The Best Things

5 Ramadan 1443

I’m learning the rhythm of spring term. Winter now feels like it was a lifetime ago. My work day begins around 8:30 am and ends around 6:30 pm – unless I have dorm duty. Then it ends at 11 pm.

The last couple days, I’ve been eating suhur at 4:15 am. Rice and chicken curry. Biryani. By 3 pm, I begin thinking about what I would like to eat for iftar.

Yesterday, it went something like: Do I want all the deep fried things? Yes. Fries? Definitely. Fried lobster tails or shrimp? I prefer lobster. Always.

But I also want clam chowder. Definitely clam chowder. Maybe even before all the fried things.

And then I thought – Oh. You know what would be REALLY nice? A fresh vibrant Poké bowl. I would feel healthier, like I was winning. Maybe.

I spoke these thoughts aloud before a colleague and students.

A student suggested, Why not all of it? Another chimed in, Have you tried crispy fried noodles ON TOP of your Poké?!

The students are undoubtedly brilliant and going places.

By 6:30, I still had to pray Asr. I needed to change into something warmer because the weather can’t decide on who it wants to be. There was no time to get or prepare a meal before 7.

And then I was reminded what a friend recently said, Anyone who does anything great never does it alone.

And sometimes I need to ask for help.

And often the best things happen unplanned.

So I told my brother, I don’t have time to get iftar. He said I shouldn’t worry; he’d bring me food to the dorm. He asked what I wanted – I said I was between all the fried things and Pokè. YOU DECIDE.

By sunset, he brought me fried lobster tails AND fries AND clam chowder.

It was all very delicious.

But I really needed a drink.

AND THEN a student offered to get me fries.

I said she didn’t need to worry, I had an abundance of fries, thank you for your kindness. She persisted. She asked if she could bring anything else. So I relented – I would really love some water. Ice cold water.

So in partnership with another student, they brought a bottle of water to the dorm. Cold wonderful water.

My iftar, unplanned and thoughtful, was excellent.

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