We’re going to begin our blog with our own stories. It begins with Marilyn’s story about her past and present uniting to bring comfort, which led to a memory for Joanna about her dads affection, acceptance, and understanding of her emotions. Together we found comfort in reminiscing about our dads making us happy with food.
Nachos by Marilyn
Sometimes the universe gives us subtle signs that it is on our side. It tells us to trust it but we may be too much in our head to notice these signs. Today it came to me in the form of nachos. No, the Virgin Mary did not appear in my nachos. Neither did baby Jesus.
I went to 365 to get myself a soup. In the midst of my internal chaos, dictated by overthinking, I have been unable to cook but I know that my body and brain need food for nourishment and healing. As I was heading to the soups, without an appetite but still hungry, I realized they now have a nacho section. I forgot all about the soup and decided that what my soul needed was nachos. When I was a little girl my dad always bought me nachos and let me command the amount of cheese he’d put on them, which was a lot. He would stop once I stopped saying “mas!” My mom would scold us and we’d ignore her because both my dad and I knew that nachos with a lot of cheese made me happy. That memory offered hospitality to my appetite.
I began preparing my nachos and as I was choosing my meat I saw an option for jackfruit carnitas. Jackfruit has been on my mind these past few days and I thought it was a pleasant coincidence for it to be an option. It made me smile. I was actually excited for lunch now. My nachos were topped with as much cheese as I wanted, jackfruit carnitas and black beans (because black beans are the best!). When I tried to close my little box, of course I got the least expensive one because my dad wasn’t paying for them this time, the cheese and toppings squeezed out and I just licked them off my fingers. It was delicious. I couldn’t wait to eat them! Due to the excitement I forgot what else I needed so I made my way to the cashier. The cashier, who was amused by the nachos, told me that because I’m a rewards member I had enough points to get the nachos for free. I thought to myself “I came in here for soup because I needed food in my body and I’m leaving with free nachos! That’s awesome!” All of a sudden the storm inside my brain and body calmed down. The overthinking stopped and here I was enjoying the only reality that is guaranteed, the present moment. At that moment I knew that I was going to be ok.
I ate my nachos peacefully without a worry in the world. For that moment I felt the happiness and carefree sentiments that I had as a child. To the world I was just a woman at the grocery store buying nachos, something very meaningless to some. To me it was a sign that I am being taken care of. When I was done I thanked the universe for letting me know that it is on my side.
At the exit I was once again greeted by my loyal sidekick Overthinking-“if I would have known they were free I would have gotten the biggest container. Damn.”
Burrito by Joanna
My mom was a snooper and she happen to find a love letter that I had written to a boyfriend and this wasn’t a boyfriend she approved of. She was so angry when she confronted me that she reached for my face with the intention of a slap. She missed. It was a messy fight. Words were thrown. Voices were raised. We were in a cloud of anger. My dad in the middle of all of this tried to neutralize the situation. He knew my mother was overreacting and I was overemotional, so he took me aside to offer some words of kindness. A teenager in love just needs some understanding. He knew his daughter and did what he always did to soothe my ailment, he took me for a drive. He got me into his bulky white Chevy Nova and we drove into the night. We silently cruised down 3rd Street and Ford in East LA and ended up at the nearest King Taco. He spoke softly and let me talk it out, holding back smirks of amusement as I ridiculously offered my reasoning for getting so worked up. He bought me a Carne Asada burrito and the largest horchata and we sat on the curb. He watched me eat as he took drags of his cigarette. I can remember biting into the meaty burrito, the smell of onion permeating into my runny nose. The saltiness of the meat mixing with the saltiness of my tears. The chewiness of the flour tortilla… How could a burrito taste so good? It was the warmth of that burrito and my father’s compassion that ultimately calmed my nerves and nourished my hurting heart. That memory of my father, that night, and that burrito still live vividly in my memory.
I lost that love letter on the bus the next day and my mother was right, that boyfriend was bad news.