In order to light my stove you have to turn the knob past “HI” and get it to make that all too familiar clicking noise. Once you get that smell of gas and you finally see the flame, I dial back a notch and leave it on HI.
I’ve been cooking a lot recently, not because I have some sort of craving for home-cooked meals, but mostly out of some need for focus at the end of the day. Like I’ve said, February is just an ass month for me, and cooking is a sort of moving meditation for me. Something about working with my hands puts me at ease and it forces me to pay attention. An errant knife stroke there, a misplaced hand on a pan and I’m carrying some pretty painful reminders of what should be a fairly easy meal. I do genuinely love cooking, and I abhor wasting food, so in general, if I fuck up a dish, I’m having a pretty terrible dinner. As such, I’ve gotten pretty decent at making edible food.
I remember when I first started cooking, all my dishes would always end up burnt, or way too close to well done for my liking. It took me a bit too long to realize that it was because I left my stove on “HI” no matter what. Every dish I made, no matter the prep, no matter the cuisine, got the high heat all the time. I always thought, why get it done in 10 minutes when I can get it done in 5? That’s kind of the general philosophy that I take in life too. When you get into something, you go hard, you go fast, and you dive deep. I’m head first in my passion, to a borderline obsessive degree. And that cuts both ways. It’s great when it’s a positive direction, but it’s downright dangerous when it’s a bad one.
My cooking has gotten a lot better since I’ve backed down from throwing hot fire at everything, and learning how to simmer. And I realized too, the best relationships I’ve had, romantic or otherwise, have been that sort of simmer. The ones that I chronicle as one shots are those fiery messes, but the ones that stick with me, the ones that really matter are the ones that take a long time to gestate. It means more, it hurts more, everything is more because you’ve experienced it, and you understand it.
What’s scary is that I don’t really know how all that works, how that great relationship starts. If it’s just happenstance, coincidence, and if it does happen, how do I keep it great. It’s one thing to learn to cool it when it’s just a new dish on a stove, but when it’s your life, when your feelings are on the line and things are clouded, it’s a new thing for me to play it cool. Passion has driven me a lot of places, and it’s also hurt me a lot of ways, and there has to be some balance between it all, but experimenting with it is terrifying. But you have to start somewhere, and learn to live with the consequences.
I’ve been obsessed with Ed Sheeran’s “Dive”, really, the whole album is pretty fucking fantastic. But, there’s these few lines of lyrics that kill me—
Do you have a tendency to lead some people on?
‘Cause I heard you do…
So don’t call me baby
Unless you mean it
Don’t tell me you need me
If you don’t believe it
So let me know the truth
Before I dive right into you
That’s all I knew, diving in. That will always be a part of me, headstrong and cavalier, but maybe that needs to take a backseat, it needs to change, to something a little more tempered, but I still want to take risks, even foolish ones if need be.
Either way, in the end, you’re going to get my all, I guess it just a matter of when you know that, that’s going to have to be enough for now.