Jello With A Side Of Jello
by Nicole Freire
Jello and Gatorade
Hey, I'm back! I bet you thought I'd been abducted by angry West Virginians, didn't you? No, I did something much much worse than being abducted by angry racists. I had my tonsils taken out.
They told me beforehand that having one's tonsils taken out as an adult could be very painful. But, hey, I've been sick before, remember? I've had surgery before. I'm not new to the party. I've given birth without drugs and thought I could do this tonsil thing standing on my head. A few days off of work, all the ice cream I could eat, some naps, it would be no big deal.
OH MY GOD.
I have no words to describe how painful it was. Having the inside of your mouth lined with razor blades and being forced to drink gasoline? Eating barbed wire laced with sulfuric acid? Stabbing one's throat repeatedly with a barbecue skewer and then eating jalapenos?
This is what I can eat: Jello.
This is what I can do: Nothing.
This is what keeps me going in 3-hour increments: Pain medication.
I'm on week three now and still pretty much out of the game entirely. Yesterday I ate some peach sorbet, which after nothing but strawberry/banana flavored jello tasted pretty good.
But mostly I lie around the house, gently moaning. Watching television or movies requires more attention, energy and brainpower than I have on a typical day. Reading is out too, except for US Weekly, but that's just looking at shiny pictures, so I can hardly call it reading. Sleep is spotty and sporadic. Also, I'm not bathing, despite my family's fervent wishes otherwise. I do brush my teeth a lot, if only because I can spend time in the mirror looking at my throat with a flashlight, saying ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod WHAT HAVE I DONE?
No, what I spend most of my time doing is mentally driving around Santa Barbara to all my favorite restaurants and eating. Eating glorious tasty food. Salty, crunchy, savory, wonderful food. Eating anything but Jello.
I want chips and guacamole at Rudy's. I want to go to Brophy Bros and sit outside and eat fish and chips. I want to go to Woody's and eat ribs. I want to go to Petrini's and eat an entire loaf of garlic bread. I want onion rings from the Habit and some samosas from Flavor of India. I want a Monte Cristo sandwich from Pea Soup Anderson's in Buellton. I'd like a steak, medium rare, with a baked potato from Chuck's Steakhouse. I'd like tuna and some yellow tail from Arigato with some edamame. I'd like to go to Jeannine's Bakery and eat a chocolate croissant. And any 7-11 will do, as long as they sell big bags of Doritos. I want a chicken salad sandwich on sourdough bread with lettuce and a Dr. Pepper. I want some crunchy potato chips on the side. I'd like a grilled cheese sandwich with some cream of tomato soup to dip the sandwich into. I'd like some hummus and toasted pita bread. I'd like to have a glass of red wine at Pascucci's accompanied by an entire head of roasted garlic that I can spread on bread with some melted brie and then some pasta with artichoke hearts. I'd like the entire gelato display case from Via Maestra, one spoon only.
Are you hungry yet? Can I interest you in some jello? I've got some already made, right here in my fridge. No, we only serve the strawberry/banana flavor. No, no lime or cherry. It only comes in tiny ramekins. And you can only have fruit punch flavored Gatorade with it.
Has it been three hours yet?
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Nicole Freire is a freelance writer who lives in Santa Barbara.