Jukebox: Medina- You and I
“GINA HELP HELP...” I jolt up in bed. 630AM the sky was still a sluggish gray, my mind in disarray, scramble of thoughts, brain still lingering in my dreams, resisting reality. The bed beckons me... "lie back down" no.. "focus focus"... "why am I up so early". oh, mother's holiday potluck. holiday party food. Food. FOOD.
"I can't finish this in 20 min, gina come help me"
Next thing I knew, the icy kitchen floor was draining away heat from my bare feet. In a hopeless battle against the dissipating body heat, my fingers ran lame attempts at energy generation as I ferociously ripped the prepackaged bags.
Delicate magical pouches of sauce, ready to be emancipated and cast their spells. Beguiling bits of peanuts and ginger danced amidst the goopy fluid. "I WAS HOMEMADE" it screams, hahha homemade my @$$!
"thank goodness we got the ready-to-eat chinese salad set." mom says as she rushes to the rice cooker "one less thing to worry about"
costco still amazes me after all these years. (L <3 V E)
before me, a clear bowl as deep as my bathroom sink, wide enough to be my winter sled, glistening water droplets already joining in on the sport, sliding down the concave surface into the empty abyss
The emptiness invites food.
Wish granted! In goes 3 pounds of Dole Iceberg lettuce like a garbage dump
Did you know there is taste and texture scale on the bag? a two for taste and texture a "crunchy bold" five. That always reminds me of the cheeto bag, where the scale meets "dangerously cheesy", I remember pondering over the scale when I was younger. Did any of you wonder too?
in go the almonds. in go the crunchy wontons. MIX MIX MIX. Chicken. MIX MIX MIX MIX CHEX MIX!
the oven timer dings precisely as I finish my organic masterpiece.
I peek in the aluminum tray… befuddled by the pallid color of the chicken. my index finger meets the surface. COLD.
“MOM THE ORANGE CHICKEN IS NOT COOKED.”
a 10 second jumble as feet storm in.
"what do you mean it’s not... omg... the conventional oven wasn't plugged"
sure enough, the lone plug smirks at me. black and silver "You Were Careless", it laughs
8 min left.
I turn on the stove and start the stirfry instead.
the sound of oil snapping comforts me despite the impending deadline. I was working the stove like a skilled panda express worker. Yayuhh!
soon, everything is ready. cellophane and aluminum glistening their sanitary aura.
I load everything carefully in the trunk, and mom speeds off to work.
Undulating waves of success wash over me! Yay! I did well this morning... and it's still only 700! Time to do my own schtuff.... I thinkk?
As I round the corner to go to my room, I pass by the kitchen...
...and the merciless battlefield of unwashed pans, open sauces, and unused foods glares right back at me.
sigh.... i guess not yet.