Posted in Free Write Friday

Cracking the cracked

Sizzle.

The oil’s getting impatient in the pan.

I open the box and briefly contemplate the 12 white specimens before me. The ultimate test awaits me. I place my palm against one. Pick it up.

Feel it in my hands.

Sizzle sizzle.

I always have to concentrate a little harder. I wince a little. I bring my hand down.

Feel the shell give out.

If I get any excess in the mix, it’s gonna be a bitch to clean up.

Sizzzzzzzzzzzle. And there’s no time for me to mess up.

******

The smell of food permeates the car. So does camaraderie.

Night.

A lonely, open road. We’re driving, you’re talking. But as always, I find myself getting more out of listening than talking.

I probably say something unintelligent in response. But I’m honored you enjoy my company.

I’m also surprised you do. You’re hard to read. Do you care about anything?

Your shell is hard to permeate.

*****

Eggshells and yolk don’t touch. They’re two parts, inside each other. When they’re one whole, the contents don’t touch enough to bother the other’s presence. When you separate them, they definitely shouldn’t touch.

When you separate them, you still have to KEEP THEM THAT SEPARATE.

I’m an easy-going cook. My yolks trust me to not let foreign objects get into them.

I can decide how much salt to add to the batter, how much milk, how much soy sauce if I care to be experimental, how gently to mix it all up into something great. As long as I break things cleanly beforehand.

But sometimes, the egg shell cracks too early and it spills. Or I crack it the wrong way, maybe, I’m not sure.

*****

I can’t make any assumptions about how much you value our friendship. I don’t know what’s inside.

I can say how I react to you — you laugh at me and my antics half the time. You say cruel, casual dismissive words another fourth of that time. And then the last parts of times you decide how much to let me in. I’m used to cracking people open right off the bat. And then I meet those who make me doubt.

And then I think of the cliched phrase “walking on eggshells”

*******

And when those eggshells crack

The friendship isn’t smooth. It has a few edges, a few flaws, a few uncookable parts. They’re just swimming around, calling attention to them.

Then I don’t know what to do. Then I don’t know where I stand, or where I should stand to stand in the right place.

Should I dip my finger in and try to salvage the whole thing? Should I dump it out and try to start over with some replacements?

How does this reflect on my dealings with those other 12 specimens?

********

They’re soggy. They’re limp. They may also be undercooked. Oops.

But unless it’s a health hazard, I’ll shovel them into my mouth. I eat my consequences. I won’t waste the fruits of my labor unless I have to.

But I’m getting better at the process of cooking them. That’s what counts right?

********

I don’t know how much I’d care if we weren’t friends.

But why not be friends? I care a lot that we are. I care a lot that I haven’t cracked any undesirables into our batter yet.

********

There’s eggshells in some of my other batters. But I haven’t yet dumped any out.

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