I once met a girl who ate onions for breakfast. Raw.
It happened in the days I was living alone in a small studio with linoleum floors and plain white walls. It was just after I returned from the army- freshly dumped and jobless.
We had met entirely by accident. I had a blind date with some girl whom I was supposed to meet in front of Pizza Hut and she had a blind date as well. It was winter and she was shivering in a short plaid skirt and a fake fur coat.
– Excuse me, but are you waiting for a blind date?
– Yes. 6pm in front of Pizza Hut?
She flashed a smile and we headed off for the nearest cafe.
– So how was it?
– Not bad. Didn’t know you had such a pretty cousin.
– Are you going to see her again?
– If it’s ok with her… did she say anything to you?
– She said you were shy
– She has a sense of humor.
– And great legs.
– Nice legs.
My friend seemed tickled.
– Are you kidding? When she wears stockings, her legs look like sausages.
– No way. They were like…
There was a brief silence.
– Uhh… you met Meg, right?
– Meg? No… her name was Iris.
That’s when I found out I had the wrong girl. Or maybe I should say the right girl.
The first morning after we had sex, I woke up early for a cig and decided to make pancakes.
– Baby, you wanna get up and eat?
She opened one eye and wiped the corner of her mouth before wrapping one arm around my neck. I swooped her up in my arms and took her to the small table and served her pancakes and eggs.
– No syrup?
– No. But I have butter.
She wrinkled her nose and started rummaging in the refrigerator.
– What are you looking for?
– Something to go with the pancakes.
– Want sugar?
– No, no…something more…ah! Here it is!
She was holding up an onion.
She took a knife, peeled away the outer skin, then crunched into the flesh like an apple.
– What the hell are you doing?
– Eating. Can’t you see?
– You eat raw onions?
– For breakfast?
– Why not?
The room filled with the strong smell of onions as she bit into her second one.
The next time I slept with her it felt like making love to an onion. Peeling off her clothes, her white skin seemed very much like the insides of an onion. Diving between her legs, she even smelled like an onion. Everything about her reminded me of an onion.
We broke up at a hamburger place. She watched as I lifted the bun and picked out all the onions.
– You’re not going to eat the onions?
– Can I have them, then?
– Why not?
I couldn’t give her a reasonable explanation.
– I’m listening.
– I don’t think we go together. I mean, you- you’re great and…we… it was great! But… you know… I just don’t think we click.
– I guess that’s it then.
– Guess it is.
– Well, you can go now.
– Yeah. That’s…that’s a good idea.
– See you.
– Yeah, sure. Bye.
I left the table, my hamburger only half- eaten. Before exiting, I looked back at where she sat, afraid that I had made some big mistake. She was stuffing the onions that I had picked out into her burger. I left with no regrets.