Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Friday, October 05, 2007

    One Hour In A Small Thai Restaurant, Including Soundtrack

    I aced my first test. Blew the curve. Just ask me about cell structure and function.

    This time though, I'm no so sure about the material. Bio Chemistry, my Achilles Heel, my 'Gentleman's C' in high school, the one class that kept me from straight As.

    Molecular chemistry. Middle ground. I'm no good at middle ground. Give me little bitty quarks, give me cells (because cells are BIG, really they are. Huge. Which makes each of us a universe. Anyway.) but not this middle ground...

    I needed a place to study. Home wasn't working. Too many distractions. I pass a little Thai place every time I go to school. After class tonight I decided to give it a try. Besides, I've been hungry for two weeks, eating like crazy and still getting hypoglycemic. Maybe I just needed someone else to feed me.

    I walked in and had my choice of tables. Though the phone rang off the hook for carry-out, the place was empty.

    Before I could open the menu, the waitress asked, What you like?

    Cool. Hmmm. Spicy, I said. Chicken. Greens. No bell peppers.

    Ok. I bring you soup too. A statement, not a question.

    Tom Yum Kung?

    She nodded and ducked into the kitchen.

    The chef was the roundest, fattest Asian guy I've ever seen. He looked Sumo. After the excellent soup he brought the main dish to my table himself. Oh merciful Thai gods it was good. So spicy I felt my cheeks flush – no small feat; I love heat. A rich, smooth sauce, baby bok choy, basil, tender chicken... if keep going I'm going to attack the leftovers in the fridge.

    People streamed in and out behind me, placing orders and picking them up. Then finally I had company. A guy walked in and hesitated before he was told to pick a table. I tell you this because I don't think he was a regular. That becomes important, I think.

    What can I say? He wore blue velvet. Whoa whoa whoa.

    Jeans and a blue velvet shirt. Glasses. As wholesome-looking as one can get wearing a blue velvet shirt.

    So between toe-curling bites and watching Mr. Blue Velvet, I pulled out my notes, hoping to loop together the facts that bounced around in my brain. Bonds, of all things. I couldn't get bonds to bond. I had words – covalent, hydrogen, Van Der Waals, ionic, polypeptide – but I had no understanding. Each was its own atom, and happy to stay that way. A full valance. A full dance card...

    ...There. A metaphor I could use. A gel to put in front of the light.

    Relationships. The atoms do a dance. More than that, they form different bonds according to relationships. Covalent, strong as soulmates. Hydrogen – some marriages not so lucky. Ionic – opposites attract. Free radicals – kidnappers destroying a family...

    And then the Asian Muzak stopped, and the sappy Farang music started. Kenny Rogers sang, “Lady...I'm your knight in shining armor, and I love you...” and I bit my lower lip remembering how I LOVED that song as a girl... And then Bill refused to get married to a woman who loved him so and always will, and then by the time he got to Oklahoma she'd be sleeping, THEN, kids...yes, she did...she







    He didn't even look up from his book. I was DYING and he didn't even look up.

    Well, until the Sumo came out dancing with his waitress.

    Watching them dance expressionless, him so surprisingly graceful, her so self-contained, the wind picking up and blowing the icicle-style Christmas lights against the windows behind them like strings of amino acids, Mr. Blue Velvet setting his book aside and clapping. Well. It felt like home.

    The pair danced back into the kitchen. Blue Velvet paid and left.

    I don't remember the next two songs. But when Unchained Melody came on I knew it was my cue to make like an atom and split. And it was, since the music stopped after that. But I left with a much better understanding of bonds.

    When the twenty-something guy at the bus stop asked me what time it was and I told him, and he argued that it was impossible, because he'd just left the library two minutes ago, and that was fifteen minutes ago, and how'd he lost twelve minutes, and did he miss his bus, and how was he going to get home, I just got in my car locked the doors and drove, baby.

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    19 people left me a love letter:

    Blogger D-Man wrote in a love letter...

    I like your learning technique.

    3:27 AM, October 05, 2007  
    Blogger Bud wrote in a love letter...

    This was a gorgeous piece of writing, my love! Bio-chem be damned. I'm gonna try to find time later today to give you a study technique I just learned. If you don't hear from me. Give me a cyber stab. It'll do me good to write it down--help me remember it. I use it for music practice but it works for anything.

    4:08 AM, October 05, 2007  
    Blogger ms chica wrote in a love letter...


    Still smiling. I love witnessing a moment like the one you described.

    7:17 AM, October 05, 2007  
    Blogger Maggie wrote in a love letter...

    Damn woman. You can even make studying sound like a walk in the woods with nymphs and fairies.

    8:11 AM, October 05, 2007  
    Blogger Schmoopie wrote in a love letter...

    Hee hee! "Blue Velvet." Your life is surreal, Pants.

    I will shamefully admit that I too loved the song "Lady."

    This post supports my theory that you can never go wrong with a Thai place. ;)

    9:33 AM, October 05, 2007  
    Blogger liv wrote in a love letter...

    You know, I was recently intrigued by a single man at a Thai restaurant. My girlfriend and I are still annoyed with ourselves that we didn't make a move on my behalf.

    12:29 PM, October 05, 2007  
    Blogger meno wrote in a love letter...

    I love it when life gives you one of those moments of unexpected treasure. And i really like it when you get one because i love to read about it.

    Bond on dudette.

    3:37 PM, October 05, 2007  
    Blogger Scott from Oregon wrote in a love letter...

    I had trouble with all of those bonds too.

    Some of them seemed so "cheap"...

    7:35 PM, October 05, 2007  
    Blogger Cheesy wrote in a love letter...

    Congratz on the test baby gurlie! Pass the masaman!

    1:32 AM, October 06, 2007  
    Blogger Des_Moines_Girl wrote in a love letter...

    You made me laugh and hungry all at the same time. That's gotta be a first! ;-)

    8:33 AM, October 06, 2007  
    Anonymous clowncar wrote in a love letter...

    What a charming slice of your charming life. I could smell the soup, hear the music, watch the dance.

    Congrats on leaving the curve in the dust. Hope you do as well on this test.

    Sorry about your Cubbies....

    9:46 AM, October 07, 2007  
    Blogger Popeye wrote in a love letter...

    Could you please tell me about cell structure and function?

    10:05 PM, October 07, 2007  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    Awesome, babe! High fives! The universe sent you Blue Velvet man as a reward -- for you (as something to write about) and for us (because it was such fun to be there with you!)

    And good thing you ducked the guy at the busstop -- he sounds like he might have been a free radical.

    10:09 PM, October 07, 2007  
    Blogger Lynn wrote in a love letter...

    Loved your post except that now, I will have to explain to all of the kids that I work with tomorrow as well as my associate (student) teacher, why I am doing a medley of 'Blue Velvet' and 'Lady'. Poor DH, I will probably be humming both songs in my sleep. I don't remember studying being this much fun.

    10:38 PM, October 07, 2007  
    Blogger Mona Buonanotte wrote in a love letter...

    What a beautiful picture you painted here! One of those 'movie moments'.

    Thai food makes me giddy. Thai Iced Tea...oh nectar of the gods!

    7:06 AM, October 08, 2007  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    I dance with my books, ninja. ;-)

    Aw, thanks Bud. *hug* Remind me to email you to remind you, would you?

    It, Ms. Chica. What I live for. :-)
    Or Sumos and crazies in this case, Maggie. :-)

    Schmoop, I remember a Miss America pageant where they lined up a bunch of Marines with their swords raised up, and all the pretty ladies walked under them while the Marines supposed 'sang' Lady. I thought that was the dreamiest. Ha! Now try to get me to admit _that_ in public! Uh.

    Liv! Next time you're out here, I will take you there and personally introduce you to any single man, strange or otherwise.

    Thanks, Meno. I am 007ed-up now. Heh. A double-bonded pun. Ok, I'll stop now...

    LOL Scott. You know, on a molecular level water is a real slut.

    Thanks, Cheese! Mmmm...masaman.... from Tuk-Tuk...drooling yet, Schmoop?

    Hee hee, DMG. You just don't remember Our College cafeteria! ;-)

    Thanks Clowncar. :-) One day the Curse will be lifted! Sorry 'bout those Mets.

    Glad you asked, Popeye. The most interesting part of a cell is its membrane – a bi-layer of lipids, with each lipid composed of one hydrophilic end and two hydrophobic tails that can be long and saturated with hydrogen molecules in a warm environment, or shorter and double-bonded, creating less of a hydrophobic barrier and rendering the cell more permeable in colder climates. Chanel proteins make the membrane selectively permeable.
    In the beginning it is theorized that lipids banded together chemically to decrease the natural pressure exerted by water, and formed membranes. Some amino and/or nucleic acids were trapped in one of these membranes and through further complicated yet inevitable chemical reactions, life arose. Kinda brings ya back to God, don't it?

    Woo-hoo, Amusing! *high five* Yeah, and a free radical who couldn't even add! I mean, if I'm gonna get kidnapped and all, he'd better be smarter than me.

    Hee hee...sorry 'bout that, Lynn. I've been driving mine crazy with the same songs. But O got revenge with a tune called, "The leavenin' of the Spit-Bread Girls" by his friend, Munly. Oh, Lord.

    Oh, God, Mona! I've gotta get you out here, and Liv, and get Schmoop back out, and whoever else wants to ride, and we'll feast, baby! Thai Iced Tea on me!

    5:53 PM, October 08, 2007  
    Blogger Irrelephant wrote in a love letter...

    Nancy dear, I don't know if I'm more astounded over the always superb quality of your writing, your lively brains or the way the Universe seems to throw these bizarre things in your path as though it's trying to prove that it's got a sense of humour to beat yours!

    I really love the visual of that giant cook dancing with the little lady, though. That's choice stuff there!

    7:58 PM, October 08, 2007  
    Blogger liv wrote in a love letter...

    Yo, Dancehall! If you want your interview, you gotta email me so I know where to send them!

    madnessisay at gmail dot com

    10:56 PM, October 08, 2007  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Thanks, Ir. :-) I can't make this stuff up, so the House wins, and She knows it. ;-)

    Eh, details, details Liv. I'll be right over. :-)

    12:10 PM, October 09, 2007  

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