i had a dream
i was driving down 99S in Seattle with my best friend who also happens to be more like my grandmother than my grandmother was. The kind of friend who makes you a pot of soup and sends it home with you so you can work all week and not have to worry about cooking. The kind of friend who makes fresh muffins for breakfast to eat with her homemade Apple Butter that could win any award out there. And I have a strange beacon that always gives me a countdown of when they are coming out of the oven, even if I’m miles away. That kind of friend.
So we were driving, well she was driving me. And it should be said that she’s a bike commuter and has to borrow her dads car whenever she needs one, like today, I needed a ride. So she’s not uber comfy behind the wheel. She uses perfect 2:00 10:00 hand positioning. She goes the speed limit (I know…it’s totally frustrating.)
Anyway, we were going to the airport so I could get out of the wind and cold and rain and back to paradise where my sensitive constitution belongs. When we start talking about gefilte fish.
You know it right? The love it or hate food of the jews. Served chilled in its own amniotic fluid for passover. Some mixture of white fishes and goo and goodness knows what else?
When all of a sudden I”m wracked with this knowingness. This unbelievable truth that is staring me right in the face.
“Why do they pack them in that goo?” I asked my all knowing friend.
“I have no idea,” she says.
“Oh my god. I do. There is only one reason they are packed in that otherworldly strange jelly. They are little alien eggs waiting for the mother ship to call them into life. We are possessed by aliens because we have the ‘love ’em” palate for the fish.”
All these years of eating gefilte fish smothered in horseradish and it comes to me that is how the alien invasion is going to begin.
“No wonder I keep getting more of a belly every year. They are growing!” I say. “Holy fuck, I’m going to give birth to the alien nation. Do you know how many of those fuckers I ate!”
She laughed. My Jewish Grandmother friend. But it was a nervous laugh, I could tell the difference.
“That’s an interesting concept,” she said, shaking her head and looking behind her to see if it was safe to change lanes. “I like to cut a little sliver of pickle, then take a little hunk of fish, then cover it in horseradish. I bet the horseradish kills the aliens. Do you use it?”
“Of course I use horseradish!” I said, incensed. “How else am I supposed to get the fish down my throat. All i can ever think about is that they just came out of clear jelly. It has always freaked me out. I think secretly I knew they were not right. Just not right.”
“My mom made them herself one year out of salmon. They were actually fantastic!” she said. Still not engaging me. Always trying to hide from the truth. “Really delicious.”
I looked at her confused. It was my mother who had made those, not hers. She was grasping for straws. She knew something. Something big. But what was it?”
They really were delicious the year my mom made them. I should ask her to make them again.
“Why are you so quiet all of a sudden?” she asked.
I could see the pale sheen of sweat on her brow, or it was just the florescent lights in the tunnel hitting her skin, it was hard to tell. It was clearly time for me to stop talking. I had said to much.
I threw a laugh out there to confuse her. Reached down into my personal item for the plane to find my chapstick, I was still using the gross petroleum one I had to buy in the airport because I forgot my good one in my purse at home. But they charged me $6 for it so you fucking better believe I’m using the whole damn thing.
“What?” she asked. Brow furled. Taking quick looks over at me but not wanting to have eyes off the road for too long. Novice.
“Nothing. I was just laughing at myself. Crazy ideas come with too little sleep, ya?” Was it working. Did my ultimate deflection work?
“Are you OK?” she asked. “You are my weird little friend, but you are really claiming that title this morning.”
“Totally. Totally………Totally.” i said. Convincing no one.
“This is just a suggestion, but I think you should do more Sudoko. You need some tightening up in there. Catch my drift? I’m slightly worried about you.” she said, still looking forward.
“Look. It was just a thought. I ran it to it’s eventual conclusion, and I’m over it. No aliens in the goo. We’re good.”
And she looked over at me, way too long. The lights of the airport were all around us and we were both moving and not moving at the same time. The car turned into a flying saucer and my friends eyes shrank back into head revealing an oblong head that was replaced with huge black beady eyes with red pupils. Her hand reached out from the steering wheel towards my stomach, it’s long silver fingers capped with razor sharp claws….
And I sat up screaming. Sweating and screaming. Sweating and screaming and wrongly hungry for fucking gefilte fish smothered in horseradish.
My stomach was always the traitor.