Now, in vegan nachos, we have black beans, salsa, brown basmati rice, fresh corn simmered with diced onions and bell-peppers, an imitation steak made of spiced and textured wheat-gluten, a sharp cheese made out of (get this...) ground cashews and tahini, and a soy-based sour-cream that doesn't have that 'funky' aftertaste people sometimes complain about.
She made all this yesterday for dinner, and we had burritos. It took her about half an hour, which I find amazing. She used a pot, a spoon, a knife, a saucepan, a bowl, and some tinfoil. She served it on two plates, with matching silverware. With the exception of the knife, she bought all of these things for me, to fill out my kitchen supplies as I settle in my new apartment.
But today, while I was at work finishing off a project, she called me from my room. The sniffles of yesterday had become a cough, and she was running a fever. She was feeling lousy. So after work I took her out for hot miso soup and a few sushi rolls, and some water and a coke.
We strolled down Pacific Avenue past the punks and street musicians, towards New Leaf Market, to find some soup she could eat later. Halfway there, the candy shop pounced on me from across the street, and when I regained control of myself I was carrying a bag of dark chocolate almond bark. Some of the best things in life are vegan, thank goodness.
New Leaf had no soup, but we did find juice and water. We brought it back to my place. She's staying with me while she explores the west coast, making plans for her relocation.
Now that I'm home from work, I discover my room... Before she started feeling sick today, she sorted all my shelves, cleaned my desk and floor, made my bed, and did all my laundry and dishes. She even got that blue paint scratch off the surface of my desk. I have no idea how.
I laid her out on the fresh bed with her juice and water. She wanted to watch South Park, but to do that I needed to hook the PC to the stereo. We started discussing it, and then she got inspired and we began moving furniture around. Now there is even more space in the room. The stereo is hooked up, playing Coil's "Baby Food". My programming mascot, the 'cool cat' picture that belonged to my great-grandmother, is hung on the wall over the desk. My beloved is playing Freecel on the windows box, resting her cleavage on the rim of the desk. This I like. I'm hacking from the rolly-chair in my bathrobe, contemplating chocolate bark and cleavage.
I love the pants off this girl.
The past two weeks have been quite an experience. We drove through Los Angeles together, and met my parents. We cooked for my older sister, and she met my nephews. We sang in the car together, and listened to 'Diamond Age' as an audiobook, and had a five-course vegan meal with Zeugma and his wife at a Thai restaurant. We took the Elephant Seal tour off Highway 1. We almost put a hole in the wall, next to the bed.
So this is what it's like when the interest is mutual.
Why do people waste so much time trying to win the affection of aloof, disinterested strangers? Hard-won affection is just that. Hard.
I guess I'm just forgetting what it was like. When the world was an army of unpredictable basket-cases, and I had no idea how to sort them out, what the signals were, or even what was possible.
I think the biggest realization yet, came creeping over me this year. A few dating experiences, a few key books and conversations, some key thoughts, brought it together.
Our choices are not infinite. Whether we like it or not, our lives consist of limited options.