Storming the field -- and tasting the rainbow at Haltun
CHEAP EATS There was a soccer game on TV. There was a cat on the pitch. It was running around, stopping, staring, licking, looking not-at-all confused and very much in every way like a cat. Except that millions of people were watching it, tens of thousands of them right there: laughing, clapping, and carrying on.
And who were all these sweaty men in striped shirts and high socks?
None of the players tried to help with the corralling of the cat. They appreciated the chance to catch their breath, I guess, while stadium officials and trained cat-corralling professionals did their bit. Or tried to. Let the record show: in its own sweet time, the cat trotted off the field the same way it had trotted on: of its own volition. And play resumed.
The stadium was not in our country. The television was. It was in my new favorite restaurant, Haltun, which is on 21st and Treat, just around the corner from the Mission Rec Center, where Hedgehog and me play our racquetball.
I love cats. I love soccer. I am a drooling idiot in the glow of any television set no matter what's on, no matter how far away. Thus, I found it hard to undividedly pay attention to my dining companions, but did manage to catch a conversation between Coach and Hedgehog in which it was posited (by Coach) that I was the least queer person in the world (because I move in mostly-straight circles) and counter-posited (by Hedgehog) that I was the most queer person in the world (because I move in straight circles, and queer ones, and have slept with every kind of person there is including both flavors of trans ones, including gay men and now straight ones, and straight women and now gay ones).
"Bisexual isn't less queer than homosexual," argued my homosexual girlfriend. "It's arguably queerer."
"Yeah, but declaring yourself bisexual plays into the binary. What about genderqueers?"
"Oh, I've slept with them too," I interjected, without looking away from the TV because someone (a human being, not a cat) was making a beautiful run. And: "Goaaaaalllll!!!!"
Here's my rant: You can't even watch TV with just an antenna anymore! TV antennas are exactly as obsolete as black-and-white. But did you know that every program used to broadcast separate signals for black-and-white and color TVs?
As I understand it.
They had to do a color "Get Smart" and a black-and-white "Get Smart," and sling them both out over the treetops, I guess, or twist them both through one cable at the same exact time — and that all ended just two, three years ago, so I could as easily have said "Cheers," or "Friends," or, I don't know, "Arrested Development." By the way.
Probably I have this wrong.
But there are seven colors in a rainbow flag. My skirt has more colors than that! And, though there are a gazillion shades of gray, there is also black, and there is white. No doubt, gender — even genitalia — is a spectrum. Yet: There would appear to be penises. And vaginas! And, as hormonally altered trans people (not-always-willing poster children for in-betweenitude) can attest without even opening our mouths, testosterone and estrogen are two different things.
If you can, without saying a word, both refute and support the exact same argument ... I'm not saying it's queerer or less queer. The word I would use is bacon. It's bacon.
Now, cochinita pibil is pork — just pork! — in a greasy red broth, with a flap of banana leaf hanging over it. What the hell am I supposed to do with that? Well, it came with tortillas, which the server took great care to point out were "hand made" — and I'm sure they were, but they didn't taste very special.
Hedgehog had something with turkey meat and a disk of pork meatloaf afloat, with an egg, in a nice broth. Simple, and exotic. At the same time!