My parents kept some snack food in the house, but it never felt like enough. Since I always craved it, I ate all art projects with edible parts. In kindergarten, we made owls on burlap with pretzel heads, Cheerio eyes, peanut beaks, walnut shell bodies and pretzel stick feet. I gnawed everything off except for the walnut shells.
For Lincoln’s birthday, we glued pretzel stick log cabins to construction paper and drew chimneys, smoke, and Abes. I'll let you guess what happened to the cabin.
We had a plastic container in the yellow bathroom that contained a chunk of rock salt from “The Great Salt Lake.” Whenever I felt a snack craving, I’d take the plastic container out from the cupboard (where it was stored along with hairtastic hairbrushes, unused blow dryer parts, dried and cracked soap bars, bobby pins, blue plastic hair curlers and random objects that should have been somewhere else in the house) and lick the rock several times. It was horribly salty, but mildly satisfying.
On the MRT to my next destination, I opened my new Chinese seal and tried it out. It wasn’t my name. I studied it for a minute, since I sometimes forget my name.
I got off at the next stop and hopped on the train heading back towards the 30-square-foot shop.
“Excuse me, but . . . this isn’t my name.”
“That’s your name,” the stamp guy said, puzzled.
“Sorry, but it isn’t.”