Friday, March 30, 2012

Resurrection: The Return of Fiddlehead

Broken hearts are like sick plants. Sometimes, they take a while to decide to bounce back. That's right. I said decide. Only when they're ready, do they bloom again. And readiness is negotiated between the heart and the mind, like a parent trying to convince a child (or a Republican) to eat the broccoli. A heart, though, is most stubborn of all.

Not surprisingly, a good dose of sunshine, water, and nourishment can be keen and natural inducements for fertile growth.A little over a week ago, we enjoyed such outrageous sunshine and warmth for March that everyone seemed to glow. Moods visibly improved. Expectations soared. Seeds sprouted.

Whorled buds, dormant for too long under thick dirt, eagerly shed their inhibitions and quietly stepped from the doors of the earth. To temper their bitterness, they reach for the sun to swallow sweetness. They know they are better with some astringency, but they need the sweetness, too, their sweet pain.

The fiddleheads emerge from sorrow like vows. They come from a deep place. The dark earth is a heart. Green arms stretch to reclaim what never belonged to another and never will.


Two weeks ago, I had a date with Tige and Thai. One is a guy and one is a restaurant, specifically Thai Choice in Gloucester, MA. The air was warm and damp -- the hot snap was just about to happen. But that night was foggy and more magical for a meal by the coast.

We drove around for a while, talking, reminding ourselves of all the things we'd discussed six months ago on our first date. I'm always amazed at how many rabbits there are in Gloucester -- they're like squirrels. After driving and talking without direction for at least half an hour, we finally circled back to the restaurant.

Some things just make me feel special. It may seem incredibly vain, but I love to walk into a restaurant with a man. I love the people who turn to look, even for a moment. I relish the expectation of a lovely dinner, a quiet conversation, the dimly lit intimacy shared in the presence of others. It is a bit of a performance, even when there are few other diners. I don't know why the look of things, the outside of an experience can so clearly affect me on the inside. Maybe it was that I was finally emerging, coming out, unfurling my green wings.

We all need to be seen. To know we have meaning, value.

Tige and I are not big meat eaters, so we ordered the shrimp in a blanket for appetizers (crunchy, deep-fried goodness) and the deluxe cashew chicken, which we substituted with tofu. If you've never had "good" tofu, try it at a Thai restaurant -- they seem to know what it's all about. Tige loves his broccoli, so we had a side order of that and some rice.

We drove around some more. The rabbits were all asleep. We watched some episodes of 30 Rock, and then I went home.

I don't know where things are going to go -- or even if I'll see this guy again, though I'd like to. Still, it's nice to be seen and heard, and to feel green and new. Armor sheds. Buds unfurl. To be new and alive breaks the silence of a long winter.


Dana Bennett said...

Tricia, this is lovely writing. Lovely, lovely, loving, lovable, deep-fried crunchy goodness. It makes me hungry in a good way. Not just body hunger, stomach-growling hunger. But hunger for a dining experience. I enjoy walking into a restaurant with a man. And reading this, realized how long that had been. Even if in the past it was just for burger and fries at Five Guys, walking in with a man and not just by myself or with a girl friend, it is a completely different experience. You are right about tofu and Thais. They know their tofu. Your blog needs a Subscribe option. It's hard to find on Blogspot, but it's there. I'll be reading Fiddlehead regularly!


Thanks, Dana!