Monday, July 23, 2012

Impatient Protagonist



The thrill of reading comes from knowing that until one reaches the final chapter, the end of every chapter is merely a prelude of more to come. It's the cliffhanger--the eagerness to find out how everything ends--that makes a reader hold on until the long-awaited conclusion. However, the agitation I often find with life is that I cannot peak ahead and make sure I get a “happy ending;” however relative, however immature. I have to exercise patience. I am not the reader, I am the character; this is my story, for better or worse.

"This is the end, isn't it?" I often ask (and often I have it asked to me). Each "good-bye" feels so permanent. Each time I pack my bags, it could be my last venture. Each time I let go of his hand, it feels like an eternity before I can feel it in mine again.

Each spring is the same. April turns into May and I stare at the last few words of this chapter. The semester has run its course and so have I. I look at my bags and hesitantly pack them with all the things that only seem to multiply overnight. If there is one thing I can say, my story is predictable. Predictability can be favorable; there are notches on some hemisphere of my brain measuring my growth, much like the notches on a wall a mom makes to acquaint the child with having to grow up and grow tall.

I have always been afraid of what growing can bring, and the more I know the more I wish I didn't know. Predictability loves its cliché, and I will embrace it before I embrace something groundbreaking that could shake up my foundation. But even the proper protagonist, through faults and triumphs, knows where she stands. If something unpredictable should come my way, I find a way to understand it. And, in this case, unpredictability was coming home to a new environment of divorce and one less member of a family I had come to understand. Cliché provided me a lesson; our principals are merely recycled. And like knowledge and ingenuity, my story is not distinguishable or creative.

I am impatient. My pages are glued together, and their words sealed with a margin-note: “Do not peak until [insert date here].” Time is always moving for someone else faster and wiser than I. Something new is happening somewhere that could affect me eventually as I sit on my hands; it’s a ripple in time that will tear my walls down. I sit idly by--my only guilt is my false innocence. I mask my impatience with a look of contentment, but my mind is reeling with things I need to do, things I want to do and--worst of all--things I cannot do.

I have deteriorated into a walking list of goals--short-term and long-term. Every obstacle is an obstruction of justice, and is greeted with insincerity and bitterness. I am still struggling to be more welcoming of changes that deter me--I have said it several times before.

Then again, I guess I have always hated cliffhangers and plot twists. That is just one more notch I have yet to earn.

Monday, July 16, 2012

100 Words: Like Poetry

I move like poetry when I’m cooking. It's not so much in what I do or create-- I'm quite mediocre--but a feeling when I do it. I know where every spice and seasoning is in my cabinet, and move justly dropping in the perfect amounts. I feel exhilarated knowing the food is down to its last few minutes.

I plate each item. This is it, this is the moment: the taste-test. I take a bite and fall in love. Whether it's my creation or someone else's it tastes like art. Perhaps I just love food too much.