The steam has been rising from the cup in front of you for almost five minutes now. After watching this visual exodus of heat, you can’t help but assume that the liquid has cooled enough for consumption. You give the surface a superstitious blow and bring the container to your lips.
With a gentle tilt, you permit just a dribble to enter your mouth. Too hot. Now you are passing the small bit of liquid from cheek to cheek while scanning your surroundings for a cold drink or a chunk of food to throw in the cauldron. Deep down, though, you know it’s too late. The tip of your tongue has been burned, and now the very drink you have been waiting to consume will taste sterile and bland. If only it understood the sabotage it has just performed.
Eventually you will recover, but the sting of losing this waiting game will linger and every bite of food will remind you that something is just a little bit off today.
The aching in your bladder has nudged you awake. As your eyes focus from your sleepy stupor, you stare at the red glow of your alarm clock . It reads 5:00. Your brain starts to process. Slowly. Weekday? Yes, weekday. Time until having to rise? Let’s see…that would be one hour. Thank God- one more glorious hour of sleep. But the burning in your spleen reminds you that it is not all roses.
Now you must decide: to go or not to go. You can choose an hour cozy sleep or an galling struggle to regain unconsciousness. Sure the decision appears simple, but there is a price to pay to comfortably slip back into a blissful slumber, and the price is dear. This luxury will require that you crawl out of bed, grope for a switch, then squint through the bright lights as you trudge down the hall to the bathroom. On the other hand, you can roll over and suffer through the pain until you are once again lost in a dreamworld. This decision is yours, and yours alone. Neither option is ideal, and this is certainly
It’s all figured out. The only question remaining is what song to play as you are walking down the aisle. Things couldn’t be more perfect- witty conversation, breathtaking beauty, similar interests. You even rent The Notebook just to saturate yourself with this love-sick feeling. Then comes the second week. One afternoon, you get the text: “your so cute!” Oh boy. Well, you’ve heard things at work have been hectic, let’s chalk it up to a busy day and careless texting. Then, after a night out the next weekend you stomach drops: “Sry about my friends, there so crazy!!!” This is no typo. Suddenly a future of smiles and long walks gets bombarded by emoticons and misplaced apostrophes. This will have to end. “I just think you and me are to different. Sorry.”
You are ready to sand-blast the germs right off of your skin. Heck, you’re even ready to give up a dermal layer or two in the process. You turn on the bottom faucet at your temporary showering establishment. The sweet water gushes out. You can barely hear yourself think as the steam begins to rise, but somehow above all the cacophonous wooshing, you gather your thoughts: “This is going to be a good one.”
Grasped between your index and middle fingers, you give the lever a swift pull and brace yourself. During this moment of stillness, you picture the water being forced up the pipes and out of the spigot above you letting loose like a fire hose from the heavens. Then, the shower head gurgles and lets out a pathetic trickle that struggles to even fall to the ceramic floor below. After a brief second you give up hope that this is a momentary buildup to the true waterworks. No, friend, you must hang your head in defeat and scrub extra hard under this sprinkling can of a shower.
It’s early. You are squatting in the kitchen looking for the box of Captain Crunch. Or maybe it’s a frying pan that SOMEbody decided to place not only under, but also behind every other kitchen utensil that you own. You finally grab it, but this victory proves fleeting. For when you stand in a moment of resolute triumph, you are met by a searing pain on the top of your skull.
Within one millisecond, your brain races from shock to pain to blind anger. You become enraged, and your rage needs a direction. Why would my roommate leave this cupboard open like this? What type of carpenter would make cabinets that swing out at head level? Why in the world is there a point sharp enough to cut glass on the bottom corner of this door? The list goes on, and in your blind rage, you grumble and blame just about everyone on the planet (but yourself, of course) that has put you in this throbbing predicament.
You had an amazing weekend with friends, but now it is time to bid adieu. Your bag is packed, you start the process of thanking, rethanking and assuring your host that you had a wonderful time. One last peek in bathroom to make sure you remembered your toothbrush. Got it. You even remembered your travel shampoo on the shower ledge. You are on top of it today. Glance into your room: empty. No clothes, no underwear, nothing left on the dresser. You are ready for your departure. Then, the standard pre-departure self pat down: right back pocket for wallet? Check. Keys in front pocket? Check. Cell phone in opposite pocket? Check. After this standard operating procedure, you are ready for the train station, the bus station, airport, maybe your own car.
Two hours later, humming one of your favorite tunes while looking out the window, you get the sick feeling. That feeling you got when your mother looked under your bed and found those treasures you were hiding. Oh no. The truth sets in: you left it.
Suddenly every minute is precious as you will soon lose all contact with the outside world. Your cell phone is dying every second and its very lifeline is dangling out of some wall socket in a spare bedroom. Abject panic. Your friend can mail it, but that will cost $10. How much do those things cost anyways? You could go hang out at the cell phone store and plug into one of their extras, right? Oh no. Now you are ignoring calls. Your grandmother just called but you can’t chat and let that battery drain. You don’t even want to check texts. Maybe you leave it off and check for voicemails and texts every hour or so. Eventually, you will find your way out of this mess, but for right now,
Perhaps in the reddist Braeburn you’ve ever seen, the greenest Granny Smith you could ever imagine. You can suddenly see why Eve picked this fruit off of that forbidden tree. It has been patiently waiting for your consumption all day- maybe for that 3:00pm pick-me-up when that sweet, sugary goodness will jostle you awake.
Finally, it is time. You grasp that shining orb of flavor and give it a quick cleaning before the first bite. A quick shirt-shine will usually do, perhaps even a rinse under the faucet just to ensure no residue will spoil your moment of bliss. You bring it to your lips, your mind racing with thoughts of the sweet, crisp bite that is soon to be yours. Your ears prepare for what will be a deafening crack when you dislodge that first glistening chunk. Your teeth sink in to the marvelous morsel. Oh no. They are stuck. You are having to gnaw just to tear off that first bite. Nothing but mush. Mealy, yellow, tart, dry mush.