The pot is still in the sink from the night before. I ready the soap and sponge to work under the unnecessarily scalding water as if I won’t be surprised when it scorches my fingers. That is only the first of irrational expectations as the true disappointment looms over the horizon like a ship ready to end a month-long voyage by sinking a few hundred metres from the shore.
Clean and shining it’s ready to be filled. My measurements are as measured as they are precise: not at all. When I figure the levels have reached an adequate depth I set it on the stove-top to enter the inconsequential forging of a quick and un-nutritious meal I have no right no fail so effortlessly at.
I pour the contents in to the bubbling water and revisit several times without an eye on time and with an occasional stir of the foamy water because it feels like something I should be doing. This story goes on until the time to strain the contents in to the metal skillet and rinse the pasta arrives for its reckoning. I don’t know what the results will be besides below par, but there’s lots of room to stretch out under that bar and I am practically wild about where my blind shot will land in the vast rough.
I mix in the cream and milk and stir until I am forced to accept no miraculous cavalry is going to rush in and save me in this fight, and so I ladle it in to a dark blue bowl that wishes it could speak for just long enough to question me and all of my life choices. I grab a spoon and contemplate my next choice with greater weight and significance than I grant to future altering forks in the road, and with a silent apology to my love I squeeze out ketchup liberally on to the yellow noodles mirroring the way her heart would be squeezed by this blasphemous act. I take my seat and taste my fate with resignation. Thoughts rush fats and chaotic while I try to make sense of it all, and I somehow ca not figure out whether the noodles are under or over cooked; too dry or moist, delicious or pitiful. There are undissolved orange chunks floating in the creamy waters, and my heart breaks as they are swallowed by the storm of my waiting mouth. I finish all of the contents and feel equal parts shame and satisfied. Tonight, I dined and saw the battle through, but I don’t know what awaits on the opposite side of the next twenty-four hours.