Sketchbook: The Tao of Nina


A freewriting I did after several people kept asking me what I do for exercise.  Please forgive poor grammar and misspellings.  Click on the first picture.  When it pops up, you can click on the close up of the picture to take you to the next page sequentially.

A Wife and Her Benefits


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Grilled curry chicken pho with additional steamed broccoli, a whole onion, and 5 cloves of garlic.

The only time I rue being single is when I become so ill that I should remain bedridden.  I have been sick with some sort of allergies-turned-into-sinus-infection thingy.  I spent two solid days sleeping, getting up only to fetch a replacement box of tissues, heat some soup, or make some tea.  My upstairs neighbor has been kind enough not to bang on the wall, though I know that my continual hacking through the night must be driving him crazy.  My obliques are sore from the effort, and each cough now produces aching abdominal pain.

Eventually, I had to leave my house for provisions: pho, garlic, lime, onion, ginger, broccoli and more tissues.  I didn’t put on a bra or comb my hair.  I just wound my soft scarf around my swollen throat, threw on a jacket, and made my way for some take-out Vietnamese.  They were so good to me at my restaurant, giving me hot tea while I waited for them to pack up my order in the containers I brought.  They added extra garlic to my pho and gave me extra chili paste.  I felt nurtured.

Still, during times like these, I need a wife.  Or my Mommy.  I just want someone to make me fresh chicken soup, draw a bath, go out and buy garlic and tissues, and feel sorry for me until I return to my bouncing self.

I found this poem.  I didn’t write it, so don’t get angry with me!

I can’t wait until I feel like being single again!

A Wife and Her Benefits

By Rm. Shanmugam Chettiar

Wife is a maid without payment.

As a bed mate, a house maid,

A care taker, a cook, a nurse,

She serves her spouse and his kids

For the wages of title – wife.

Retirement benefit is, perhaps, widowhood.