My Darling My Hamburger. It’s the name of some book they made the special ed kids read in Dangerous Minds before Michelle Pfeiffer came in, kicking ass and taking names. Sometimes, it’s a line I end up saying aloud. I’m chilaxing with the lineman, and suddenly, I’m overcome with the need to noodle him. I belt out, "My Darling, My Hamburger!" His little bean head turns to the side. He has to be thinking, "She’s gone ahead and lost it again. Let me lick up her nose and find it." Then we make out.
Tonight, there’s no making out. Tonight, there’s Nigella, which in my world, might as well be porn. Batter. Fingers. Licking. Savoring. Yeah, throw in the saucy British accent and close up shots of honey. Yeah, yeah, those creators of Nigella Bites were onto something all right. The "bites" bit is dead on baking accurate, like a leveled measuring cup. Nigella makes us crave, even after we’ve unbuttoned. I want to eat, but I’ve just come from a trendy sushi dinner that cost too much for me to still be hungry. She’s licking things again. Savoring. I’m naked, in this chair, only mildly hating that I’m here alone, craving. A man. A hamburger. Deep fried celery. Mostly I’m into the hamburger. The man part, it’s on its way. Sometimes, patience pays off. I’m all about the soufflé.
Arriving home alone isn’t a big deal normally. It means I can sleep on my stomach, fanned out across the mattress. Alone and hungry is completely different. Arriving home alone, hungry for a hamburger and a love life, does indeed bite after a night of dinner with single women. Nigella keeps saying "wobbly." This is my reality; it kinda bites.
Don’t roll your eyes. No matter what you think is going on, bottom line, coming home alone, to a dog who craps on your floor, and makes the whole place reek of vinegar and ’rhea, in a word—bites. Those creators, I’m tellin’ ya. They’re so not home alone watching her lick those fingers and trace a lone finger on a wet wooden spoon. I promise you, they’ve got lives. The kind where bites means sex.
Yeah, I had dinner, and you know what, it was rice with raw fish and pink mayonnaise, okay? And, yeah, I’m still hungry. I want ketchup. 57. Old school.
I can’t order in for one past one o’clock. It’s gotta be a rule in some Cinderella Dating handbook. Instead, I’ll fall asleep imagining what I’ll eat tomorrow night, in public, while I have my chance. It’s so going to begin with a hamburger. I might just have one for breakfast. A power meal.
There’s nothing as comforting to me as a cheeseburger and fries. It somehow makes me feel loved and safe. It’s my childhood on a plate, and it’s a memory no one can pull from me. The diner with my parents and sister. Banquette seating. A bread basket with pull apart rolls. Medium rare. Dad got a hamburger. I got a cheeseburger. It was all that mattered. Heinz ketchup, well-done steak fries. So much of our lives is lived in meals. I need to eat more of mine with the people I love. I need more brunches, lunches, and Sunday dinners where lazy is encouraged and dessert is always ordered just because. I miss that life, that refrigerated, rotating, pie life, behind glass doors. It’s safe and promised, like the suburbs used to be. I miss what used to be.
That ride home, in the backseat, my head against a wedge of window, watching traffic lights and the faces of drivers along side me. I miss that place of being taken care of, in a moment, knowing you’re safe there. Even if you weren’t, you felt it, and that was enough. I miss that. It’s why I order in now, alone. Medium rare. And, you know what, somehow, that’s okay too. I’m Positive, capital P, that sooner, rather than suburb, I’ll be ordering in soon, for two.