Saturday, June 02, 2007

My choice to eat fast food the other day

Two weeks ago, after a routine mammogram which progressed quite quickly to other frightening imaging techniques which came as a bad surprise and then to a biopsy between results in which I cried myself to sleep, made love to my husband as if it was our last chance to continue humankind, rethought my entire life plan, and gave some serious thought into career decisions, I had a bad craving.

It was a nasty, awful, take out, craving for a fast food chicken sandwich. Why? I hadn’t touched those fast food things forever. The day after my biopsy last week I entered a McDo for the first time in a good seven years, ordered specifically this sandwich, this particular sandwich, ate it on a park bench, and in between bites let memories flood into my mind.

James Street. Mama. Exit 45 on route 81 on the way to the yacht club, only with Mama, because my father would never agree. Burger King (does not exist in France) Chicken sandwiches would only do. How we looked smiled into each others eyes as we devoured them.

Willie came home. I knew, and I didn’t know because between us it was too difficult to take and impossible for him to tell. He had AIDS, at the time when people didn’t have a chance to live very long, he was going to die, which he did within a rather short time, something he never told me he was going to do but which I was aware was going to happen, and when I wrapped a silk scarf around my hair to keep it calm, I pushed the button to cause the 1968 Chevrolet Impala roof to ceremoniously raise itself and back and fold like self satisfied arms behind us. The convertible cruised round coners through the east side, and he popped the tape into the system he’d made for me in NYC. I guided that loose steering wheel along the streets of our home town - through it and along and we wound the black and silver two toned Impala round corners through the projects here now and there.
We ordered drive-through on Erie to go and took our prepared bag full of rebellion with fries complete and so very bad for him, although he wanted it, and parked at the Thornden water tower where lovers go and unwrapped them and looked into each others eyes like me and my mom and we never let any kind of remorse rule us. We laughed although he wasn’t normally allowed to eat these things at this time, we laughed about how it was perfect, loved it and loved our friendship like never before. I wanted him to talk some and mention it but he could not so I didn’t push but I took pictures it being afternoon and directed him to lean against the wall like the first ones I took for his fashion portfolio. We didn’t talk about Marthas Vinyard but we kissed, like first love because we knew that maybe it would never happen again and our friendship as children had been long and rich.

Willie never said goodbye. His health deterioriated soon afterward and he never had a chance to contact me during the time when people come by the bedside. I only knew from his father through my sister who was a nurse who talked to him.

The results came back from my test and it was benign. The sandwich comforted me although I suspect the strange food craving was related to memories of Willie and also the confort that came with my mother indulging me so.

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Blogger Katie Zeller said...

The memories associated with food, can be quite powerful, overwhelming, sad and wonderful! When that happens it's best to do what you did - sit on a park bench and let them wash over... Beautiful post!
It's a scary thing to go through - the unfamiliar test and biopsy. I'm so glad yours was benign. (mine was too, a few years ago)

9:34 AM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger L Vanel said...

Katie, I am so glad yours was benign. Please do your mammograms! The idea of the biopsy was very scary and I was afraid of pain and suffering but it DIDN'T HURT, it didn't stop me from doing anything I wanted to do, and now I can enjoy the relief of knowing. This is a message to my cousin who doesn't want to have it done - the actual procedure was less traumatic than a visit to the dentist. PLEASE GO.

10:08 AM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger Lori said...

So happy you are well, and yes, to those who do not know, go!

10:31 PM, June 02, 2007  
Blogger Jann said...

i love a story with a happy ending~ and comments from the wise...

2:18 PM, June 03, 2007  
Blogger Christine said...

I held my breath to the very end of your post, hardly daring to read to the end, not wanting to find out bad news. I'm so glad you are well. I can breathe again.

12:26 AM, June 05, 2007  
Blogger Unknown said...

Lucy, after reading the first few sentence, I immediately scrolled down to read the end. Like Christine, I held my breath. And like Katie, I have been through this too.

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to catch up. And glad you are OK.


5:15 AM, June 26, 2007  
Blogger Wendy Miller said...

Lucy, I'm so glad you are ok! Thank you for sharing a wonderful story.


9:31 PM, June 27, 2007  

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