ascending the ziggurat
For anyone who still harbors romantic illusions about the writing life, here's a story: last night around one o'clock I became desperately hungry and decided I would fry up a veggie burger, which are sort of a staple when I need a slab of flavored protein but don't want to do anything complicated like cracking eggs. So I pour a little olive oil in the pan, get it bubbling, then discover there aren't any veggie burgers in the freezer. In fact, there isn't much food of any description in the kitchen. I've been writing too much lately to have time for things like grocery shopping.
"But there must be something I can fry," I tell myself, "now that I've got the pan going. You can fry anything!" Eventually I find some cheese. Hey, fried cheese, why not. So I grate the cheese into the pan and it starts to bubble and smell melted-cheesy, and that's good. Then I find some eggs and think hey, omelet of sorts. Only I have to do it quickly so the cheese doesn't coagulate on its own, so I'm rather overeager about cracking the egg on the side of the pan and it splatters all over the stove top. The yolk stares at me like a malevolent eye. I move the pan to the sink, where it comes into contact with the dirty dishes and fizzles; then I start to wipe up the egg, but my paper towels clearly were not designed to absorb egg yolk and it just smears everywhere. Some of it leaks under the burner, so I turn off the gas and try to move the burner, and I of course burn my hand. I try again with an oven mitt and discover that a lot of the raw yolk has dripped far down beneath the burner, to places that I can't reach. So it's just going to hang out there, I guess. I can see itit's yellow and nasty, but beyond my powers to alter. I sprayed it with some Lysol to keep germs away. If it starts to smell I'll spray it again. Lemon fresh.