GUILTY PLEASURES OF A HALF WEREWOLF
‘How’s things guy?’ - the waitress runs to us with a smile.
‘Hen hao. Xie xie.’ - I reply mechanically.
Then, she runs away and joins a group of four women who are standing around my corner chatting cheerfully in Cantonese. They are table runners in their black collar T-shirt uniform. When the winter is coming and it gets chilly, tasting cuisine with hot sauce is incredibly ideal. There’re friends, families, couples talking, giggling to each other; and the smoke from hot pot physically makes this room warmer, everyone is happy. May be those Chinese staff are happy too, safe from the cold outside and deliver fun to people in this restaurant, at a corner of Chinatown. They treasure these moments for their own. I myselfget a little secret joy too, I’m a half werewolf and I enjoy red raw beef in here!
Some love fame and singing they want to be a legend singer like Michael Jackson, some prefer adventure they want to be a foot soldier journalist and reward Pulitzer prize someday, some feel peaceful when become a good teacher and a good mother. I desire a wild and free life. I decide to be a half werewolf.
Neither on a diet nor an enthusiastic member of PETA, I prefer vegetables and fish on my menu, raw salmon and tuna egg sushi are my favorite dishes. I am a full-time pescetarian till I realized my great love to raw beef. Since I flight to different side of the globe and move to Boston, I discover how fine beef could be.
At the grocery store, I can’t take my eyes off beef stock. The purple-red color of fresh meat protected perfectly by vacuum package attracts my eye side and keeps me away from plethora of shiny, colorful brand products surrounding. When being brought to home and removed the wrapping plastic, my seductive beef exposes to air and lets its pink surface contact with oxygen and turn it into amazing pleasingly cherry-red color!
‘Hey. Why are you so quiet Jo? How’s the food?’ wonders my sister. Finally, she realizes my presence, after non-stop conversation with her boyfriend .
‘Ya, It’s warm.’ indifferently I said ‘That’s good.’
Down to Earth, back to my hot pot, it’s ready with the food smoke and funny noise from numerous bubbles exploring. I am neither a fan of Chinese food nor hot pot in general. This is America where China, Vietnam, Korea or whatever Asia is far away and the taste of any food with foreign label is also far far away from local dishes. On the other hand this is hot pot melting, which gives us more chance to taste diversity, therefore, far-away taste is also a real local to think global.
In this view, at this Chinese buffet restaurant, I rather enjoy the way to feed my half-werewolf stomach than what really fulfills my hunger. With chopsticks in hand and a pot with hot sauce, I have taken over the throne and crown that always belongs to The Chief. How raw my good beef could be is under my rule, my control. I am the king of country called ‘Raw Beef’. Though I would love ‘Raw Beef’ becomes a free country with democracy and 3 branches of government following the R.B Constitution.
That Constitution balances the power and shares it into 3 branches, which you can easily imagine in triangle shape. First, the beef is put into the very hot pot by hand and chopsticks. Then, my right hand – Executive branch – co-operates with my eyes to figure out the exact moment to take action, to pick the perfect beef. The eyes like Senate or House of representation makes the flat form and standard of fine beef for half werewolf in R.B. country. Picking is an essential part, if my right hand President feels tired and unclear to carry out, there’s Vice President, my left hand, to support. This is true art, because the President not only chops beef in and out the pot but she has to wrap and roll the beef skillfully to cover the raw part and prevent my werewolf background from being revealed. Even I’m God of this country, this Raw Earth, and this Raw galaxy, but there’s not only Milky Way out there. Inter-galaxy affair is highly concerned too, I never ever let my sister and her boyfriend discover my passion on raw food.
My number one choice is cooked beef in pretty pink color or better dark cherry-red, however, my stomach has his function to limit how raw is accepted. Judicial branch always takes care for long-breathed procedure, therefore, my digestive system needs time in order to evaluate the quality of raw choices. Usually, bad things come in next 4 or 5 hours after meal. The last uncomfortable experience was two weeks ago. I fancied the raw addicted sweetness so much that there was a dispute from food in my stomach which
only can be done in the restroom.
My body has to get acquainted step by step, meal by meal to be harmony with my natural desire then becomes completely insensitive to raw red beef. I also love pinky cherry chicken, half-raw for half-beast! Hey, werewolf is half-wolf already, and I’m a half-werewolf, it means a half of a half is a quarter. But a half-werewolf is human all the time except of full-moon days, therefore, my inhuman percentage gets less. If use traditional lunar calendar of my home place, I can tell you the number exactly, but I do not want to blow your mind and we should not toy each other like that.
Since become a half-werewolf, I also get some tiny secret joy besides eating raw food I also have many ‘guilty pleasures’.
When I’m cleaning from unshiny to shiny dishes, from unhealthy to healthy room, from untidy to tidy clothes, I feel like I am an artist or at least discover art on those. Every time I twist my wrist for washing a pan, I take moment comfort in being a cello musician with skilled hands. Every time I stand front of a dryer, wait for my laundry finished I become an obsession of the circle move of my clothes – the cycle dance. Some do better than others, the towel is pretty thick and heavy like an oversized man eats McDonald every day in ‘Supersize me’ movie, therefore, it dances in clumsy way. The thinner one like bra moves perfectly. As a light but healthy body, it does a Vovinam technique, jumps strongly and rolls in an excellent circle. Every time I clean room, let somebody’s mess disappear, I feel myself like a dedicated mom who is a talented artist and plays multi roles a mother, a woman and a wife.
Even the pleasures get worse, I do not mind. Over the rest, the taste of fine beef will keep me survive. Once time, after hiking down the White Mountain, my exhausting body requires me 100 percentage stay focus on feeding its hunger. The silence is worshipped during the whole procedure of fulfill energy. Instead of praying, the R.B Constitution is activated to do the beef sacrifice. The President shivers, the Senate carefully observes; the ritual is practiced in fear and trembling gesture. As the God of this kingdom, I am very pleased. I wrinkle my nose, take a deep breathe to let the smoke envelope my lung, my stomach, to let the taste merge with my inner soul.
The wolf inside me is eager to swallow the cooked layer outside greedily as the way it tear out the hairy fur of a moose. Then, like a lava flow from volcano awakes, the sweet seductive sweet blood pours out after a raw bite. The flesh is so good that my desire requests more; the command is sent to the trio immediately. They are ordered to take more risk, the waiting time must be minimized from 27 to 14 then 8 seconds for a serve. Rawer, quicker, hotter bites burn my tongue. Nevertheless, more than ever, the esthetics taste of raw has been completed between glee and guilty moment.
‘More tea?’ - the waitress comes back with a bigger smile.
‘Sure.’ I nod my head ‘Thank you’ - say cheerfully.
The hot black tea is so good for this wicked cold weather in a warm place like this. The
atmosphere gives me mood but the inner joy truly gets me high. Inside everyone’s deep reflection, there’s a titanic universe for one to be anything. Anything you want.