I carry the past couple of years around like an unwieldy albatross that hangs morbidly from my neck. When I describe the frayed emotions I have with life and death and life again to most people, they usually excuse themselves from the room, my distorted ramblings a death knell to anyone’s good time.
But recently I met a friend that, like me, has been through something similar and came back from it a different person. Once having a life that she described as a “fairy tale,” since suffering from an edema—due to physician negligence, mind you—she’s lost just about everything, including her marriage and business.
We decided to meet at one of the most underrated restaurants in town, Charm Thai Cuisine, 5808 N.W. 50th, Suite B., to talk about what we’ve been through and what we’re still going through.
A lithe woman with about a year on me, for a while she’s been in a deep depression that very few of us will ever know. Still, over Thai Iced Coffee ($2.95), we alternately found ourselves laughing and lamenting at the people we’ve unexpectedly become.
Charm is housed in a small section of a shopping center, next to a couple of Latin eateries. With a classy ambiance that I wasn’t expecting, it’s one of her favorite places in Warr Acres, mostly for the Fresh Spring Rolls ($6.50), loaded with lettuce, carrots, bean sprouts, basil and yellow onions and wrapped in rice paper that was stickier than the floor of an erotic grindhouse.
Which makes sense, because each dip of the spring rolls into the homemade peanut sauce forced me to elicit the most adult of moans; thankfully, she’s read these reviews, so she knew how overly-dramatic I would get.
I told her about the nightmarish visions I had while deeply unconscious, as well as when I came out of my coma, how I believed I was dead and in a waiting room somewhere in purgatory. She relayed to me when the swelling in her brain subsided and how manic she then became, barely remembering that period of time in her life yet left to deal with the broken remnants of it.
We both sighed heavily in pained unison as the notorious bird brothers we ordered were placed in front of us, Charm’s Spicy Chicken ($11.25) for me and Charm’s Crispy Duck ($13.95) for her.
The Spicy Chicken was most definitely that, a torrent of temperamental flavor, with the rigid skin made more than transcendent by a deceivingly sassy glaze of prik khing chili paste. Resting effortlessly on a bed of green beans and bell peppers and blended with ground dried shrimp and sliced kaffir lime leaves, this was a minor masterpiece of dining.
Across from me, the Crispy Duck made for an aromatic delight. The boneless duck, cooked extra crisp and crackling in every damn bite, was treated well with a house tamarind sauce, not to mention the chopped yellow and red onions, green peppers and chopped shallots. It’s the type of top-shelf meal that is worth a stand-alone trip to Warr Acres, if you ever need one.
We sat there for quite a while, enjoying the fact that we could speak freely without the usual clichés that are typically thrown at us, be it the pseudo-inspirational or downright guilt-trippy. And, as heavily caloric as I’m sure the food probably was, to me, it was the healthiest meal I’ve had—mentally, at least—in a long time. Cómpralo ya!