In the summer of 1990 I started seeing a woman I had met while working for GLMHRA’s Residential Support program at Lenox Hill in Lynn. Her name was Youngor & she was from Liberia. One day she promised to cook a Goat curry for me while I was at work. I was looking forward to it since I had loved Goat Curry when I tried it in Jamaica. When I returned home from work Youngor met me at the door and said “Who is Thanh????”
My former neighbor had knocked on my door while Youngor was cooking, and this threw her into a jealous rage. I told her that Thanh had lived in the apartment upstairs from me for 2 years and had moved out suddenly that Spring, most likely to escape from her abusive alcoholic boyfriend Hai. I didn’t mention that Thanh used to have a key to my apartment or that when she was living there I had asked her to ditch Hai & go out with me. I figured that might be too much information to process at the moment.
When Youngor calmed down I went to shower & discovered half of the bathroom tiles were in the tub, apparently the result of Youngor scrubbing them with an abrasive cleaner.” I was cleaning in anger, Youngor said. The goat curry was burnt to a charred paste that bore no resemblance to the treat I had tasted in Jamaica. I should have seen the writing on the wall that day, but I’m a patient & usually forgiving person…