CHEAP EATS My flight was cancelled so I did my taxes. I tried to do my taxes. What I did, I wrote to Coach and said, “Let’s play catch. My flight was cancelled.” She was at work.
I went to get my nails done. After, I saw Sockywonk sitting on the step of her soap store, so I sat down next to her.
“I’m sorry I’m a bad friend sometimes,” I said. “Here.” And I handed her a small bag I’d been carrying around. Inside: the sexy nightie she lent me to go roller skating in last fall.
It was decided that I wasn’t a bad friend.
I went in the store and bought two tubes of Chapstick and deodorant. Then it was time to throw the football with Coach, but something had come up, for her, so I went home and unpacked my suitcase, then repacked it, only with Chapstick. The deodorant, I decided, smelled worse than me, so I filed it in my medicine cabinet.
Can I tell you how hungry I was? And I had eaten my refrigerator the evening before, in anticipation of two weeks away. Coach was in Dolores Park with cookies and crazy people, and kept texting me to say be patient, we would throw, we would eat. “Wait for it. Wait for it,” she said.
I have blood sugar issues, everyone knows. One thing, it gets harder for me to make decisions, the farther away I get from my last meal. So when, having waited for it, my time came, I was not as prepared as I should have been. I was, in fact, unprepared.
In other words, I needed Coach to step up, and, being Coach, she did! With flair and brilliance. She grabbed the first rubber-band-stuck paper flyer menu from the first gate we saw and said, before even looking at it: “Let’s go here.”
So we did. We walked to Market and 15th streets, to Bombay. The menu had a picture of an elephant parading a banner between its trunk and tail: “Best Indian Food in the Castro!”
I don’t know about that. I had eaten there once before but didn’t have much to say. I think they dogged me on the spice factor. This time I ordered better, in part because I was with a goddamn vegetarian, which shows to go you. So instead of ordering chicken tikka masala or something predictable, I got chana palak, which is spinach and garbanzo beans (two things I love) and, in honor of the sad fact that I wasn’t in New Orleans, a bunch of fried stuff. Pakoras, samosas …
All of which were just dandy, drenched in the tabletop hot sauce and green stuff. But what stole the show for me was my own personal li’l bowl of chicken and lemon soup that I tacked on by way of having some meat in my day, and therefore not going completely crazy.
This soup, it was fantastic! It was spicy, creamy, and wonderful, and it was called mulligatawny — which in itself is cause for celebration.
I was all set to love the best Indian food in the Castro this time around, except that something happened to ruin everything. And it wasn’t that we were fighting, which we were, kind of. I forget why. I remember I showed Coach my fingernails, how shortly manicured they were. She wants to help me be a better lesbian, see, as surely as I want to help her be a better outside linebacker. “Trim your fingernails,” she’s always telling me. “Lesbians don’t like long fingernails.”
I think I understand why, but then (not that I ever said this out loud, or ever would, it’s such a fucked-up thing to say:) most lesbians don’t have as many fingers as I do. Ba-dum-bum …
Um, but that wasn’t it, either.
The paper menu had a coupon for one free entrée, but we tripped up so much over the fine print ($25 minimum, one coupon per table, dine-in only and between 5 and 10:30 p.m.) that we neglected to consider the bigger print, the point: that to get one free entrée (of lesser value, not to exceed $8), you had to of course order two entrees. They dazzle you with so much fine print you miss the point. Tricky, innit?
Daily: Lunch 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.;
Dinner 5–10:30 p.m.
2217 Market, SF
Beer and wine