He spins her slowly around the dance floor.. Her dress is pure white and made of delicate lace. It looks like something out period movie.Sheldon looks every bit the part of leading man in his black tuxedo. It is just them and when she looks up she sees the gym is filled with stars. Real stars twinkling in inky blackness
“How did you do all this?” She asks in awe as he sways her to the music.
“I would do anything for you. Even bring you the stars.” He says dipping her low and kissing her neck.
“I don’t deserve you.” She tells him.
“You’re right,you don’t deserve me. You don’t even really have me.” He says his voice changing sounding cruel and cold. Amy looks into his face which has changed to an emotionless mask.
“Sheldon what are you talking about.” She asks confused as she hears footsteps behind them. It is the girls from her old school. The reason she had to move from California.
“You think a boy like him, could actually love you?” One asks laughing.
“Sheldon is far too smart, too handsome, too amazing to ever be with a girl like you.” Another one says walking up to him and taking him by the hand.
“Surely you can see that Amy? Gorilla fingers Fowler with a boy like this?” Another girl asks taking his other hand and standing on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek. Sheldon turns his head and kisses her mouth. They make out nosily in front of her until he turns his attention to the other girl beside him and kisses her.
“Sheldon, what’s going in? What are they talking about? You love me? You love me right?” Amy begs and he stops kissing the girl looks at her with pity.
“No, I could never love you… Can’t you see this was all a part of the plan?”
“Plan? What plan? What are you talking about?” Amy asks backing away and the lights in the gym turn on. Revealing they had never been alone. The whole school was watching them and now they were all laughing at her.
“To finish what we started.” He says throwing something at her. It explodes against her dress leaving a large red stain. When she touches it she sees that it is blood. Everyone starts throwing the balloons filled with blood at her. Until she is standing in the middle of the gym soaked with blood. She crumples into a ball onto the floor. Sheldon walks over to her and crouched down low to look at her face.
“How could you.” She whispers.
“No Amy, how could you ever believe this was real?”
Sheldon wakes up to the sound of screaming coming from the bed next to him. He turns on the lamp next to the bed to see Amy flopping around like a fish out of water on her bed wailing like a banshee.
“Amy!” He yells jumping into her bed shaking her. “Amy wake up please.” He says desperately trying to rouse her from her dream. He wraps her up in his arms and holds her close to his chest stroking her hair. Eventually she stops thrashing and yelling and she looks up at him with wide tear filled eyes.
“What happened?” She asks confused.
“I don’t know, I woke up and you were thrashing around and screaming. I was really scared I thought you might be having a seizure.”
“I get night terrors. I’m so sorry I should’ve warned you.” Amy says her voice shaking.
“That was just the result of a nightmare?” He asks concerned and she starts crying. Sobbing and soaking into the flannel material of his pajamas.
“I know I’m a freak I’m sorry. You don’t have to stay with me. It won’t happen again.” She says wiping her eyes and trying to scoot away. Sheldon holds her tight and doesn’t let her leave.
“You’re not a freak, it was just a bad dream. Do you want to tell me about it?” He asks and she shakes her head no.
“It just felt so real.” She says looking up at him her eyes are still shiny with tears. Amy kisses him and her lips taste salty like her tears. He kisses her back softly not wanting to take advantage of her in her vulnerable state. Amy’s tongue darts against his lips asking for access which he denies. Amy pulls away looking wounded. He can tell his denial hurts her and he tries to explain.
“You just had a nightmare Amy. I don’t what happened in your dream. But you don’t have to prove anything to me. I am here no matter what.”
“I’m not trying to prove anything ,I am trying to make myself feel better.”Amy sighs flopping on her back.
“Make yourself feel better how exactly?” Sheldon asks curiously and Amy turns on her side and looks at him.
“Can I tell you something kind of embarrassing Sheldon?” She asks.
“You can tell me anything.” He vows.
“First let me ask you a question. Do you promise to answer me truthfully?” Amy asks fidgeting with the covers.
“Of course.” He says.
“Have you ever had an orgasm?” She asks and he stammers he knows his face must be bright red. However he promised to answer her truthfully.
“I…I… Don’t really know.” He admits shyly.
“See I had never had one before either. I did not know what one was really. All my mother told me about sex was that a man will try to stab you with his sword and make you draw blood. She refused to let me participate in sex education during school. So all I know I gleaned from biology textbooks.”
“I wish my mother had signed me out of that. Most embarassing class I have ever had to sit through. Labeling diagrams of the male genitalia and female reproductive organs and such.”
“I didn’t even get that much. My mother made sex seem like the most painful experience a woman could have. The books said it could be intensely pleasurable. I did not know what to think. I read about orgasms but I did not really understand them until today.”
“Why not until today?” He asks.
“I had one, when you were… Well you know…” She admits blushing and gesturing to her breasts and suddenly it dawns on him and he is very pleased.
“Did you now?” He says happily and she curls into his body.
“Yes, it was amazing… It felt like my body was struck by lightning… In a good way!” She corrects when he looks mildly horrified.” Have you ever had one? Does that sound familiar?”
“Umm.” He stalls he knew what they were. Not only from health class but from hearing the tawdry talk come out of his father and brother’s mouths. Before he had met Amy, sex and all its components had never interested him. Occasionally he might get a tight achy feeling in his stomach. His body betraying him by reacting to some outside stimuli. He had always been able to will the feelings away without acting. Then after meeting Amy the feelings got harder to will away. There had been once or twice he lay in bed after one of their kissing sessions trying to clear his head. Yet the smell of Amy refused to leave him, his eidetic memory could recall in perfect detail the taste of her lips. The feeling of her featherlight tongue moving against his. Her soft hands roaming his flesh. The tension and pressure building up in him until it felt unbearable. Almost giving into self abuse, trying to imagine the hand on him was hers. All too quickly his imagination would fail him. It was not Amy’s but his own hand and he felt silly and dirty.
“I want to try and give you one.” Amy says and he looks at her shocked.
“Amy I don’t think…” He stammers as her lips connect with his again and he finds it harder to resist her.
“Please, you did it for me. I have never seen a boy before. I want to see what you look like.” She murmurs against his ear her warm breath making his skin tingle.
Sheldon knows he should deny her but he is finding it harder. Truthfully he wants to do what she asking more than anything. He had thought about what it would feel like many times. Yet fear of the unknown and a sudden wave of shyness overtake him. Instead he kisses her deeply and rolls her over onto her back and gets on top of her. Fitting himself between her legs he presses against her. Before he had avoided trying show her how excited she made him. Careful not to press into her to hard in case it scared her or grossed her out. Even when she had climbed on top of him he had tried to move her so she could not feel him. Now as he strains against the material of his pajamas he presses against her hard. Rubbing himself against the thin cotton material of her panties.
It feels good and he can almost imagine what it would feel like without the barrier of their clothes. Amy moans softly into his mouth and he wonders if she is enjoying herself as much as he is. It feels like their is an elastic band inside him being slowly being stretched. Until suddenly it snaps and the pleasure he feels his so intense it almost takes his breath away.
“Amy.” He moans rolling off her. “That was…”
“I know.” She agrees snuggling into his side again.
“Did you orgasm again?” He asks curiously and she shakes her head yes and shyly tucks her head into his shoulder.
“So I’m getting proficient at it.” He says smugly. “You know this is precisely why we agreed to sleep in separate beds.” He reminds her smiling.
“I’m sorry I attacked you. You can go back to your bed now if you want.” Amy tells him hoping he doesn’t agree.
“Actually I think it was the other way around. No need to switch beds, the alarm to wake up is going off in an hour.We should just stay together.”
“Sheldon, I look ridiculous! I am not wearing this!” Amy calls through the closed bathroom door. She examines her reflection in the mirror. Her mother would have a cow if she saw her in this get up. Peggy Fowler did not believe in costumes. Amy had never been allowed to celebrate Halloween.
If she saw her dressed in this short blue dress with tall black boots she might faint. Of course she would also faint if she knew she was staying unchaperoned in a hotel with Sheldon. Or if she knew what they had been up to in the hotel room. Amy could barely look at Sheldon after how she had attacked him this morning. Even now her cheeks reddened as she thought about how she had begged to see him sans culottes. It had been that dream that made her lose control.
“Amy, just come out I am sure you look fine.” He says on the other side of the door. “Please Amy.” He begs and she relents and opens the door and steps out. He is dressed in a long sleeved blue shirt that matches her dress. His hair is slicked back and he is wearing pointy ears. When he sees her he gulps hard and licks his lips. “ Amy you look…”
“Stupid.” She finishes.
“That is not what I was going to say.” He says but before he can say more Amy cuts him off.
“Who am I even supposed to be?” She asks.
“Nurse Chapel.” He answers her.
“Who are you?” She asks and he looks a little annoyed that it is not readily apparent.
“Mr.Spock.” He starts to explain more but Amy cuts him off again.
“Are Nurse Chapel and Spock boyfriend and girlfriend?” Amy asks and Sheldon looks at her shocked.
“Of course not! Spock didn’t date! Well once every seven years his blood boiled with mating lust. That’s different from dating however.” He says then he cuts his eyes at her. “We watched the show together, remember?” Amy does remember him making her watch some silly science fiction show a few weeks ago. Amy tried to pay attention because his enthusiasm for the show was evident. However it just was not her cup of tea and Amy had spent the time writing her history paper in her head.
“Not everyone is blessed with an eidetic memory like yours.” Amy reminds him and he softens towards her.
“I do tend to forget that not everyone is equipped with my gifts.” He says stepping closer to her and tucking a lock of her dark hair behind her ear. “You look wonderful by the way. I could get used to seeing you in this outfit.” He voice turns deep almost a growl making her blush.
“You look cute too, I like your ears.” She tells him touching the tips of his ears.
“Don’t touch! These suckers are hard to glue on.” He says covering his ears up and she giggles.
“Come on let’s go.” She says walking away to grab her purse as she walks away he swats her behind. Amy turns around and he wiggles his eyebrows at her. “You better behave yourself.” She admonishes him shaking her finger at him.
When they get to the convention hall Amy is shocked by the number of costumed Star Trek fans that there is. There are people in much more elaborate costumes than her own. There are people walking around who look like they were made up by professional makeup artists. Amy is also pleased to see that she is not the only girl in attendance. There are lots of other girls dressed up and walking around.
Amy still can’t wrap her head around how a boy as intelligent and accomplished as Sheldon would waste his time on stuff like this. Yet his enthusiasm is catching and she starts enjoying herself more than she thought she would.
They get their picture taken next to a space ship that Sheldon tells her is called the Enterprise. Sheldon joins and wins a Klingon boggle tournament. Then get in line to join a meet and greet with an actor named Wil Wheaton.
“Ah I will finally get my revenge on Wil Wheaton today.” Sheldon says looking devious and Amy is confused.
“Get your revenge?” Amy asks. “Who is Wil Wheaton and why do you need to exact your revenge on him?”
“Wil Wheaton played the character Wesley Crusher on Star Trek Next Generation. Formerly he was my hero. Wesley was a know it all boy genius with an eidetic memory.” Sheldon tells her pointing to a blown up photo of a man on the sign.
“I can see how you would relate to a character like that.” Amy sympathizes.
“Who wouldn’t relate to a character like that?” Sheldon asks not getting it. “It doesn’t matter now anyways, Wesley and the man who played him Wil Wheaton have gone from being my hero to my arch nemesis.”
“You have an arch nemesis?”
“Actually I have six, I will show you the list when we get home. Wil Wheaton is number one on that list.”
“What could an actor from a science fiction show possibly have done to you?”
“So glad you asked. You see when I was fifteen he was slated to appear here. I begged my mother and father to take me and they refused. Undaunted I was going to meet my hero by any means possible. Eventually they agreed to let me to take the bus. After tumultuous six hour bus ride in which I was harassed and mugged, I arrive in Jackson. Only to find out that Wil Wheaton as better things to do and has canceled his appearance! Six hours for nothing, I was crushed.”
“Sheldon the people slated to appear are always subject to change. He might of had a better offer, or a personal emergency. It’s no reason to hold a grudge against him. What are you even going to do to exact revenge?” Amy asks exasperated.
“Amy I get the feeling you aren’t being very supportive of this?”
“Oh really? What gave you your first clue?” Amy says rolling her eyes.
“If you are not with me in this, then you are against me. “ Sheldon says stubbornly.
“Sheldon do I need to remind you that I drove you here? I drove six hours and put on a silly costume to support you!” Amy reminds you but he just gets silent. “While you think about that I am going to go to the restroom.” Amy says walking away wiping her eyes trying to keep from crying. The line for the bathroom is way too long but she needs some time away so she waits. When she finally gets out she realizes the exit for the bathroom is on the opposite end of the entrance. Amy is completely turned around and lost and she starts to feel panicked. There seems to be endless lines if people all dressed similar to what Sheldon was wearing. All the booths look the same to her and she has no idea how she will find where she was. Then she starts crying for real as she runs smack into someone’s chest.
“Oh god I am so sorry.” She mumbles backing away. The man she ran into looks familiar, he is in his twenties. Handsome in a way with dark hair and light eyes.
“It’s okay little mama.” The man says smiling at her. “Why are you crying? Someone shoot a phaser in your eye?” Amy thinks he must be referencing the show but she has no idea.
“I got in a fight with my boyfriend over Wil Wheaton and when I went to the bathroom to get away from him I got lost.” She tells him and the guy looks at her weird.
“Why would you be fighting over Wil Wheaton? I mean Wil Wheaton is a fantastic guy but not worth fighting over.” He says and Amy looks up at him and suddenly it dawns why is familiar it is the same face as the poster outside the convention hall she had been waiting outside of.
“You’re Wil Wheaton!” She exclaims covering her mouth in excitement.
“Guilty, but you still did not tell me what the fight was about.” He asks sincerly.
So Amy tells him the whole story as he walks her back in the right direction . All about how much Sheldon had admired him and how upset he was when he missed his chance to meet him. Then about his plot for revenge which Amy assures him will not be too bad. For all his bluster Sheldon was at his core a nice guy who could never really hurt anyone. When she is done Wil shows her back to the line and tells her he will make the situation right. Amy does not know what he is going to do or if he really is going to do it. A famous actor had no reason to help her but she hopes he does. When she finally finds Sheldon again he looks relieved to see her.
“Where were you? I was getting worried.” He asks stroking her shoulder.
“I got lost getting out of the bathroom.” Amy admits.
“Your back just in time, they are letting us in now.” He says as the line moves forward into the convention hall. They take their seats and Amy hopes that whatever Wil plans to do happens before what Sheldon plans to do. Wil talks about his time on the show, his plans moving forward and when he is done he opens the floor up to questions. The first one asked is about how does he feel about his fanbase. And how important does he feel it is to maintain a relationship with his fans.
“Very.” He answers to which Sheldon snorts and whispers in Amy’s ear
“Yeah right wait until he hears my question. It will stump him and make him look like a complete idiot.”
“Just recently I heard about a fan who traveled six hours to see me then was very disappointed when I had to cancel.” Wil continues and Sheldon looks wide eyed at Amy. “So I would like to invite this fan on stage to accept my apology and to get a signed picture of me. Sheldon Cooper come on up!” Sheldon bounds up into stage and shakes Will’s hand and accepts the picture from him.
“Thank you so much.” He tells him enthusiastically. “Could you also sign my action figure he asks pulling it out from the bag on his shoulder.”
“Don’t mention it, sorry I had to cancel before.” Wil says as he signs the package and then he covers the mic and whispers to Sheldon. “You should thank your girlfriend dude. I found her crying and wandering around. Hang into her dude, she is an awesome girl.”
“I know she is, thanks again.” Sheldon says somewhat sheepishly and then he climbs off the stage.
“So is Wil still your arch nemesis?” Amy asks when Sheldon gets back to his chair. Sheldon shakes his head no and smiles at her.
“No, I’ve got my hero back.” He tells her grabbing her hand.
When they get back from the convention Amy hops in the shower. Sheldon starts taking off his costume when he tries to pull his ears off but they are stuck on good. He thinks that if he could get into the bathroom he could use the steam from Amy’s hot shower to remove them. The thought of walking in the bathroom where Amy is nude excites him. His arousal for her had been simmering all day long. From this morning and her whispered plea to see him naked. Seeing her dressed in her tantalizing costume had almost sent him over the edge. Then what she had done for him, getting Wil Wheaton to issue him a public apology. Amy couldn’t be any more perfect to him at that moment.What was the worst that could happen if he walked in there with her. The worst was she told him to leave. The best was more than even his wildest imagination would allow him to think about. He stares at the closed door for a moment then resigns himself for adventure.
“Screw it I’m going in.” He says to himself pulling off his clothes and opening the bathroom door. He walks inside his nerves almost making him turn back but he steels his nerves forges ahead. Pulling back the curtain and stepping inside the shower with her. Amy turns around and gasps when she sees him inside.
“Sheldon! What are you doing?” She asks blinking the water from her eyes.
“My spock ears were stuck on and I thought the steam might help remove them.” He tells her and she reaches up and gentle caresses his ears. Starting at the lobe and working her way up to the tips. The sensation is starting a vascular throbbing starting in his ears and going downward. When she reaches the tops of his ears the prosthetic tips come off in her hands.
“I got them off, is that all you needed?” Amy asks holding out the ears to him. He takes them and sets them in the soap dish.
“You said earlier you wanted to see what I looked like.” Sheldon reminds her. “I wanted to see what you look like too.” Amy gulps and looks him up and down. Sheldon is nervous under her appraisal. He takes the time to drink her in as well, enjoying the soft curves that her Nurse Chapel outfit had accented.
“ What do you think?” She asks nervously, and he grins at her. He is more worried about what she thinks of him. She is beautiful, she has to be aware of her beauty.
“I think you are beautiful.” He tells her and she steps up him and wraps her arms around his neck and kisses him. He wraps her around her waist and pulls her tight against his body.
I live in the coolest part of Manhattan as far as food is concerned for numerous reasons. Old school gelaterias and cheese and butcher shops litter the neighborhood to one side of my apartment. Chinatown, in all of its colorful, putrid, noisy, charming mayhem is two blocks away. Soho and Tribeca harbor plenty of upscale markets as well as the majority of “it” restaurants, old and new. Walking out of my door is a daily struggle for someone who lives to eat but also has to remain a size 2-4 to make a living.
My favorite of these resources is Chinatown. I so clearly remember my first sticky summer trek heading south down Mott street towards Canal. It was my first awkward but arousing embrace with Chinatown. I kept texting my parents excitedly as if they hadn’t each lived here before, as though I had discovered something they hadn’t.
You know those scenes in fantasy books or movies where a rather mundane environment becomes a pop-up fantasyland (think “Charlie and the Chocolate” factory when they finally enter the chocolate river/garden-thing; Bridge to Terabithia)? That was what it felt like leaving SoHo — where even the potted storefront flowers take themselves too seriously — for the unlawful firecracker that is Chinatown.
Hoards of Chinese people huddled around street vendors plucking herbs and bags of mung beans, there were stands and makeshift tables of unidentifiable vegetables and hairy fruit. The locals unapologetically gave me a harsh and pushy welcome into their space. I understood, I didn’t belong.
Though I couldn’t know what they were articulating I could see them bartering for better deals on already unbeatably cheap produce, a timeless exchange I really admire within street business. I wish I could bitch and moan my way from a $68 rack of lamb to a $20 dollar one at Dean and Deluca.
There were more 200 year old toothless women than I ever imagined existed, busily scooping tiny dried up sea creatures by the pound to make magic potion broths that obviously make you live forever. It smelled like a lot of different deaths in those jars at the Dried Up Creature/Plant Market but each jar is coincidentally labeled with the life giving benefits offered by their content. Promises of better skin, hair, digestion, sexual stamina, mental alertness, fertility and so on in Chinese characters underlined by penned broken English. Liver troubles? Make something with these dried up, gag inducing mushrooms! Diminishing eyesight? Eat the dried up entrails of these bird fetuses!
There were too many thick, questionable puddles for having had no rain in a week.
My favorite scene was of a man in a button up shirt running and screaming in 4000 year old gibberish with a set of three feet long tongs trying to catch pissed off crabs that had somehow managed to free themselves from the 20 square feet fish market, harshly lit by light bulbs only serial killers use to illuminate their torture labs in movies. Those bad, flickering, white-green lights that make noises like buzzing insects. Were the crabs aware of how creepy the lights were and thought maybe if they moved fast enough they’d escape death and find their way to the peachy and promising Hudson River? Newly hatched sea turtles have a better chance at dodging 30 hungry beach birds on their trek to the ocean than crabs do reaching the sewer pipes when surrounded by the most fearless people in the world + THOSE TONGS!?
Alligator legs and feet, live frogs, cows’ stomachs, hanging and emptied pigs…All within the entrance of an actual grocery “store”. Whole hanging ducks and glossy roasted pork to make me abandon any promise of healthy eating. A lot of pushing and grunting and no eye contact.
Fast forward two years later and I’m still absolutely lost, in awe of, in love with, disgusted by, but primarily stimulatingly intimidated by this little world. You could say I harbor similar sentiments towards men during the courting ritual of romances. Still, the end result — only brave enough to tackle docile little (DELICIOUS) spring rolls. I need some local hand holding!
***Perks of this dish: Super cheap to make, cooking level is beyond easy (boil water) and everyone can have fun getting their hands a little messy while they customize their roll. Read: good for kids.
Rice paper sheets/wrappers
Rice noodles or vermicelli, boiled until white and tender, 7 minutes
1 cucumber, skinned and julienned
1 large carrot, skinned and julienned
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1/2 lb of boiled shrimp, cut in half lengthwise
1 head of a green leaf lettuce with some crunch and texture, leaves separated
1 bunch of green onions, white and light green parts only, julienned
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 bowl of really hot water for softening rice paper
Optional: roasted pork, thinly sliced.
2/3 cup Chunky peanut butter
½ cup Hoisin sauce
1/3 cup water
Squeeze of garlic-chili paste (Sriracha)
1 lime’s juice
2 tsp fish sauce
Create a spread as seen here.
While mixing the ingredients for the sauce, allow your vermicelli to cook, boil for 5-7 minutes. I prefer the ingredients to reach room temp before making the rolls, including the noodles so don’t feel pressure to hastily prepare everything.
Easiest way to roll the spring rolls:
Take 1 sheet of rice paper and dip it in hot water bowl for about 7 seconds. Bring it out, softened and stretchy. Flatten on plate, place green of lettuce leaf first on 1/3 of rice paper closest to you, then layer on about 1 inch thick of vermicelli, a few slices of cucumber, carrot, avocado, add a few slice of green onion and herb leaves. Pull the loaded side of rice paper up and flip over tightly while using your fingers for support, aline 3-4 shrimp halves, then fold in both edges (like a burrito) and continue rolling until you have what resembles a condom wrapped salad. Delicious!