I am not embarrassed that rice is my guilty pleasure even though it was also what kept us alive when I was a child.
We didn’t have much but we always had rice. Watery rice porridge was had for breakfast and dinner most days by all. We didn’t usually have lunch; grandma would say that breakfast was the the most important meal and that empty stomachs cause nightmares – but when we did have lunch it was also rice. Grandma would put salty, earthy dried radish slices in our bowls when we had them, and she would always say “We don’t waste rice in this house” whenever one of didn’t want to finish their meal.
That was a lifetime ago – these days I still have rice every day, but it is because I want to. Paella, risotto, kimchi fried rice, horchata, spicy rice cakes, sushi – at least one of the dishes we eat every day has to do with rice. My husband and the kids make fun of me, but they also enjoy it all. Rick jokes that he feels bad for the kids, because at least he travels a lot and can avoid some of the rice.
Last night I bumped into him as he was texting and his phone plopped into his glass of wine. He got it out immediately and seemed annoyed but let me stick his phone in a bag of rice and even chuckled after I apologized and said it was “rice to the rescue”.
He went to check on his phone a few times, and it was working, but I insisted it is better to be safe than sorry. In the morning he had already picked it up and said it worked fine. He took the kids to school then.
I was about to throw the rice I had used for his phone in the trash, but almost heard my grandma: “We don’t waste rice in this house.”
So I thought if I boiled it enough it would be fine, how dirty can a phone be? I guess very but also, we do put them close to our faces. I made myself a congee and sat down to plan the rest of the day.
I know it makes no sense, but somehow that rice absorbed more than the moisture in Rick’s phone. I suddenly knew what messages on his phone said and could see photos.
I could see the photos of what looked like fresh graves – and the dates they were taken on, a photo every few months. I knew his plans for me that he had shared with whoever Sharon is. If I have to choose who the believe, Rick or the rice that told me about his hobby and plans, it is not even close.
Tonight, it is jambalaya for dinner, and a special treat for Rick – creamy rice pudding with lots of rum and ricin.