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Mom Is Cooking

My once-weekly workday at Black Sheets was the ordinary mix of office duties, cleaning the hot tub, and stocking condoms for the next party, plus I turned in my review of that S/M book from Friday.

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There's a newish co-worker I mentioned masturbating about a while back. Her name is Candy, and she continues to be cute. We get along and all, but she's absolutely not my type and I'm sure the feeling is mutual.

The daydreams and my quick yes-or-no evaluations are probably rotten things to do, but all men do it and I'm a man. At least I'll have the decency to never mention it to her.

Ladies do the same thing, I suppose, evaluating every dude they see. And jeez, I would not want to see Candy's evaluation of me, or any woman's. It would be right out of Animal House, I'm sure:

"That boy is a P I G, pig."

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After I'd scoured the birdshit from the front walkway, Bill invited me to dinner. Said he'd had a recent financial windfall, wanted a nice meal and had nobody to eat with but me — so hey, no Top Ramen tonight!

I suggested Tadich Grill, the oldest and probably priciest restaurant in San Francisco, but Bill pointed out that if if we went someplace that pricey, he'd expect me to put out afterwards. So instead we went to a Mexican place called Mom Is Cooking, between Edinburgh and Naples in the Excelsior, and ¡Madre mía! it was lots better than ramen.

The decor is festive but tawdry, and the tables are close together, with perhaps two feet of clearance for walking — a tight squeeze for a fat man, and I may have toppled someone's salsa on our way to one of the back tables. The menus are in term-paper binders, with a glossary of Mexican terms in the back, for those unfamiliar with the cuisine.

The glossary was helpful, too, because Mom Is Cooking is not just another taqueria. They're way beyond ordinary burritos and tacos and chips. 

I had a potato tamale ("tah•MAHL•eh; corn dough, beaten and steamed") with broccoli and peas and corn, all drenched in chocolate sauce, ordered only because it sounded kooky — chocolate sauce on vegetables? But it was scrumptious.

Bill had the potpourri Mexicano, which seemed to be everything you'd find at a bodega all scrambled together, served with beans and rice and onions and guacamole under a red-hot sauce.

We also had a big bowl of boquitas. They're like mini-nachos, with toppings piles high — guacamole, tomato bits, some kind of spicy lettuce, sour cream, triple-fried beans, that white melted cheese (can't remember what it's called) and maybe eleven herbs and spices swiped from the Colonel. We were supposed to share it but the ladies are right, I'm a P I G, pig, and about 3/4 of it went to into my mouth.

Tasty vittles indeed, and then they brought "coffee for dessert," like they used to say in the Yuban commercials, only it actually tasted like dessert — cinnamon-loaded, sweet and delicious and so hot I had to savor not gulp it.

And it wasn't Tadich Grill pricey, either. More expensive than El Castillito, sure, but one fine day when I can afford it, I'll be back for more of whatever Mom Is Cooking.

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Talking with our mouths full, Bill and I discussed politics and sardines and the fund-raising orgies he hosts. I mentioned that I'd been a little unsure of myself with the S/M book — writing a review of a book all about sexual practices I know nothing about.

"I'm a wisp of innocence, you know, a delicate flower of near-virginity, adrift in this world of perversion you inhabit."

But he calmed my worry, told me the review I'd turned in was very well-written, and exactly what he'd hoped for. "If I'd wanted an expert's opinion on a book of sadomasochism, I would've reviewed it myself. A neophyte's view is fresher," he said, "than the opinion of someone who snaps a whip every weekend."

Which makes sense, I guess, so I volunteered to read and review any incoming books about fat lonely losers who meet just the right whatever. Or in a pinch, lesbian fiction. 

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Back home at the hotel, I hadn't seen a roach since the manager's son sprayed my room a few days ago, but tonight I drowned two in the sink and flattened a third on the wall — my roachiest day yet.

From Pathetic Life #23
Monday, April 22, 1996

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised.

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