Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Green Stuff

When I was an undergrad in Miami, I had a huge crush on this girl I first met a student club meeting. The obsession I had for her intensified when I moved into the dorms shortly after we met and she became my neighbor. I actually thought I had a chance to be a couple with her and to reverse the horrible fortune I had with the fairer sex. I was willing to do anything to be on her good side and most of the time we got along very well.

One day we had a deep discussion on our respective ethnic backgrounds. We were both of Colombian heritage so we discussed about issues like our families and experiences with them. As we were talking about food, she surprised me by admitting that she was a strict vegetarian and hated having to eat meat when visitng her family over there in order to please them. I didn’t mind at all, but since I wanted to have every advantage possible to win her heart I decided to try to become a vegetarian. No meat, no way, no how. I was to quit cold turkey (no pun intended) and I honestly believed that this would be one of the best moves I could make.

With little fanfare I decided to start my metamorphosis from carnivorous fatty to hipster-thin vegetarian. Day 1 went by rather well. Breakfast was always meatless for me; I skipped lunch, and had a hearty salad for dinner. “Not bad,” I thought.

Day 2 was a little more unusual in that I felt a little weaker than the day before, yet I attributed that to too much exercising in the gym rather than my changed diet. Bagel in the morning, plenty of water throughout the day, and another hearty salad for dinner. I cheated a bit by eating an after-dinner cookie, but I rationalized that at least it wasn’t bacon or steak.

Day 3 was a carbon copy of day 1, except for soup at dinner. No gym, but I was still feeling rather weak. And quite lazy, too.

That evening I could not sleep.

I was rolling around in bed thinking about every thought conceivable interspersed with pangs for eating meat. Nothing could dissuade my lust for meat that night. I tried to think of the inhumane factory-like conditions some animals are kept under. I tried to think of my health and how much it would improve by going meatless. I even tried to think about how she would view me in a better light by having the mental and physical strength to ignore all meat. I eventually got out of bed at 11am after spending what seemed like an eternity with my rambling, incoherent thoughts.

“To hell with it.”

I quickly got up, got dressed, and took the five minute walk to the student union building. Although it was a Saturday and most of the food court was closed, I knew that there was at least one restaurant open. It was the only place that would help me break the streak without any guilt, and with complete joy. It would be a carnivorous delight.

Pollo Tropical.

I raced to my dorm holding my order like it was my last meal. Opened the door, shut the blinds, and plowed through what had been the best meal I ate in weeks. One whole chicken, some rolls oozing with chicken juice and several small orders of platano, beans, and rice later I was a very content person.

“To hell with her.” She was an easy scapegoat, though I was the one at fault for trying to transform myself into something I was not.

A few months later on Valentine’s Day she told me that she had a boyfriend who lived near Fort Lauderdale. They had been together for six years and she was madly in love with him. Shortly after I confessed to her my desire for her. We remained close friends until I graduated. Afterwards, I returned to New York and we wrote to each other every so often. I have not heard from her since last November.

She never knew of my attempt at vegetarianism, and I would never tell her of this.

Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to eat a turkey sandwich.

2 comments:

Jonathan C said...

ah the things we do to satisfy the lady-types...remmeber that la ley concert i went a few summers ago? i didnt know who they were, i thought the lead singer looked metro, i just went there to impress this girl i knew. instead we ended up on opposite sides on a sea of crazy fans...i was next to a fuckin' woofer the whole time. then i left w/out her...that was the last time we'd speak

...you just gave me a good idea for a post

Erwin C. said...

Yeah, I had a hunch that was the case since you couldn't give two shits for rock en espanol back then. At least we learn from our mistakes, (hopefully).