Taste

Noodle Soup With A Girl

01/27/2017 01:57pm ET

You guys were together but never official. Which is for the best. You guys never had a good time. You would fight. You would argue. And then you’d make up and mess around until it started all over again.

You don’t like dating. It’s too expensive. You don’t want to be serious. It’s more fun to fool around. You don’t want to be alone. But when she looks at you, head leaning away, with a slight knowing smile, you know she’s reading you.

You want to be with her, but you know that if you ever told her that she’d push you away like an undercooked meal. So you just take her out for the meal instead.

Here’s the thing, noodles are the food you always think about. You’re not talking about your penne or your ravioli. That stuff doesn’t even cross your mind. You’re talking about noodles. In a bowl. With broth.

You’re talking about pho, ramen, udon.

This is not spaghetti. This will never be spaghetti. Spaghetti’s for mouth breathers too simple to cook a real dish.

This food you have to break wood before you get the chance to eat them. You have to work for these noodles. When the waiter comes to put the food down in front of us, you guys need chopsticks, not a fork, chopsticks.

Then once you pick the noodles up from the broth, you drop them. Because the first grasp of noodles is never enough. So you pick them up. And drop them. Then pick them up. Then drop them until you get the perfect morsel of noodles gleaming above a steaming broth ready to be enveloped by your unworthy mouth.

Most food you bring towards you for consumption. But, not noodles. You come to them. You get the privilege of eating noodles. And once you consume that first bite, you slurp. Slowly. With noise. Your head buried over a steaming pot. The fog rubbing against your cheeks as it pulls you in. As you begin to devour, you can see the noodles swirl in the broth. The liquid drips into a pool at the base of your tongue.

When you reach down for more, your chopsticks swirl through an empty broth. You look up and see the steam from the broth condensed on her brow.

Her eyes squint. She wipes the sweat off her brow. She has a slight knowing smile. You know she’s reading you. You can’t get enough.