Bring the Pain

I was reunited with two lost loves this weekend. The first one I thought of often and believed I’d never see again this side of the ocean, and the second I had shamefully forgotten about.

Saturday evening Monk and I went to a tapas place which was surprisingly, fantastically authentic (give the girl one trip to Spain and suddenly she’s an experto de la comida). The Spanish-speaking wait staff whirled around our little table, the crowd grew steadily, I sipped a smooth glass of red, and we dove into the little plates of appetizers that arrived with speed and abundance. Towards the end of our meal a Spanish guitar player took the stage (I’m not sure the musician was actually Spanish, but I’m sure the music was. Or he fooled everyone and I am so not complaining) and added his over-practiced strumming to the general ambience. We’ve been disappointed with tapas in the States before and I had pretty much given up on the idea of encountering the real deal on American soil. But I am overjoyed to proclaim that here in Texas (of all places), croquetas are crave-worthy, gambas are good and garlicky, plato de queso is… well, so-so. But I’m not a big fan of the Spanish cheeses. We ate like it was our job, people, and then packed it all down with some flan for dessert. Went home peering over the edge of that excessive eating precipice, where one false move could have you clutching your belly for the rest of the night. No regrets though; it would have hurt so good.

Last night, to counteract the whole fine dining thing, we ordered a massive artery-clogging pizza and settled in to watch a long-forgotten Eddie Izzard video. Eddie and I first met in Manchester, a decade ago. Our introduction came about when my host turned on the television and yelled something to the effect of “oh snap, this guy is fucking hilarious!” (the original sentence has been translated from British to American for easy reading), and as the man on the screen happily paced about in heels and makeup, changing topics at light speed, talking about cats drilling behind the couch, my love grew and grew and grew (have I mentioned that it grew?). Back to real, present day life: Periodically I forget about Mr. Izzard and his ranting and side notes and dry humor and facial expressions and sarcasm, and how he makes me laugh until my head is pounding. In my forgetful phase I tune into another late night Margaret Cho special, witness the 856th rendition of her Crazy Chinese Mother yelling her name down the street and I sigh, sadly resigned to the fact that things just aren’t as funny as they used to be.

But oh, sweet joy! Last night we rediscovered the Eddie Izzard DVD we’ve had for several months but never got around to watching. I sat, rapt, as he once again paced about the stage in heels and makeup, unleashing a stream of dry wit, absurd tangents and sarcasm, thinking I’d like to buy him a beer. I’d like to put him in my toy chest. I’d like to climb him like a tree. I spent two hours laughing so hard my head was pounding. And it hurt so good.

2 comment:

Blogger Lisa said...

I hear ya... Tapas is SOOO GOOOD. I've never been to Spain though so I don't know how authentic the restaurant are here in the midwest.

Will have to check out the Izzard dude... Sounds interesting...

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Quinn said...

Tapas in St. Louis? I visit that town a couple times a year and have never heard of a tapas place- enlighten me!

9:49 AM  

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