edmund sandoval

We were talking in the kitchen. Talking about exes – a woman who laughed as though she was choking on water, a man who worried about how his ass looked in his blue jeans. She was sitting on the counter eating kimchi out of the jar. Her hair was up and she was wearing her plastic framed glasses.

As she was talking I was thinking how I’d like to remember her as she is now. Seven a.m. on a Saturday and eating the kimchi – spicy, sour and off-smelling – listing off the idiosyncrasies that were probably cute and affable at one time but are now something to laugh at.

I’ve tried kimchi before and every time she eats it, she wants me to also. She forks some up for me, reddish strands of cabbage and daikon, entire cloves of mushy garlic, withered chilis.

She tells me how her last boyfriend was. How he was on the small side but different. Totally different than anyone she’s known. She tells me how he’d remember to buy her the biggest jars of kimchi without MSG and how he ran marathons and cooked giant pots of curry, drank porter at room temperature with her dad.

And then she hops off of the counter, puts the fork in a coffee cup filled with soapy water that’s in the sink and puts the kimchi back in the fridge. She smiles at me and looks out the window, remembering him without laughter.

Edmund Sandoval
The Everlasting Story of Nory
Nicholson Baker