I ruined any sort of future relationship with my neighbors.
I haven’t made eye contact with them since. That’s a hard task when our kitchen sinks face each other.
Dear God, drown me in some saltwater and put a lid on it.
I don’t really want to tell you that it started on a magical, sunny day during crab season because I don’t want you to get the impression that it ended very magically. In my defense, I did hear the fisherman say to me, “since ya don’t have a bucket to bring home some water, use at least 4 cups of salt with that water yer boilin’ those crab in!” I looked at the man, Pete, that I was crabbing with and he just nodded at me and so I stuck that measurement in my head and headed homeward bound.
Now, it was either really windy or I have a pea for the size of a brain because tablespoons sounded lot like cups to me.
Upon arrival home, I saw three men drinking some beer next to my driveway. I knew they were my new neighbors, so I decided I wanted to be really fucking cool and tell them allllll about how I just looooove fishing and I’m such a badasssss yadayadayada and one of the guys was actually a fisherman and told me, “ya better cook that shit right, that’s a fresh baby!”
So I’m getting ready to cook this sucker up, I pour a pot of water and take out my sea salt from the cupboard. I pour almost the entire jar of salt into my tiny little pot to cook my one, tiny, little crab. I vividly remember my roommate coming downstairs on her way to work and saying something like, “Dude, you think that’s ok? That’s kinda a lot of salt.”
I shooed that bitch away and told her, “PETE SAID FOUR CUPS!!!” I am always one to follow instructions, didn’t she know?
I literally was smacking the jar of salt to get every last bit of salt into that pot. I thought to myself, “Jeeze, I hope that’s enough, that didn’t really seem like four cups…” and no, just in case you were wondering, never did the thought cross my mind that I had quite possibly added more salt than water… or maybe how I should dab my finger and taste the water to make sure it’s not at a near-toxic level.
I throw in the crab in the boiling water and SHABANG*! I hear, “Happppppy birthday to youuuuu!” I glance out my kitchen window and I notice that it must be my neighbors birthday. They are just about the fucking cutest family you’ve ever seen in Bellingham. I hadn’t met both of them yet, so I figured I would go with a really dramatic entrance so they would never, ever forget me.
Fuck, they won’t. I know they still think about it every time I see them.
I brought out the nice butter bowls and melted some butter and placed this fine, freshly cooked crab on the nicest plate you will ever see in our college house and without trying the crab first like a normal host/human would do, I marched my fine ass right on over into their yard, crashed their party, and slapped that shit right in front of him like he was obligated to eat it and like it.
This is an example of some of the dialogue during the first and last interaction with this family:
Neighbors: “Oh man, you are too nice!”
Me: “Yeah, well, I heard a happy birthday and I figured I should share and introduce myself!”
Neighbors: “Great, well thank you… it’s…………delicious..”
Friend of Neighbor: “Yeah, so like, did you try this before coming over?”
Me: “Ah, no! I figure I would send it your way right after it was done cookin!”
Friend of Neighbor: “Ohh, alright… yeah, it’s really……… tasty.”
Neighbor: “So… what do you do? Are you a student?”
Me: “I was, but I am finishing up some pre-requisites to go to Bastyr University soon.”
Neighbor: “Oh nice, what do you want to study”
Me: “I’m thinking the herbal sciences program or the culinary arts and nutrition program.” (Like I’m trying to talk myself up as some high-class chef or some bullshit!?)
(and the worst)
Neighbor who has not talked this whole time: “Which program are you leaning more towards?”
Me: “I’m leaning more towards herbal sciences”
Neighbor who has not talked this whole time: “Yeah, that seems like a better fit.”
So, I took the plate back, completely unaware of the half-eaten half-crab and marched my way back into my house so my roommate and I could indulge in the rest of the crab that I had saved for us.
One bite was all it took.
I unwillingly poisoned my new neighbors the first time I met them. Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck. I gave them my name, my number, even my email… there is no re-introducing myself now.
Every time I see him in my kitchen window, I know he is judging the fuck out of me as I cook my food.
Now, I am telling you this story because this morning, nearly six months after the saltwater disaster, I decided to make myself some Kitchari soup to cure the case of the flu. I added an array of Indian spices and went to grab for the salt and the lid came off right when I pour it into my soup and all the salt came pouring into my freshly made Indian soup. I don’t know how it happened, but I looked over my shoulder and I saw the same man I fed that fateful crab to laughing to himself washing his breakfast pan.
Thank god I’m moving.