“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting” – Sakyamuni Buddha
I went to lunch once with a couple who had just gotten married. I looked at this young girl sitting in front of me, with her fashionable clothes and her cheery persona. She looked to me like a woman who would speak her mind, but not necessarily her heart. She reminded me of someone I know. Someone I have known for a long time and love like a sister – my friend, Katherine. I haven’t seen her in years.
There was talk of the wedding, of Indian mother-in-laws, etc. and then the conversation turned to the changes that happen once you get married. Like most Indian couples, they had known each other for a while, but I don’t think they had ever lived together. She had visited from India for a while, they had dated, but I didn’t get the feeling they had yet seen each other at their worst, at their most mundane, or at their most vulnerable. In fact, I am sure of it – they didn’t have children.
“You will have to keep some things to yourself to maintain the feminine mystique,” I said to the new bride, half joking, half knowing that they hadn’t any idea of what lay ahead of them.
“No,” JJ said, “you have to let it all show.” I was quiet. This, from a person who liked to keep secrets, who lost interest when the mystique wore off, who was so afraid to let people in all the way. He fiddled with the edge of the tablecloth nervously. Probably sitting there thinking that I was speaking of my own ways, my own desires, my own insecurities. I was speaking from the point of view of someone who has already been there, who has already seen the magic wear off for my friends and even for myself. I was speaking more of experience of the human condition. We love mystery. We desire honesty, but we are afraid of too much.
Truthfully, I wasn’t exactly speaking to her either. I hardly knew the girl. I might have been speaking sarcastically to JJ, because he so desired deep, sincere honesty. Yet, he was so unwilling to give it. Like Katherine, he would give a little bit, but it scared the shit out of him and he would close back up into his shell. He started well, but could never quite go all the way.
I guess I was speaking to my old friend Katherine too, who was also recently married at the time. This girl in front of me with shining hair and a painted smile looked like she had won a trophy. The man-child that sat next to her looked like he lived from every word that fell from her lips. She looked like my friend. She hide her insecurities well behind false confidence. So well, that perhaps even she wasn’t aware. Just slightly inaccessible, aloof, enigmatic, still to be unwrapped. He was in love, she was the conqueror. When the game was over and real life began, he might find himself lost, angry, disillusioned; in love with her strengths and disgusted with her vulnerabilities.
Perhaps I read this girl all wrong, seeing in her a reflection of the concerns for my friend, who was on my mind, and not what was in her heart. But Katherine I have known since we were young. I’m quite sure I am not wrong about her. I worry about her often. I dreamed of her last night. My inclination is to send her a little note, a recipe or a link to something fun, but I know I should pick up the phone. I should be honest with myself…I am no different from JJ or Katherine. I should tell her straight out to put away her facades because she doesn’t need them for me. Yes, I’ll pick up the phone tonight…
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to love; not going all the way, and not starting.
California Sushi Roll (One of Katherine’s favorites)
- ½ cup vinegar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup cooked sushi rice, warm
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- ½ cup cooked crabmeat
- 1 to 2 teaspoons wasabi paste, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons golden caviar
- ½ avocado, chopped
- In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil over high heat. Cook until sugar has dissolved completely; remove from heat.
- Place rice in a medium bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the reserved sugar/vinegar mixture. Add sesame seeds and mix well.
- Using hands, form seasoned rice into a large square block. Cut the rice into small squares, pressing with hands to adhere rice together.
- Dab ¼ teaspoon wasabi paste onto each rice square, and press 1 tablespoon of each crabmeat and caviar atop paste. Top with avocado pieces and serve.