As a now somewhat adult, adult in age not in maturity or responsibilities, still enjoying the taste and textures of cheese strings. I have begun to reflect on my youth, mainly finding mildly humorous tales that I can dramatize for this blog. On this reflection I have a few things to say to my past self, looking back at all my quirks and oddities, I have selected some idiosyncrasies that I find most troubling.
- Crossing the road with your eyes closed does not prove that you have magic powers.
- You do not have magic powers.
- Feeding poisonous spiders woodlice is not a good idea.
- Having a penis is a fine, but proudly showing it to everyone is not okay.
- You need to wear underpants. I know you don’t like them, but you have to wear them.
- Red is not an evil colour.
There are clearly a range of topics that I could address here and at some point possibly will, but today I will focus on the latter.
As a young boy around the age of 5 or 6, I grew a heated dislike to the colour red. Unlocking my inner bull, any item that was presented to me whether that be red clothing, red paint and red food I would not wear, brush or consume. The only exception was of course being strawberries, the only organic matter that removed itself and transcended above all other red things. I have no recollection of the cause of this distrust in all shades of red, but recall the time in which the belief suddenly ended.
In my home, a largest town in England, was and still is a overpopulation of Indian restaurants. This is not to say the town has problems with the vast southern Asian country and it’s wonderful people, culture and culinary delights. Although having over eight Indian restaurants on the main relatively cramped high-street is rather saturating. However, the 1:1 ratio between pubs, bars and alcoholic beverages distributors and Indian restaurants was on intoxicated nights out, highly appreciated.
We would often, as a family, go or collect curries and other aromatic charms from one Indian restaurant in particular, the Balti House. A popular destination, charming and inexpensive place to receive rather tasty and quick meals. Having survived through a number of different owners and managers and is still running strong to this day. At the time my favourite dish was a highly sweetened green chicken curry dish with copious amounts of coconut milk and almonds (I cannot remember the exact name, possibly a dhakeshwari). In my now slightly more matured years, I have tried the dish again, it is quite possibly the most disgusting Indian dish I have ever eaten and should not be consumed by anyone, that includes the terribly dull people that only order chicken Korma and boiled rice.
In was on a Friday night, where after a long day “checking emails and talking to people” my father came home clasping a brown paper bag smelling of curry, more importantly was the contents of the brown paper bag, which coincidentally was that of curry. Lofting it above the table placing each individual metal containers with card lids onto the circular wooden kitchen table. My hands grasping my fork and spoon shaking, mouth-watering furiously. Placed in front of my tiny childlike arms (I was only 6 at the time), was placed the vessel of my beloved nutrition. I frantically opened it, burning my hand slightly on spiced infused steam, reviling the substance underneath.
I stopped, looked up at my father and mother, crushed under the collective weight of the planet that I was currently living on, a tear sailing down my face. This wasn’t the green coconut almondy dish I was so eager to consume, it had similarities, coconut milk swirled swam across its suffice, crushed almonds placed upon its top. But, it wasn’t my curry, my curry was a beautiful shade of green. Not by any means a repulsive shade of red.
I flung my enemy, a rouge gravy filter cascaded over the room, splattering across the walls. The repellent red chow was no more, as it slowly dripped from the baby blue wallpapered walls. I smiled, joyous in my victory.
My victory however was short lived. In my refusal to consume the red takeaway, I spent the rest of the night in my room crying violently smashing my hands against my bunk bed yelling “No red, no red.” like an abnormal possessed child from the Shining.
I was left there alone, whimpering under my pillow. Without any dinner, without nourishment, without food, not even a singular strawberry. It was in that moment of grief I learnt that to live in this world I had to except and welcome red into my life, no matter how hard I believed it to be. Today after years of battling through this intolerance, I am currently sporting a pair of red suede brogue shoes that make me exceptionally happy.