Drop a handful of leaves in a bowl and hum a tune. What’s it from? Oklahoma? Gypsy? It takes a minute while you’re dicing up a carrot to figure out its The Carpenters.
Irony, you think to yourself, is a bitch.
Drop the cut up carrots in the bowl with the leaves and pivot on your heel. Grab the onion and get that reduced down to cubes and tetrahedrons and polygonical bits. You’re good with a knife, but you could be better. Not playing with a knife everyday means less practice and less skill and less proficiency.
Open the bag of precooked chicken from the pseudo hippie-woo-woo grocery store (which is different than the organic grocery store) that you were surprised to see selling smaller portions on styrofoam. You made a mental note to report them to the city and stop shopping there all together. While you listen to the Nightly Business Report (Goodnight Susie!) ramble about the GDP dropping as vegetable prices rose 6% on the 2nd quarter, you shred the chicken with your hands into the big bowl.
Look at it all lying there and once again win the war with the camera. A picture would be nice but not really challenging. You pick up the camera and take a picture of it just so you can say you did it. Still it needs something.
A 6oz container of cottage cheese gets up ended into the bowl with a couple of glugs of olive oil. The green against the white which is against the beige which is against the orange which is against the green again looks great. You take a picture of that too knowing it will never be seen by any one anyway anyhow.
Tongs toss the whole mess. A fork shovels the first bits into your mouth where you’re instantly as bored with the flavor as you would be having to sit through a conversation with Miley Cyrus (Miyllie? Meyley?) The pantry gets yanked open and the seeds and the pods and the leaves and the thistles get dropped in and the crystallized salt and the pulverized pepper follow. The tongs get back in there. Over the sink you get brutal with the mixing just like you used to when you were making salads like this for 100 people. You do it over the sink because just as you expected, you make a huge mess, because like your knife skills, this skill has diminished with time.
You don’t think about how you feel like your beloved skills are gone but instead you grab a beer out of the bottom of the fridge and go into the living room and looks at want ads for jobs you’ll never apply to just to make yourself feel connected and in the game. As you search you hum another tune? The Carpenters? No… Sondheim, West Side Story.
Could be.. who knows….