Today I had red velvet cake; it was a struggle thinking about it.
Sometimes I feel like the glass bottle I usually bring to work. It’s usually filled with water, not rice wine vinegar or vodka. Strong, solid, and transparent – proudly wearing its heart on its sleeves.
Then a few times it would break and shatter into pieces. Once I got out of my car (and not knowing that it was squeezed in between the seat and the door), it fell on the ground hard. On the road there were countless pieces and shards of glass, and it was never to be the usual bottle it was once.
But if I were to spend time and carefully pick up all of them, melt them in a furnace, and blow the hot mixture into the soy sauce bottle it was once, I would be able to get the same bottle.
I imagine cutting my fingers while picking them up with my bare hands at first, because I would be stupid enough to not think of a better way.
Then I imagine my knees and back being sore, because I would have to take seconds, minutes, days, years to make sure every speck was not left out.
Finally I would need to blow the molten mixture carefully in order to get the exact shape I would want. And if I did not, I would have the choice of melting it again, or sticking with a different shape filled with its own unique curves, edges, flaws, traits.
Today I had red velvet cake. It made me think of that one time you baked it for a friend, and because it took so long the red dye was burnt. It tasted a bit burnt too, but I told you I liked it because I thought it was chocolate cake. I was willing to do a lot then, but now it’s a struggle every time I am reminded of you.
One day I’ll be a strong, solid, transparent soy sauce bottle again. But while I cut my fingers picking up the pieces, it is and will be a struggle for a while.