Saturday, May 16, 2009

Garlic and Scotch

'Put a clove of garlic in your vagina tonight. That'll heal the infection for sure,' Ms. Barbara assures me. According to her, garlic heals everything. Put a little on a wound, swab a little garlic oil in your ear for infections, take a few capsules to ward off a cold. When in doubt, use garlic.

The first time I was confronted with this extreme belief in garlic's healing power, I was definitely more open to it. When I found out I had Group B Strep when pregnant with Adelle, I took at least six capsules to try and kill the buggers. Apparently, the hospital wouldn't let me take another test to see if the bacteria had gone away. My mother-in-law's logic; 'Get rid of GBS so that I will not get antibiotics during labor so that I will not get yeast infection.' As crazy as she sounds, that is actually what happened.

So here I am, taking garlic like nobody's business at three, five, seven, nine months and it doesn't even matter because the hospital won't let me test for the bacteria again. As a last minute resort, Ms. Barbara practically begs me to consider putting the garlic in my vagina. At first she tried to get me to put yogurt up there, 'Yogurt with acidophilus of course.' Then, it was the probiotic capsules, 'Just insert one about a couple inches deep. Heat should melt them.' I tried to appease her by telling her that I would definitely do it that night, whatever hocus pocus she wanted me to try, but every time I looked into my fridge, the yogurt and probiotic containers seemed to be hiding from my hands and especially from my vagina. I couldn't muster up the courage to tell her that I couldn't put foreign, edible objects into my private parts.

'Tie a string around the garlic clove. Peel it first of course.' God, I hope so.
'You could insert a hole to pull the string through, but it might smell.' No shit Sherlock. I bet Alex will cuddle up with me tonight. Not.
'Anyways, put the garlic in there overnight and the heat will soften it up some.' Just what I need; garlic puree in my VJ.
'When you wake up, just pull it out and throw it away.' No, I'm actually going to use it in a broth.

Ms. Barbara isn't the only one who believes in a magic food. In the case of my dad, it's a magic drink...scotch. My dad believes that scotch can heal anything, cure all, and has the ability to make any pain go away. The first he does after taking a seven hour flight to visit us; he pulls out the bottle of Chivas Regal and pours a shot for everyone. The sentence 'Dad, don't you wanna sit down or wash up?' doesn't seem to make it through his head. He barely looks at me as he pours another. When Adelle was colicky, he told me to rub a little scotch on the inside of her mouth, when she was teething, he told me to dip her chew toys in the golden liquor. When Alex had a bad hangover (not surprisingly from drinking with my dad the night before), my dad tells him to make some ramen and drink some scotch.

My father doesn't consider himself an alcoholic, but a scotch aficionado who must, one day, pay a pilgrimage to his beloved's native land. The only place he'd really enjoy in Europe is Scotland where he would be gorging himself on every variety of scotch. I'm sure he would fit right in with all the whiskey loving, beer guzzling Scotsmen. He might even learn a new remedy scotch offers. Perhaps that's why my dad gets along with Alex so well. They both handle their liquor pretty damn well.

If Ms. Barbara ever offered my dad a clove of garlic, I'm sure he'd eat it. I think he's the one person who would understand her and believe in every single healing property of garlic. Then, I'm sure he would chase it down with a little scotch.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Postal Service

Alex tints my world a different color. There are times when I forget how much I love him. Then, there is a moment, a word, a gesture, and I remember why I love him so much. 'Listen to these lyrics,' he tells me. I glance at the Ipod dock and see Postal Service. I could've guessed as much by the voice and melody, but for the first time, I really paid attention to the lyrics;

"I'll be the grapes fermented,
Bottled and served with the table set in my finest suit
Like a perfect gentleman
I'll be the fire escape that's bolted to the ancient brick
Where you will sit and contemplate your day

I'll be the waterwings that save you if you start drowning
In an open tab when your judgment's on the brink
I'll be the phonograph that plays your favorite
Albums back as you're lying there drifting off to sleep...
I'll be the platform shoes and undo what heredity;s done to you...
You won't have to strain to look into my eyes
I'll be your winter coat buttoned and zipped straight to the throat
With the collar up so you won't catch a cold

I want to take you far from the cynics in this town
And kiss you on the mouth
We'll cut our bodies free from the tethers of this scene,
Start a brand new colony
Where everything will change,
We'll give ourselves new names (identities erased)
The sun will heat the grounds
Under our bare feet in this brand new colony
Everything will change"

Loving someone comes with many strings and this song is simply highlighting the possibility that those strings are not necessarily cumbersome without reason. Sometimes you tether yourself to someone to show that her existence matters. Often, I wonder how different our world would be if we remembered this on a daily basis. More often than not, I forget, but once in a blue moon, words through the mouth of a lover or singer makes their way to my ear, gently pounding on the valve to my hardened heart, making it possible to hear love in a chaotic world.