This was going to be a long-winded spaghetti metaphor.
I was going to talk about my house, a small one with natural lighting and window seats, in which
I do not serve spaghetti. Sometimes there is spaghetti in my house but only when someone else
brings it, and it is kept hidden in a back room of the basement where eventually, miraculously, I
might forget it is there.
I was going to say that I tell most people that I do not have spaghetti, and that I’ve gotten better
at realizing that nobody really minds all that much. I was going to say that people do not come to
my house expecting spaghetti, so it isn’t a problem when I tell them that I have risotto instead.
Other people serve spaghetti. I do not go over when they do. That’s not really a problem, either.
Until you. You would eat spaghetti and I didn’t mind until, suddenly, I did. Because suddenly,
spaghetti became my antagonist. Now, spaghetti keeps me up at night, lying in bed wondering
why everyone else can have spaghetti so casually, so easily, and I have to navigate around it
I had to ask you to stop eating spaghetti. Maybe I didn’t really ask. I don’t think I said the words,
“Please stop eating spaghetti,” but it was definitely implied. I was certainly crying and
hyperventilating enough that the question hung between us like the world’s worst party
decoration. And then you said you would stop eating spaghetti. And that was that.
Or that should have been that. Except sometimes I’m alone in my spaghetti-less house and I
think, who the fuck am I to make you avoid spaghetti just because I do? And you tell me that I
didn’t ask you, I didn’t make you, you weren’t forced at gunpoint. This was a choice you made.
You chose to stop eating spaghetti. Because you love me. Because you care.
Maybe it’s hard for me to believe you because no one else has stopped eating spaghetti for me.
Maybe it’s because I’ve never needed anyone else to stop eating spaghetti for me. And that
makes it a little bit worse.
Sometimes I think about the spaghetti at other people’s houses. I think about how someone else
will offer you spaghetti and you will decline, and I wonder what you say. I wonder how they
react. What do they think, knowing that someone who isn’t even there doesn’t want you eating
spaghetti? Is it strange for you, when everyone else is eating spaghetti and you’re not?
Do you miss spaghetti? I can go my entire life without it. I might have to.
I think I’d be a bit sad if I could never have avocado again. But I don’t think that’s the same.
Sometimes it feels like there is a timer in the kitchen, counting down the minutes. Sometimes it
feels like there is a calendar on the fridge with a date circled. An expiry date. Be comfortable
with spaghetti by this day, or else. The timer ticks incessantly, mercilessly, a bomb in my kitchen
and I don’t know when it will go off. Or maybe it won’t. Maybe it will just tick forever, until I’m
so used to it I barely even hear it any more, until you kiss me and the world goes silent.
Just for a moment.
Just for this moment, right here, with you, when there is no spaghetti and no timer and no
calendar. We are making a cake and you are eating buttercream icing right out of the bowl and
you say “sugar?” and I put powdered sugar on your nose and say “yes, dear?” and you laugh.
And there is no music playing but I start humming Uptown Girl because I think it’s funny how
much my mother hates that song, and you start singing with me, and then it’s just us doing
acapella karaoke in the too-hot kitchen. And when it’s all over and I am back alone in my house,
I can hear the ticking again.
You tell me there is no timer. No calendar. No ticking time bomb. You are not waiting for the day
you can eat spaghetti again. You tell me that you do not sit in front of a plate of spaghetti and
resent me. You are perfectly happy stealing buttercream icing in my spaghetti-less house.
Maybe one day I’ll believe you. I hope it’s soon.
That’s everything I would say, if this was a long-winded spaghetti metaphor. Except it isn’t.
I’m afraid of drugs and alcohol. Sometimes I hate my father. One day, I’ll be okay. And I love