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October 09, 2014: Dear Soba (a.k.a. Instant Noodles) Jim Rayphand

WE need to talk. And please don’t make this any harder than it has to be…this really is not very easy for me.

We’ve been through so much together and, truth be told, I never would have made it this far without you. Who could forget college? I mean breakfast, lunch and dinner together for all those days, weeks and even months at a time sometimes? I swear, if not for you and, of course, Mac Aroni, I really could not have sustained myself all those years ago. You literally were my life-saver — always ready and waiting to jump into the fire for me…for richer or for poorer; in sickness and in health. Just the thought of all those steamy days and nights in kitchen after kitchen…well, it kinda makes me wanna cry.

But, that gets me back to now…and why we need to talk. I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been a little distant lately opting more and more to spend time with Subway Wheat and all of her Veggie sidekicks. You should know too that Mr. Brown Rice and his girlfriend (or rather friend that is a girl, as he puts it), White Meat (a.k.a. Chicken Breast), have been inviting themselves over more often and have taken it upon themselves to bring Spinach Broccoli who they say would be good for me. Can you imagine me with a vegan, fitness instructor? It’s almost laughable. I hope you know that I really don’t want someone else to take your place, but I do think that maybe you and I need to spend a little less time together (or maybe stop hanging out at all). It’s not you, really, it’s me — I’m just not as young as I use to be and you (with your endless calories and silky smooth noodles) never seem to ease up. The thing is that I just can’t keep up with you anymore. It seems like since Metabolism stabbed me in the back and disappeared on that fateful night of my fortieth birthday, I just feel weighted down all the time. Yeah, I know you weren’t there. I told you I was sorry about that, but you know how I get around local foods and Diet Coke. Anyway, I was saying that without my buffer, I feel like I’m carrying the weight of two men when we hang out.

I suppose things might have been different, if Greasy and Salty weren’t always hanging around too. And no, I don’t want to get in between you and your friends, but every once in a while it might have been nice if we could have had some time alone. Just you and me without having to deal with those belligerent jerks — I don’t care if you tell them I said that…you know and I know, that every time trouble breaks out those two are usually mixed up in it somehow. And now, just because they’re tight with Diabetes who apparently made an absolute killing with them in their early years and continues to rack in a steady flow even now with their help, they think it gives them license to do whatever they want without any regard for people’s feelings much less people’s age, ethnicity or status in the community. And the thing is, we all keep tip-toeing around them like we’re all too afraid of what might happen if they suddenly disappeared. I mean when was the last time you heard of those two assuming any kind of responsibility for the havoc they’ve wreaked in so many people’s lives; in fact, aren’t they usually the first ones out the door when the going gets tough?

I guess I’m being a little harsh...I know they serve a purpose and before they got so big-headed, I rather enjoyed them (albeit in small doses such as it was back in the day). Remember those days —when one was enough and two just out of the question? I can’t help but feel a bit nostalgic. For such a long time, you (and yes, even they) were my everything: all I ever wanted and more. I never imagined that this day would come, but I know it is the right thing to do. If we don’t bring out the best in each other, then what is the point? Anyway, I hope you understand. I’m sure it’ll take some time, but I’d like to think that things will work out just as they should and I really hope that with enough space and time we can actually still be friends...life is too short for us not to be. I wish only the best for you and your friends.

For more on Non-Communicable Diseases including but not limited to Diabetes and/or other types of disabilities, please contact the NMPASI Office at (670) 235-7273/4 [tel], 235-7275 [fax], 235-7278 [tty] or via the internet at www.nmpasi.org/.

The writer is executive director of the Northern Marianas Protection and Advocacy Systems Inc.