THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS FREE SUSHI - 6/6/17
The year was 2003. I was 18 years old and at my fattest. I had been kicked out of my house by my dad and I was couch surfing with friends and occasionally my mother. I was living my shittiest scumbag poster child life with this dude Travis. We were kind of going through the same thing, so we spent all our time together. I was totally in love with him of course, but that's not what this story is about.
Food. It wasn't hard to come by, even if we were practically homeless. As I remember it, food banks were fairly abundant and underused in Culver City. So we took advantage of them when we weren't too high to be around the nice, god-fearing congregation of volunteers at Saint Augustine's church.
The cool thing about a food bank on the Westside is that we often had a great selection to choose from. I'm talking Whole Foods, stuff from the fancy section of Ralph's, and my most favorite, Trader Joe's. The downside is most of this food was expired or well on it's way out. It's not as bad at it sounds. Food expiration dates in this country seldom mean the food has actually gone bad; they're mostly just there so that stores can sell fresh and turn more product. However, there are some foods that simply are not to be fucked with.
Trader Joe's used to sell sushi. "Proper" sushi with raw salmon and crappy wasabi. I loved the stuff, but due to my financial situation I had not been able to partake in such luxuries for quite some time. So imagine my joy when - as a poor poor kid with fancy schmancy tastes - Travis and I discovered a full rack of Trader Joe's brand sushi.
We took two packages each to enjoy at whichever park bench or underpass was our favorite at the time. Though I was peripherally aware of the dangers of discount sushi and related food-type items, neither of us had ever before suffered any ill effects from food so naturally, we assumed we were immune. Hubris.
A few hours later, the sun was going down. Travis and I were hanging around a wooded and garbage laden area on Bill Botts hill, away from humanity and dreaming of alcohol like the grimers loved being. We were laughing together and having a fun time trying to figure out which of our friends would let us crash.
Travis's eyes glowed in the moonlight. We got quiet. My heart was racing. My intestines gurgled.
I suddenly didn't feel too hot. Travis asked me what was wrong, and I said that I needed to throw up. It wasn't a lie, but it certainly wasn't the whole truth.
"So? Throw up." He said, shrugging dismissively.
As young drunks we were not strangers to puking after crazy night or three. It makes you feel better so this was a perfectly reasonable conclusion.
"I don't like barfing in public dude, I need a toilet"
Travis's eyes narrowed
"You have to take a shit, don't you?"
"No I don't." I said quickly, desperately trying to hide my sudden panic.
"Yeah you do," an evil smirk spread across his face, "you have to shit."
My best chance of escape without further questioning was to feign anger at his audacity and storm off.
Cut to me running through the streets of Culver in the shelter of the dark, past the park, over the creek and down Farragut Drive towards my Dad's house. I don't know what my plan was. He had taken my keys when he kicked me out, and I was sure that my siblings were asleep and wouldn't even be able to let me in. Regardless, it was the only plan that I had.
I kept running, which is really really hard for a fat kid, mind you. I could see the end of my block in the distance, I was going to make it. Now, Culver City has a lot of trees compared to most of LA. Some of the sidewalks in my neighborhood had suffered for it and if you're not careful walking around in the dark, you're definitely going to trip over big crack and hurt yourself.
All 270 pounds of me went flying. I was able to kind of catch myself on a palm tree off to the side? But not enough to avoid scraping the fuck out of my palms, my forearms and one of my thighs. I was no longer concentrating on controlling my sphincter.
To say I shat myself is an understatement. There was liquid coming out of every orifice in my body. My massive underwear wasn't enough to contain the amount of matter flying out of my b-hole. Chunks and grain ran down my leg and into my shoe. All of this was happening as I continued to make my way towards my dad's house, leaving a trail of watery feces and shame behind me. I wanted to cry, but I didn't. I mean what if somebody saw me?
After what felt like an eternity, I walked up to my dad's front door. I had no choice but to crawl in through the living room window and hope to god that nobody heard me. I snuck into the bathroom, I threw all of my clothes away, took a quick shower, I cleaned up the mess I left around the window and the front doorstep, and sat there till dawn. Apparently my dad didn't hear me.
It's been 14 years. I still eat supermarket sushi sometimes, and there are times that I'm not doing so great with money and have to visit a food bank. But never again will I be lured by the promise of free sushi. There's no such thing.