David looked contrite. “I’m sorry, I didn’t notice. All the cans looked the same.”
“No worries. It was nice of you to go out and get all this for me. It’s perfect,” I said. But in my head I was shrieking, All wrong...this is all wrong! I could never say anything, not after the trouble he went to, so I smiled, grabbed my bowl, and followed David to the couches. We sat down with our meals, the men with their steak and me with my bastardized version of nostalgia. David and Josue talked about how wrong it was to pour the sauce onto the ravioli straight from the can. “That’s how we always ate it,” I said.
A few hours later, after Josue had gone home and the plates (and bowl) had been loaded into the dishwasher, I confronted David about his weirdness over my craving. I asked him why it mattered to him whether or not I felt like eating sauce from a can.
“It bothers me to see you upset. I want your life to be all bluebirds and rainbows,” he said.
“But it seems like you’re more bothered by the kind of food I was craving than the reasons I was craving it,” I argued.
“Well, it’s just...” David looked frustrated for a moment, then put an arm around me and rested his chin on the top of my head. “When you get upset and the only thing that can comfort you is food from your childhood, it’s like you fell and skinned your knee and then ran to your mom or dad instead of me.”
“Oh,” I said, because that’s all I could think of to say. I squeezed him tighter and then took a step back so I could get a clear look at his face. I chuckled, unable to believe my luck in having someone who cares for me as much as David does. Before he could misinterpret my laughing, I said, “Don’t you know that you’re my rock? I mean, how the hell could I survive as such a spaz if I didn’t have you to lean on? Come here.” I pulled him close and embraced him with all my might, recognizing with both terror and relief that this anchor in my arms was the one thing keeping me on the pretty side of sanity.