He didn’t know it when he woke up that morning, but that Tuesday was going to change everything for Chris. It seemed like a normal morning. It was a crisp 11:30am, the universally accepted time for adults to awaken from their restful slumber. Another 15 minutes, and it’d be time to get out of bed and start the day. Showers be darned. He had just taken one of those yesterday, and his trim, yet doughy, body had done nothing of note to require another one. Not yet, at least. He wouldn’t be seeing another human being until at least late afternoon anyway. That’s more than enough time to make hygiene procrastination reasonable. The one thing that Chris couldn’t skip, the one thing that seemingly no man can skip, was eating. Something deep inside his corporal shell compelled him to eat. Some would call it instinct. Some would call it supernatural intervention. Others still, would call it hunger. Whatever it was, Chris’ body could not ignore its siren song.
In the flash of a second, the proverbial fire was started and the glass stove top was being warmed for battle. Though stained with the remnants of spillover and loss, it glowed red with the heat of purpose. Chris filled a non-stick sauce pan with hot water, believing that the extra heat would save precious seconds during the cooking process; allowing him to satiate his “hunger” before it consumed him. The full weight of the pan was lowered on to the stove top, filling only the inner circle of the dual-sized front burner. A true marvel of modern heating technology, at least for Chris, who only owns this one small pan that would be dwarfed by any other sized heating element.
The contents of the blue Kraft macaroni & cheese box were submerged into the bubbling water. The sheer presence of the pasta soothed the tumultuous waters as a calm took over the once rowdy pot. A pinch of salt in the water made Chris feel fancy as he waited for the commotion of boiling water to again take over. At random intervals, Chris disrupted the settles, and content, macaroni with his power wielding spoon…letting his instinct take over. A watched pot never boils, but Chris kept a close eye on things, afraid of missing the exact moment when the macaroni would reach pasta enlightenment.
An incoming text: “What’s up, bro?” from his friend Scott. He’s reminded in that moment that there’s an existence outside of just his bustling kitchen.
“Not much, man” he texts back. He waits for a reply. Surely there’s something life-affirming looming on the other end of this exchange. Nothing. He waits. Nothing still.
Finally a swift vibration and illumination of the phone reveals the message that would send ripples through space and time: “Cool. We should hang out sometime.” Chris agrees…“Totally, how about—”
The pot, which remained unwatched, had begun to boil. The levees broke and the floods poured out over the helpless pot. Text messages could wait, as Chris jumped into action; fight or flight. He heroically removed the pot from the scene of tragedy. The hisses of spattered water a reminder of his mistakes. He turned down the heat on the stove that he, just minutes before, considered his ally. It felt like betrayal, but it also felt like a sign. A sign that the macaroni was ready and that hunger’s reign would soon come to an end. Chris separated the macaroni from the water that it had been calling home. No strainer, just a large spoon and a steady hand. All it needed now was roughly a ¼ cup of milk and half a stick of butter. It seemed like way too much butter, but who was Chris to argue with the decorated food scientists at Kraft?
Chris ate. Chris continued to eat. He made the whole box and he was going to eat the whole box. For him, it was about both the destination and the journey. There were three servings of the neon orange cheesy macaroni in that blue box. Logically, three servings would be enough for three people. Chris and his hunger don’t think logically. He may be one man, but he’s one hungry man. His parents didn’t raise him to be a quitter, and quit he would not. Down to the last lonely bite, of now room temperature pasta. He had conquered a mountain, and came back down to the earth a hero, stronger for what he had been through.
There was only one thing left for this hero to do: Take a nap. #blessed.