It’s hour thirteen that I’ve been on my feet in a stuffy kitchen.
So far, I’ve eaten two eggs. A little bit of spinach with some tomatoes and cucumbers, and a bite of really sweet bread pudding from the “leftover pile”.
I’ve washed dishes more than I have cooked, and I begin to lose myself as my glasses fog with steam from the barely scalding water. I have a cup of hot, black Community coffee sitting on the ledge to my left, and I pause every few minutes for a hot sip. I’m tired and need a little jolt.
I lose myself for a while, as I rake off uneaten bits and unclog the drain. Hunched over a three-compartment sink, sweat beading off my balding head. My back, on the occasion of lifting a stack of plates, pings a nerve and I squint my left eye.
I’ve found myself in some weird places recently. Mostly in my head, and of course, intertwined with some heart things. I’ve been asking myself some terribly hard questions.
“Is this place working out for me?”
“Shit man, what was that all about?”
If I’m honest with myself, I’m still having trouble fitting into place. I want to cook food for people. I want a place that I can live my passions, and up comes some article about how you’re never going to work your dream job. Whatever. Anyways.
I’ve been finding myself a little quiet and distant, because a person tells me they think what I write is too sad and heavy. That’s fair. But you tell me that, I’m going to find ways to not to write like that, and I need to. You see?
I need to be angry at the times when I am angry. I also need to be sad and people need to see it. Well, I need to see it. Because I cannot allow myself to dwell in a place where I do not feel authentic.
I am okay.
I am doing all of this now, so twenty years from now I can say I felt everything, and worked through as much as I could. I know you want me to at least seem happy.
I can tell you, this is the best I’ve felt all year. I may not be jumping up and down and screaming, but I am feeling good.
(what is happy, anyways?)
What I mean, is that I write what I write here because it is true to me. Sure I’m a little different in the kitchen, or sitting in a pew. I will make jokes about sausage and also sing a gospel song. Because my life is a wonderful, deep, and challenging thing.
Ya know, those dishes can be therapeutic.
And my couch feels like heaven right now.
I just ate two leftover Labor Day hot dogs on a fluffy white bun with mayonnaise and mustard and ketchup.
Oh. And a cookie.
And you know what?
I’m doin’ alright.