This was such a stupid fucking lie but last night I went to a little Salvadoran restaurant across from my apartment called Cabanas where I’d previously only gone for croquettes and beer (you have to buy a food item with the beer and croquettes are cheapest) and I ordered a chicken steak, it was like $8, and as the server is asking me, in broken but much-appreciated English, what I’d like as a side dish I ask her what the options are, and she lists them, and the only one I can understand is “rice,” so I go with the rice. Then she says something that starts with a “G” and follows it with “or bread?”
I like bread so I say, “I’ll have the bread.”
When she comes outta the kitchen fifteen minutes later she’s got a breaded piece of chicken steak, fucking agleam with grease, and while it looks very appetizing, smells very appetizing, the truth is that I can’t eat breaded shit like this because it upsets my stomach in a violent way.
Diarrhea, is the issue. I don’t wanna say it, but there it is. I get the runs.
I don’t wanna say it to this woman, either, especially not in fucking piecemeal fragments of Spanish. “Perdon. Mi culo. Mucho dolor. No puedo.”
So I do some sweeping gesture over the chicken steak, try to indicate some issue with its surface, and tell her I can’t eat it.
She looks at me, puzzled.
The dude to my left, fortunately, is bi-lingual, and he translates to her that I can’t eat it because it’s breaded.
She gives me a very justifiably exasperated look because apparently the word that started with a “G” was “grilled” and, yeah, given the language barrier it probably seems to her like I kinda specifically asked for it to be made with “bread.”
She says something in Spanish and the dude to my left translates, “She wants to know why you can’t eat it.”
And please don’t even fucking ask me why, in my panic of revealing to people that I get the runs when I eat breaded things, I equated the bread with carbs, with sugar, and said, on a whim, “I’m…diabetic.”
I am not diabetic.
So he says it to the lady and she squints at me and brings a manager over, and the manager translates through this customer to my left. Tells me, unhappily, that it’s gonna take another fifteen minutes or so to grill me a new one and I say that it’s fine.
So the two women go back into the kitchen and I’m left out there with the dude and he says, “Why was it that you couldn’t eat that?”
Hating myself, hating myself a lot, I repeat: “I’m…diabetic.”
He nods, somber. “Me too.”
Fuck. “Oh yeah?”
He nods again. “Yeah. Do you inject?”
“No, I just…watch what I eat. Do you?”
Again with the sobriety, the nod, sage-like.
He knows, I think. He fucking knows that I don’t have diabetes and he’s gonna out me to the servers and they’re gonna shit in the beans.
I said, “I’m sorry to hear that. Is it…hereditary?”
“Yeah. Both my parents.”
He hesitates. Does something with his shoulders. “Whichever one you need the injection for, I forget. But yeah. That one.”