbed her by the hand, and yelled to Diane, to tell them we were coming. We made the flight, but the bakery was out of pecan rolls. We ate cookies instead, and laughed all the way home. I found a little, French bakery in Hyde Park that sells deliciously, delectable pecan rolls, and the three of us remain friends.
And that’s my life in verbs—to be, to see, to feel, to live!