I cut open a new bag of brown rice and poured grains into a one cup measure. Noticing the off aroma wafting, replacing the one I know well (the one that always makes me wish it didn’t have to cook so long) I leveled it off and poured it into a pot, then filled a half cup measure and poured that in, too.
The rice smelled like it had been tainted with rancid oil. Very wrong. While measuring three cups of water, I wondered what made this day different from another when I would rush to the phone to create a record at the grocery store of my dissatisfaction, making sure they were waiting for me to come in and exchange this possibly dangerous purchase. What makes this a day when I let go of what’s best for me and walk through what should be avoided as if I don’t see, hear, or smell?
I’ve done this often — turned up fires beneath pots and set timers, knowing all the while in some deep broken place that I’m giving up control, stirring something volatile, convincing myself to disregard what may be coming next.
I ate frosted cake on a movie set, placed in the sun and left for hours, happy that there was so much left and I could have more than one piece.
I convinced myself that a man who proved he didn’t know me had my best interests in mind when he said, “Trust me.”
I didn’t say no, as an adult should, when others decided how every corner of my next few years should go. I walked through them like a zombie, nodding, forgetting I could bite.
I was worn out this morning after perhaps four hours of sleep and scant dreams, but woke feeling the newness of the day and my ability to get things done perched light on my shoulders, like those sights at the end of the tunnel that I’ve heard about but never seen for myself. That’s the good part. I haven’t been upset today. But while the rice cooks I’m remembering things and wondering why, hoping my dinner tastes better than it smells, readying to clear out more clutter from the living room and maybe my head, counting the hours until I can try to sleep again.
I wonder if the writer in me nudges my deeds past reason when it needs to cross another plateau, stretch to understand new ways of being so I can interpret them better? Another personal flaw I would have to fix. My creativity should not be like an addictive drug. It’s dark side should be in the listening, in the art — not in my veins.
After thinking this over and deciding to do better in the future, I’ll still eat the rice. Unless it tastes funny…
*What do your writing demons nudge you to do?