Written by Norman Erikson Pasaribu, translated by Tiffany Tsao
Wake up. It’s four a.m. Your cellphone alarm goes off.
It’s for Christy—her morning Quiet Time. Turn off the alarm
and make the bed. This is usually Christy’s job.
Go to the kitchen and get out two packs of instant noodles. This
is usually your job. Boil water in two small saucepans. Prepare
the seasoning, then the chili powder. Christy hated spicy food
and you were just the opposite. Put the two blocks of noodles in one saucepan,
the soup seasoning in the other. Christy couldn’t stand starchy broth
so you humored her. We can afford the gas, she’d say. Drain
the noodles in the colander. Divide them between two Hello Kitty bowls.
Christy bought them ‘cause they were cute. Christy said she wanted to be buried cute—
in pink ribbons, foundation, a little powder, blush, mascara, and a frilly dress.
Take both bowls into the bedroom. Enjoy them
alone. Christy’s gone. They found her body
under a bridge. Before it happened, Christy said she missed her mom’s sayur lodeh.
You don’t. You miss Christy. She came to you in a dream the other day and said:
there is nothing at the end of the rainbow
it isn’t even a painting—
just a trick of the light.
Christy—who once told you I am pounding on
heaven’s door. Who knows, it might open—forgot
we are all droplets of water
we will fall to the ground but not yet.
(And love is the Light!
And Love is the light!)
Norman Erikson Pasaribu and Tiffany Tsao
Making Instant Noodles at the End of the Rainbow
1 February 2017