Almost six years ago, out to a different kind of dinner, when I was still pooping my pants.
My boyfriend took me out to dinner last night at the most amazing sushi restaurant. But about halfway into the volcano rolls, my stomach start seizing up in this painful, familiar way, and I found myself curled up fetal in Maru’s small, sweet-smelling bathroom, ala days of gluten olde.
Usually lying on your left side takes the pain away (this is a good trick! Use this trick!). But the more I hugged the sticky tiles last night, the more it felt like there was a rabid squirrel trapped in my stomach. So I staggered back to the table, slammed my wine, gave my boyfriend a hug, and whispered into his hair about how we had to go now. Like right now. Like, I love you and the dinner was so great but I feel sick and it hurts and we gotta scram.
My boyfriend basically threw his credit card at the waitress (heroically) and next thing I knew we were outside under the stars, weaving through crowds on the sidewalk.
"Oh babe, how about I talk about some things and distract you?" He said, pulling me along. "You want to hear about Michael Jackson’s pedophiliac tendencies? I’ve been reading this book."
I nodded vehemently. The squirrel was becoming increasingly angry and it hurt to talk.
So he talked and we walked. Or rather I dragged beside him, bent over, clinging.
"So, sometimes the mothers of the boys he loved would decide it wasn’t appropriate for them to sleep in Michael’s bed," my boyfriend said, sounding enthusiastic despite the fact that he was panting (we’re about the same size). "And Michael would flip out and call the mothers, and talk to them forever until they budged." He kissed my head. "He was in love."
He went on, and it was sad to hear but also titillating in a satisfying way. And occasionally I’d stammer “Oh my god,” because what he was saying warranted a response.
But he misunderstood, obviously; I was some sweaty mess, doubled over and croaking, “Oh my god.” He assumed I was in pain and about to crap myself.
"It’s okay, honey pie," he blurted finally, cutting short his stories of man-boy love to kiss my head again.
"ARGGHruugh?" I said.
"I’m here," he whispered, and dragged me faster toward home.