A memory from last year

Last year we were invited to a Passover dinner at a friend of a friend’s house. We had been in New York for 10 days and in our apartment for 4. We were asked to bring 2 salads. I was at work while he chopped them up with the one knife we had, and put them in the 2 plastic bowls I had bought the night before for the occasion. Without lids, he covered them with plastic wrap and left to pick me up and then go together. He was late. We still didn’t know how unreliable the subway was. I was anxious and spent the rest of the journey looking at my watch and complaining. Selfishly dismissing efforts and hardships. When we exited the subway the bowls must have shifted because by the time we got to the corner the bag was dripping and his pants were stained. He gave in to frustration. We stopped, I cried. We considered going home, to the empty home that had no furniture or proper food containers. We saved the salad that we could and left an hour’s worth of chopped vegetables on top of a garbage can in the Village. Late, sad, lost. We put on a party face and went inside.
The anger and the subsequent guilt, the ruined food and night. The regret of yet again putting myself in a foreign country while thinking this time I would know what to do. It all registered in slow motion and remains immediately available in my mind and memory.
And recently I ran into the host who, a year later, did not place me easily. And when he finally did he said, “Of course I remember. You brought the most delicious food”.