Sticky buns

Pub date November 25, 2008
WriterL.E. Leone
SectionCheap EatsSectionFood & Drink


CHEAP EATS This Thanksgiving I am thankful for sushi, pre-cum, the hangtown fry, clam chowder, big green salads, soft-boiled eggs, carnitas tacos, biscotti, roasted chickens, cum, day-old sticky buns, and Canada. However, I have no plans for Thanksgiving dinner.

How can this happen? My favorite holiday! My only holiday!

Deevee and Gilley are going camping. I’m invited, but don’t like to be cold. The Maze invited me to San Diego for dinner with his parents. I like to be warm, but the train ticket costs $150 and you have to spend half the time on a bus. What kind of train ticket is that?

My new favorite country is Canada. Truth be told, Canada was my old favorite country too, only for different reasons. I used to like Canada because it seemed less like a country than other countries, the mouse sleeping next to the elephant. Its people, peaceful and funny.

Second City Television was my favorite TV show. "O Canada" stirred me more than "The Star-Spangled Banner." I almost died in Canada, in the late 1990s, and have only been back once since, to play cowboy songs for elderly shut-ins in Ottawa.

That was five years ago, and I was in a van. You don’t need a passport to get into Canada, just to come back. I learned. The hard way. I’m afraid to fly and can’t afford to and have no plans to visit my new favorite country, but that’s OK. Apparently, it will come to me.

In Canada all the animals are moose. If you have mice, and you trap one, you will find on closer inspection that your mouse is a little tiny moose. If you have a cat and a dog, you have a moose and a moose. Small ones. If you go to the zoo, or the circus, and they feature an elephant, it will be played by a humongous moose. And if you see an actual-size moose — say, on the side of a small road in the mountains — then that’s a moose too.

Thanksgiving in Canada happens in October and is not a big deal, according to my Canadian. After work I picked him up at the airport, and I took him out for sushi and then to a downtown hotel with clawfoot bathtubs.

We hardly slept that night, or the next, or the next. The groundwork had been laid online, which doesn’t sound right, I realize. But besides sex, we drove around and talked about food, and movies, and food. Fuck history, Canadians know as much about American barbecue as most Americans do. We’d eaten at a lot of the same places in the South. He knew where to get fried chicken in Missouri, and Buffalo wings in Buffalo. I showed him where to go for breakfast in San Francisco, lunch on the Sonoma Coast, and dinner in the wine country.

He bought me a bottle of great whiskey and a big book about road food. All weekend that weekend I didn’t check my e-mail or answer my cell phone, and my friends worried about me. They needn’t have. I was visiting Canada, in the comfort of my own county and country. And I found it infinitely sweet, hospitable, romantic, and, best of all, game.

The boys around here, you know, the too-cool-for-drool outside-the-box ones who describe themselves on the dating sites as open-minded, adventurous, looking for new experiences, blah blah barf … I hate to say this, my rad hipster sexually-liberated countrymen, but you were just schooled in all of the above by a middle-aged Canadian tweed with daughters and a favorite toothpaste.

He didn’t know I was trans when he first wrote to me, just liked my pics and words and food-itude. I told him right away. I told him and showed him: look, man, an outtie. And unlike you, he shrugged. Never been with a body like mine, he said, never even thought about it. But … he couldn’t wait to find out.

And did.

And loved it. And loves me. He said so.

"I love you too," I said. And I took him back to the airport and then went to play soccer as usual.

My new favorite restaurant is Sushi Man. Just for the name. That’s all. The sushi was … well, nobody got hurt or anything. I got sashimi hamachi and some saba, and the steamed spinach thing with sesame seeds, which was great. Better than the sushi. Nice atmosphere, surreal service, nobody there … *


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