Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Alternative Medicine

I spent eight hours yesterday in a city up by Cubao, where it poured rain for the entire time that I was there. This morning, I woke up with a sore throat that I attributed to the fact that I crashed when I got back and slept next to a fan going full blast in my face all night.

Over breakfast, I bumped into this woman I befriended a couple of nights ago over dinner, when I was chopping up vegetables and she wandered into the kitchen, wearing capris and a translucent blouse. She stood watching me and smiled, and I got very, very self-conscious, and cut off the tip of my finger. I hoped she didn't notice.

"You cut your vegetables so carefully," she said. "You remind me of a surgeon I know. He used to cut his vegetables just like that."

I hoped she didn't mean that he regularly amputated his fingers.

She kept watching. "Were you born in September?"

"Nope," I said, shaking my head. "November." Please relate this to the zodiac, I thought. It would make my night if you related this to the zodiac.

"I thought you might be a Virgo."


We introduced ourselves (her name starts with a Q!) and ate dinner together, where she talked about the herbs she was boiling for her kidney trouble, her schizophrenic ex-husband, and her impending court dates in Australia for bogus traffic violations. We got on the subject of materialism and raising kids, and I found myself spilling all these fears about a well-rounded life and whether I'm capable of raising kids with well-developed values and an appreciation for the little things that I grew up enjoying. I don't think this was the only reason, but she reminded me very, very much of my friend's mother, whose project last time I visited Fargo involved raising feral cats in her backyard. It was one of the best conversations I've had since I arrived in Manila.

Anyway, this morning I croaked hello to Q. and she immediately popped into the kitchen and emerged with a fistful of herbs to chew on to soothe my throat. They did absolutely nothing for my throat, but they intensified my girl crush tenfold.

No comments: