I am a casserole. And I hate casseroles.
I’m a jumbled up mess of failures and vanity. What a combination.
I don’t mean to jump off my race with a gunshot of cynicism, so please don’t dismiss this writing on that account. I’m actually an extremely positive person, and a full believer in the power of a sunny smile and a good deed, and all that other stuff.
But that doesn't change the fact that I am most definitely a casserole.
Atop my surface rests a glimmering layer of cheese, or something yummy. And this something yummy glimmers in such a way that it often catches the glances of passerby; and these passerby interpret these glimmers as success, brilliance, perfection, even.
But these mesmerizing glimmers are nothing more than refractions of light, distortions of reality, and amplifications of minor victories. You look at me in my nine-by-thirteen, glass, just-cleaned-with-Palmolive pan, and on all visible sides, I appear delightful - or something to that effect.
But poke a toothpick into my core and I am cold, a little lumpy. There are parts within that are sour and searing.
Tears. Anger. Disappointments. Shortcomings. Failure. And when you take a bite you can bet your bottom dollar it’s gonna taste despicable.
But you know what?
Mixed amid those failures and faults are some bacon bits of triumph. (Or tofu bits of triumph, for you vegetarians).
There are spices of love and joy and memories and passion. There are bits that matter, pieces that made an impact - a positive one - on something or someone surrounding me. And sure, there’s gonna be some bites that don’t taste so swell. But that’s just the horrid, surprising, brilliant experience of eating a casserole.
Because, in the long run, aren’t we all doing just that - taking bites of other peoples’ casseroles? Experiencing the world and lives and beings of those around us? Deciding which ones we want to jot down in our recipe books, and which ones we near spit out on the spot? Aren’t we all just jumbles of things, but when so rhythmically and systematically combined form who we are as individuals? I think that’s one, odd way of putting things, of putting life.
Being a casserole is a wild and weird and sometimes mushy experience. But I like the casserole I’m turning out to be. I’m a little bit crispy on the edge, but really, really warm on the inside.
And I like seeing how everyone else, all the other casseroles, are turning out to be. The musical blends of spices and ingredients, a symphony of savory, and sweet, and everything in between. Each person’s individual pop of flavor, adding vibrance to the world around them.
And okay, I’m not going to pretend that at the end of all this, my taste buds have undergone a miraculous conversion, and a casserole is the one thing in life that I’m going to crave for the rest of my days, but… all things considered, maybe a casserole is not such a horrible thing to be.